China History

  • 2070 BCE

    The Xia Dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC) — Early Bronze Age China

    This was possibly the first dynasty in ancient China or it could be a legend. But most of the evidence is assuring that this was a real thing. It consisted of several clans living alongside the Yellow river.
  • 1600 BCE

    1600-1050 B.C.: Shang Dynasty

    This was one of the earliest dynasties. It was run by a chief named Tan. The era was known for advance astronomy and math.
  • 1045 BCE

    The Zhou Dynasty (1045-221 BC)

    This dynasty was run by many kings and rulers. But the king of this dynasty only actually ruled a certain amount of the realm. This era was divided into three periods: the Western Zhou Dynasty (1045–771 BC); the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC), and the Warring States Period (475–221 BC).
  • 125 BCE

    125 B.C.: The Silk Road

    After a misson, Zhang Qian returned after 13 years with a map which had a route on it. This route is the international trade route the Silk Road. This was the beginning of trading in China
  • 105 BCE

    105 A.D.: Paper and books

    Paper was made by a man named Cai Lun. He started pounding ingredients such as bamboo, hemp, bark and others. That soon made paper.
  • 1557

    1557: World trade

    The Ming Dynasty expanded China’s trading to export silk and porcelain wares. And allowed Europeans to trade with them.
  • 1840-1842: The First Opium War

    Great Britain flooded the country with opium, causing an addiction crisis. This was a very addicting drug. The Qing Dynasty banned the drug. British forces shut down Chinese ports, and Hong Kong was handed over to them.
  • 1851-1864: The Taiping Rebellion

    China was mad and revolted against the Qing dynasty. Encourage by China's ideas, Hong rampaged all over China. Hong was found poisoned and died
  • 1856-1860: The Second Opium War

    Britain and France demanded that China legalize opium, invading Guangzhou and advancing into Beijing. Desperate to end the conflict, China signed a treaty giving the west more business power and the control of ports.
  • 1894-1894: The First Sino Japanese War

    The Qing Dynasty clashed with Japan over Korea. China’s regional dominance plummeted after losing and influenced a series of internal clashes over the next 16 years. As part of the defeat agreement, Taiwan was handed over to Japan.
  • 1899: The Boxer Rebellion

    Under the rule of Empress Dowager Cixi, the secret society the Harmonious Fist began slaughtering foreigners. Known as the Boxers, they won Empress Dowager’s support when eight European countries sent troops. China lost the conflict, and the West imposed sanctions that permanently weakened Qing rule.
  • 1912: The Republic of China

    Fueled by western-educated revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen, the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 culminated in the Wuchang Uprising, and 15 provinces declared their independence from the Qing Dynasty. Sun took control in 1912, announcing the republic.
  • 1921: The Communist Party of China

    With its roots in the May Fourth Movement protesting the Chinese government response to the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the CPC officially formed.
  • 1927: Shanghai Massacre

    Millions of executions take place when Nationalist Party leader Chiang Kai-shek orders the massacre of Communists, which inadvertently causes the creation of the opposing Communist Red Army.
  • 1928: Reunification

    Elevated to head of the government, Chiang succeeded in reunifying China by seizing areas under the control of warlords.
  • 1931: Civil War

    Fighting between the Red Army and the Nationalist Party escalates into an 18-year-long conflict.
  • 1937-1945: The Second Sino-Japanese War

    Tensions started with the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria but exploded in 1937. After the Japanese captured Shanghai and Nanjing, a stalemate ensued until World War II and American support reframed the conflict into a theater in the larger war.
  • 1945: Taiwan returns to China

    Following Japanese surrender in World War II, Taiwan returned to Chinese control. Tensions mounted between Chinese soldiers and Taiwanese citizens, erupting in violence in 1947, and ending with Chiang sending further troops.
  • 1949: People’s Republic of China

    After a violent end stage to the civil war, the Communist Party declared the People’s Republic of China. Two months later, two million soldiers followed Chiang Kai-shek into exile to Taiwan where he set up a provisional government claiming to be the legitimate ruling body of China. Communist party chairman Mao Zedong became China’s new leader.
  • 1958-1962: The Great Leap Forward

    This campaign by Chairman Mao to transform the agricultural base of China’s society into an industrial one imposed a commune system that organized peasants and forbade private farming. The plan failed to produce the necessary yield, and famine followed, leading to 56 million deaths, including 3 million by suicide.
  • 1966: The Cultural Revolution

    This campaign was initiated by Chairman Mao to erase Capitalist and traditional Chinese influences of the People’s Republic and introduce the philosophy of Maoism to fill the ideological gaps. Schools were closed and Chinese youth directed to take the lead in change, resulting in youth gangs known as the Red Guards attacking undesirable citizens. Chaos led to martial law, Communist Party purges, and 1.5 million deaths.
  • September 9, 1976: Mao dies

    Mao’s death after several heart attacks effectively ends the Cultural Revolution and brought Deng Xiaoping to power for the next two decades, pushing out Mao’s inner circle known as the Gang of Four. By the end of his reign, Mao would oversee the slaughter of some 40 million people.
  • 1989: Tiananmen Square protests

    These student-led protests grew from the '89 Democracy Movement demanding freedom of speech, freedom of the press and more. They gained worldwide attention when the government violently cracked down on the protesters and images of tanks rolling into students inspired universal condemnation. At least 300 died in the protests.
  • July 1, 1997: Hong Kong returns to China

    In a midnight ceremony with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in attendance, Hong Kong was given back to China after 156 years. China agreed to preserve the island’s capitalist economy as part of the handover agreement.