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Huang Di, The Yellow Emperor

Qin Shi Huang

Mao ZeDong at ChingKangShan 1965

Deng Xiao Ping

Sun Yat Sen
Chinese History
Chinese History - Introduction

Chinese history is very long and complicated. It is seldom taught in any depth by Western schools, and what is available is often layered with political or nationalistic views of the country of origin. This is an independent work that does not have any political or nationalistic agenda. It is intended as a simple point of reference by which the casual reader may learn a little of the full history of China.

There are two versions:
Version A.

A quick guide - giving the very basic facts

Version B.
An in depth look at all eras of Chinese history, which is divided into sections for easy reference

One striking theme of Chinese history is the almost continuous power struggles between Warlords. Sometimes one would rise to a position to control the whole Country, but more often several were in contention at the same time. Frequently 'Royal Houses' would be overthrown, only to rise again centuries later and perhaps under a new guise. This didn't really end until 1949!

Do not be misled by the English spelling of Chinese names and dynasties. These are often translated as being:
a. The same spelling of different names (Chinese characters)
b. Different spellings of the same name in English
Emperors would usually have a Title name, and a real name; where the family name appears first

Powerful Women
For simplicity, I have seldom included Empresses, as only one was ever Ruler in her own right. However, you should be aware of the power of: family, wife, and mother. Weaker Emperors were often controlled by one of these. Also note that on many occasions a concubine (They are chosen by the First Wife bizarrely), has risen to ultimate power within the Empire, whilst the Emperor retains a public face only

Further Reading

There is also a growing section detailing contemporary Kingdoms in other parts of China, outside of mainstream Han history.

Neighbouring countries that have shared history are also being included with the aim of providing a complete history of all areas that comprise modern China

To these basic pages we have added special sections for clarity and fun.

For an interesting list of Chinese inventions and world First's, please see our dedicated page:
Chinese Inventions

You may also find our History Quiz to be both enlightening and entertaining. Please click:
History Quiz

This is a rough guide for Foreigners who may have little or no knowledge about much of Chinese history. Western schools have tended to pay scant attention to China, except for specific incidents concerning primarily themselves, such as: The Opium Wars, Mongolian Warlords, and certain discoveries such as gunpowder, or trade such as silk, and Traders such as Marco Polo. Therefore this short guide is designed to give you a working knowledge of the most important developments through time, without becoming embroiled in long lists of Empires and things normal people may consider to be unimportant in today’s world.

Modern History
Even the last 100 years of Chinese history would need to be studied at Degree level in order to gain a proper understanding and insight into this fascinating culture and its peoples. Our condensed version is illuminating, and details the main events of the last century, without becoming embroiled in list of people and battles: You can find it here

However, to understand Chinese peoples and their culture, you do need to understand how they came to be the way they are today. I also consider it important to include interactions with others over the ages, as this changes your perception of just who Chinese people are and what they consider themselves to be.

This guide is based in readily checkable facts, but we will develop this over the remainder of 2009. Later this will include all Chinese cultures, especially those that were contemporary with, but are always excluded from traditional views of Chinese history
This information is as supplied by Wikipedia, as dated March 2009 or later, and/or other reliable sources.

Maps (Unless stated otherwise) are provided in association with Thomas Lessman

Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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