Ancient China-the Cliff Notes
China’s cultural and political history emerged through a succession of royal dynasties beginning with the Xia (21st to 16th centuries BC). It was followed by the Shang (16th-11th centuries BC), Zhou (1121-221BC), Qin (221-206 BC), Han (until 220 AD), Three –dis-unified- Kingdoms (until 265 AD), Sui (265-618 AD), Tang (618-907), Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (50 years of disunity)…
Song (960 AD—Genghis Khan)
Yuan (1279—Kublai Khan & Marco Polo; Dadu [Beijing] established as capital; opened China to foreigners;
dramatic culture emerged)
Ming (1368; trade, arts, sciences flourished; Great Wall restored)
Qing (1644; imperial attitude and refusal to participate in industrial revolution in favor of feudal based agrarian
1800: Imperial government banned Opium, as population had become addicted. By 1830s more than 4.5 million pounds of opium were arriving in China annually. 1839, Chinese official burned 20,000 crates of opium stored in British warehouses. British retaliation began the Opium Wars and beginning of end of Imperial China as Chinese army couldn’t match superior British forces. Treaty of Nanking granted Britain free trade access and residency rights in major ports. 1844 French and Americans got the same trading rights.
The Qing dynasty was further weakened and eventually overthrown by the Taiping Rebellion, Sino-Japanese War, Boxer Rebellion and 1911 Wuhan army rebellion. Revolutionary Dr. Sun Yat-sen returned to China and was made president of the new Chinese Republic.
Chapter Two: Modern Chinese History (Coming Soon)