Page 1 of 2 1 2 Modern Period (1840-1919)
The Opium War of 1840 marked a turning point in Chinese history. From early in the 19th century, Britain started smuggling large quantities of opium into China, causing a great outflow of Chinese silver and grave economic disruption in China.
New Democratic Revolution Period (1919-1949)
Under the influence of the October Revolution in Russia, China's May 4th Movement arose. During this great anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolutionary movement led by patriotic students, the Chinese proletariat for the first time mounted the political stage.
Contemporary Period(1949- )
Contemporary Period(1949- )From September 21 to 30, 1949, the First Plenum of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was held in Beijing, with the participation of various political parties, popular organizations, non-Party democrats and representatives from all walks of life.
nt Times (from Antiquity to A.D. 1840)
China, one of the world's most ancient civilizations, has a recorded history of nearly 4,000 years.
Chinese History Summary
China is one of the areas where civilization developed earliest. It has a recorded history of nearly 5,000 years.
Chinese civilization, as described in mythology, begins with Pangu (), the creator of the universe and a succession of legendary sage-emperors and culture heroes among them are Huang Di, Yao, and Shun) who taught the ancient Chinese to communicate and to find sustenance, clothing, and shelter.
The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin () dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or(), and the use of bronze metallurgy.
The first dynasty to unite most of China under a single government was the Zhou Dynasty. In 771 B.C. Zhou's king was killed by invading barbarians who were allied with rebel lords. The capital was moved eastward to Luoyang in present-day Henan Province. Because of this shift, historians divide the Zhou era into Western Zhou (1027-771 B.C.) and Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.).
Much of what came to constitute China Proper was unified for the first time in 221 BC. In that year the western frontier state of Qin, the most aggressive of the Warring States, subjugated the last of its rival states (Qin is pronounced Ch'in, from which the English China probably derived).
After a short civil war, a new dynasty, called Han (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), emerged with its capital at Chang'an ( ). The new empire retained much of the Qin administrative structure but retreated a bit from centralized rule by establishing vassal principalities in some areas for the sake of political convenience.
The collapse of the Han dynasty was followed by nearly four centuries of rule by warlords. The age of civil wars and disunity began with the era of the Three Kingdoms
China was reunified in A.D. 589 by the short-lived Sui dynasty (A.D. 581-617), which has often been compared to the earlier Qin dynasty in tenure and the ruthlessness of its accomplishments.
The Tang dynasty (A.D. 618-907), with its capital at Chang'an, is regarded by historians as a high point in Chinese civilization equal, or even superior, to the Han period. Its territory, acquired through the military exploits of its early rulers, was greater than that of the Han.
In 960 a new power, Song (960-1279), reunified most of China Proper. The Song period divides into two phases: Northern Song (960-1127) and Southern Song (1127-1279). The division was caused by the forced abandonment of north China in 1127 by the Song court, which could not push back the nomadic invaders.
By the mid thirteenth century, the Mongols had subjugated north China, Korea, and the Muslim kingdoms of Central Asia and had twice penetrated Europe.
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