Chinese History 历史 Lì shǐ
Most countries can look back at a few hundred years of continuous recorded history; China looks back at thousands of years. From earliest times an accurate account of events has been treasured by the Chinese, this is embodied in the character 史 shǐ ‘history’ which also has the meaning ‘impartial’. Chinese people know their heritage well and have a long tradition of revering their ancestors. A good knowledge of Chinese history is essential to understanding and relating to its people.
We include pages on all the main dynasties as well as significant events in Chinese history, up to the foundation of the Republic in 1912 (modern history is in a separate section), including the Taiping Rebellion, the coming of railways, the Imperial system, the Hanlin Academy, Imperial officials, the kowtow, and the Opium Wars. There are also pages covering relations with foreign countries: Early contacts with Britain, 18th century UK-China contacts and the great the European sinophile Leibniz, the Treaty port system, Chinoiserie, the Lay-Osborn debacle, and the despicable trade in Chinese coolies as slaves. We will continue to add new topics.
Click on the time chart on the left to go to a particular time period.
Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. October 2010.
Image by *Christopher*’s ➚ available under a Creative Commons license ➚
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