imperial china early imperial china classical imperial china later imperial china

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  • Imperial China Early Imperial China Classical Imperial China Later Imperial China
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  • Early Imperial China Qin 221-207 B.C. Western Han 206 B.C.- 9 A.D. Hsing (Wang Mang interregnum) 9-25 A.D. Eastern Han 25-220 A.D. Three Kingdoms 220-265 A.D. Western Chin 265-316 A.D. Eastern Chin 317-420 A.D. Southern and Northern Dynasties 420-588 A.D.
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  • Southern Dynasties 420-478 -- Song 479-501 -- Qi 502-556 -- Liang 557-588 -- Chen Northern Dynasties 386-533 -- Northern Wei 534-549 -- Eastern Wei 535-557 -- Western Wei 550-577 -- Northern Qi 557-588 -- Northern Zhou
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  • Classical Imperial China Sui 580-618 A.D. T'ang 618-907 A.D. Five Dynasties 907-960 A.D.907-923 -- Later Liang 923-936 -- Later Tang 936-946 -- Later Jin 947-950 -- Later Han 951-960 -- Later Zhou Ten Kingdoms A.D. 907-979 Song A.D. 960-1279960-1125 -- Northern Song 1127-1279 -- Southern Song Liao A.D. 916-1125 Western Xia A.D. 1038-1227 Jin A.D. 1115-1234
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  • Later Imperial China Yuan A.D. 1279-1368 Ming A.D. 1368-1644 Qing A.D. 1644-1911
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  • Han Dynasty The Han empire began in 206 B.C. when Liu Pang, prince of Han, defeated the Qin army in the valley of Wei. The Han empire began in 206 B.C. when Liu Pang, prince of Han, defeated the Qin army in the valley of Wei.Qin The defeat was part of a larger rebellion that began after the First Emporer's death. The people were dissatisfied with the tyranny of the Qin leaders and their Legalist form of government. However, while traditional Chinese history portrays the Han as implementing immediate changes in government, evidence shows the Han continued to rule in the tradition of the Qin, and only gradually incorporated Confucian ideals into their Legalist form of government. Economic expansion, changing relationships with the people of the steppes, strengthening of the palace at the expense of the civil service, weakening of the state's hold on the peasantry, and the rise of the families of the rich and the gentry were all factors that led to the adoption of Confucian ideals..
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  • Economy The expansion also led to trade with the people of inner Asia. Thereafter, the Silk Road was developed. The Silk Road actually consisted of more than one possible route through the mountains that the traders followed. Agriculture grew with the development of better tools. Iron tools were made of better quality, and oxen drawn ploughs were commonly used. Irrigation systems were increased to help develop the areas of North China. Crop rotation was also practiced from 85 B.C. onwards. The state attempted to monopolize the production of iron and salt, which were the two biggest sectors of the economy, but succeeded for less than a century. Silk weaving and copper work were also important activities.
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  • Silk Road
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  • Three Kingdoms The end of the Han Dynasty was followed by a long period of disunity and civil war. It began with the Three Kingdoms. These kingdoms grew out of the three chief economic areas of the Han Dynasty. The leaders of the kingdoms strove to reunite the empire and were therefore at constant warfare. These three kingdoms were the Wei, in northern China, the Shu to the west, and the Wu in the east. The Three Kingdoms existed from 220- 265 A.D. Buddhism began to spread throughout China during this period. It was introduced in the first century A.D. but did not really begin to spread until after the Han empire collapsed. Tea, although not as popular as it would be in later times, was discovered in the south during this period. Porcelain was also developed during this time. The kingdom of Wei was ruled by Ts'ao Ts'ao. This was the strongest of the kingdoms, and he had power over the valley of Wei even during the time of the Han rule. Ts'ao Ts'ao attempted to unify all of China under his rule, but was defeated by Sun Ch'an and Liu Pei in the battle of the Red Cliff. This defeat was the beginning of the division into three kingdoms. The Wei and Shu kingdoms were both centralized, legalist kingdoms, while the Wu kingdom was ruled by a confederation of the most powerful families of the area. The Wei kingdom eventually captured the Shu kingdom in 263 A.D.
