This is part two of a 5-part series on the Complete History of China (abridged). I am covering the basics of China’s history to help me (and you) understand what makes China the way it is. Yesterday, we covered almost 600,000 years of history. Today, we we’re only covering 500 years.
221 BC – After all of the fighting, Qin Shi Huangdi gains control and declares himself the first emperor of China. Though his dynasty didn’t last long, he achieved much. He standardized money, laws, built roads and the North section of the Great Wall and even had 8,099 terracotta warriors made to guard his tomb.
206 BC – I told you Qin didn’t last long. Next up is the Han Dynasty, which brought a prosperous and expanding China, encompassing current day Vietnam, Korea and central Asia. Paper is invented, the first Chinese dictionary is written, and as trade expands, the Silk Road is formed. Buddhism is also introduced during this time.
220 AD – Considered the bloodiest part of China’s history, it is estimated that several million people died because the Wu, Shu and Wei kingdoms broke away causing a civil war to plague China. This period is called the Three Kingdoms.
265 AD – This is where it gets confusing. The Jin Dynasty takes control. Breifly everything is good, then the north part of the China breaks away into the “16 Kingdoms “period. Meanwhile, the Eastern and Western Jin Dynsasty rise and fall.
Come back tomorrow for the next installment of the Complete History of China (abridged).