With a recorded history that goes back to the three sovereigns and five emperors of more than 5,000 years and supplemented by archeological records, history of China dates back to 6,000 BC. China represents one of the earliest and oldest civilizations of the world. Its rich culture, writing structure, system of government and many other systems of thought have all continued for centuries.
Archeological evidence suggests China to be one of the cradles of humankind, which is believed to have originated 2.24 million to 250,000 years ago. The earliest human fossilized skull in China was unearthed in Shanxi Province in 1963. Fossils were excavated from a site in Zhoukoudian. These fossils are considered to be 300,000 to 550,000 years old.
Ancient History- The Dynastic Rule---
Like other nations China also has passed through the hands of many dynasties. According to Chinese sources, the Xia Dynasty is the first to appear some 4,200 years ago, with 17 kings of 14 generations from Yu the Great to Jie of Zia. The exact time span of the Xia Dynasty is difficult to calculate.
The Shang Dynasty is the first documented epoch of ancient China between 1600 - 1046 BC. With 31 kings from Tang of Shang to king Zhou of Shang, the hierarchy consisted kings, nobles, commoners and slaves and it's considered to be one of the longest dynasties in the history of China.
The latter half of the Shang Dynasty, the Yin Dynasty, because of its move to Yin in 1350 BC, led to the golden age.
The Zhou who invaded the Shang emerged as a dynasty by the end of the 2 nd millennium BC. They came and settled along the eastern side of the Yellow River valley and began to rule.
The 8 th century BC of the Spring and Autumn Period, power became decentralized with many strong independent states continuously warring with each other. With Qin Dynasty, the era of regal China began. This era witnessed the emergence of the first Chinese state, which however did not have long life. Then came the Han Dynasty , which ruled China between 206 and 220 BC. This era is usually referred, the period of prosperity. After Han's collapse came the Three Kingdoms followed by the Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty . The Mongols came and established the Yuan Dynasty in 1271. They were however overthrown in 1368 by the Ming Dynasty. The last dynasty of China, Qing dynasty , founded by the Manchus, lasted till 1912.
Modern Era- The Republican China---
The 19 th century saw two Opium Wars followed by the Taiping Civil War till 1862. The First Sino- Japanese War in 1894 was followed by the Chinese Civil War in April 1927. The Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 forced an uncomfortable alliance between the Nationalists and the Communists, which left China victorious but financially drained.
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