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  • Ts'ao Ts'ao Ts'ao Ts'ao instituted many military changes that would have a great impact on the future of China. His army consisted of both Chinese and people that were considered barbarians, the Hsiung-nu, the Hsien- pei, Wu-huan and the Ch'iang. The members of his army who provided the best troops were the former nomadic herdsmen of the steppes. They were the most skilled mounted bowmen. The use of people from different groups resulted in an assimilation among the people which had not occurred in the past. In the future, these assimilated nomads would form independent kingdoms in North China. The Ssu-ma was a militant family that rose to power very quickly, and one of its members, Ssu-ma Yen founded the new Chin Dynasty in 265 A.D.
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  • Chin Dynasty Ssu-ma Yen began the Chin Dynasty; he ruled from 265-289A.D. As an emperor, he was called Wu Ti. The Chin managed to reunify China when, in 280 A.D., they conquered the Wu Kingdom, thus ending the period of The Three Kingdoms. Despite this success, they were not a stable empire. After defeating the Wu, there was no longer a serious danger of being invaded. Therefore, the emperor declared the armies should be disbanded, and all the arms returned. However, this did not occur in every region. The princes, most of whom had been given their titles due to their relationship to the emperor, declared they needed personal guards. The discharged soldiers belonged mainly to the state and didn't give up their weapons either. Instead, they sold them, mainly to the Hsiung-nu and the Hsien-pi. This was a fatal mistake of the Chin government, as it made them virtually powerless, while all their rivals and enemies gained power. After the death of Ssu-ma Yen, there was never again a strong leader. The leaders and princes were often assassinated in the struggle for power. During this time, the Chinese people surrounding the capital suffered due to the fighting and began a migration out from the center of the empire to the more peaceful frontier regions.
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  • Dynasties of the North and South The Dynasties of the North and South were another lengthy period of disunity and internal strife for China. The Dynasties of the North and South were another lengthy period of disunity and internal strife for China. It lasted from 317-589 A.D. During this time period, the north and south were split and two separate successions of dynasties formed. In both the north and the south, there were different groups of rulers. Many of the dynasties overlapped each other in terms of time.
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  • Sui Dynasty The Sui Dynasty lasted from 580-618 A.D. The Sui once again united China. They were led in their campaign to unite China by Yang Chien who had been an official of the Northern Zhou. The Sui Dynasty had only two emperors, Yang Chien who was called Emperor Wen Ti and his son Emperor Yang. Traditionally, Emperor Yang is portrayed as usurping the imperial power, and is criticized for the amount of money he spent and his cruelty to the people. Yet most of the policies he followed were simply continuations of his father's policies. Despite having a short lifetime, the Sui Dynasty accomplished many things. The Grand Canal was extended north from Hangzhou across the Yangzi to Yangzhou and then northwest to the region of Louyang. The internal administration also improved during this time, which is evident by several things; the building of granaries around the capitals, the fortification of the Great Wall along the northern borders, the reconstruction of the two capitals near the Yellow River, and building of another capital in Yangchow. Confucianism also began to regain popularity, as the nobles gained importance. The Sui rulers were interested in expanding their borders and, along with their public works projects, they began costly military campaigns. They were largely successful with their efforts at territorial expansion into the south. However, to the north, in Korea, they did not achieve much. They attacked Korea four times, and each time were met with defeat. These defeats in Korea led to an attack by the Khan of the eastern Turks who surrounded the emperor. Independent governments arose and for five years, China was again split into smaller states.
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  • Tang Dynasty The Tang are closely associated with the Sui, and are often discussed as the same dynasty. Their dynasty lasted from 618-907 A.D. Much of their power was made possible through the canals built by the Sui. These canals allowed for communications to all parts of the empire. Also, the granaries the Sui built alongside the canals helped the Tang to transport goods from the south to the north. This especially was important in the transfer of rice to the north in times of famine. These canals were important in the economic development of the Tang empire. Sui The Tang expanded on the administrative system that dated from the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. and earlier. The administration was comprised of four main departments: a Department of State Affairs, an Imperial Chancellory, an Imperial Grand Secretariat, and a Council of State. Judicially, the Tang also made many advances. They first compiled the Tang Code in 624 A.D. This is the first complete Chinese code that still