Favourite Chinese Dynasties?Posted by: UtherPenguin
I'm too lazy to list all the dynasties, so add a dynasty if I forgot one.
The Qin dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. The dynasty was formed after the conquest of six other states by the state of Qin, and its founding emperor was known as Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Gansu and Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin accomplished a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, and eventually conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States to gain control over the whole of China.During its reign over China, the Qin sought to create an imperial state unified by highly structured political power and a stable economy able to support a large military. The Qin central government sought to minimize the role of aristocrats and landowners and have direct administrative control over the peasantry, who comprised the overwhelming majority of the population, and control over whom would grant the Qin access to a large labor force.
The Tang dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The dynasty was briefly interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant.The Tang dynasty, with its capital at Chang'an, which at the time was the most populous city in the world, is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization: a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Its territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people. Yet, even when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by then to about 80 million people.
The Ming dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming, described by some as "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history," was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese. Although the primary capital of Beijing fell in 1644 to a rebellion led by Li Zicheng, regimes loyal to the Ming throne – collectively called the Southern Ming – survived until 1662.The Hongwu Emperor attempted to create a society of self-sufficient rural communities ordered in a rigid, immobile system that would guarantee and support a permanent class of soldiers for his dynasty: the empire's standing army exceeded one million troops and the navy's dockyards in Nanjing were the largest in the world. He also took great care breaking the power of the court eunuchs and unrelated magnates, enfeoffing his many sons throughout China and attempting to guide these princes through the Huang Ming Zu Xun, a set of published dynastic instructions.
The Qing dynasty, also Empire of the Great Qing, Great Qing or Manchu dynasty, was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. The Qing multi-cultural empire lasted almost three centuries and formed the territorial base for the modern Chinese state.The dynasty was founded by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro clan in Northeastern China, also known as Manchuria. In the late sixteenth century, Nurhaci, originally a Ming vassal, began organizing Jurchen clans into "Banners", military-social units and forming a Manchu people. By 1636, his son Hong Taiji began driving Ming forces out of Liaodong and declared a new dynasty, the Qing. In 1644, peasant rebels led by Li Zicheng conquered the Ming capital Beijing. Rather than serve them, Ming general Wu Sangui made an alliance with the Manchus and opened the Shanhai Pass to the Banner Armies led by Prince Dorgon, who defeated the rebels and seized Beijing. The conquest of China proper was not completed until 1683 under the Kangxi Emperor.
The Jin dynasty, was a dynasty in Chinese history, lasting between the years 265 and 420 CE. There are two main divisions in the history of the dynasty, the first being Western Jin and the second Eastern Jin. Western Jin was founded by Sima Yan, with its capital at Luoyang, while Eastern Jin was begun by Sima Rui, with its capital at Jiankang. The two periods are also known as Liang Jin and Sima Jin by scholars, to distinguish this dynasty from other dynasties that use the same Chinese character, such as the Later Jin dynasty.
The Song dynasty was an era of Chinese history that began in 960 and continued until 1279. It succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, and was followed by the Yuan dynasty. It was the first government in world history to nationally issue banknotes or true paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a permanent standing navy. This dynasty also saw the first known use of gunpowder, as well as the first discernment of true north using a compass.The Song dynasty is divided into two distinct periods: the Northern Song and Southern Song. During the Northern Song, the Song capital was in the northern city of Bianjing, and the dynasty controlled most of inner China. The Southern Song refers to the period after the Song lost control of northern China to the Jin dynasty in the Jin–Song wars. During this time, the Song court retreated south of the Yangtze River and established their capital at Lin'an.
The Yuan dynasty, officially the Great Yuan or the Great Yuan Great Mongol State was the empire established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. Although the Mongols had ruled territories which included today's northern China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style. His realm was by this point isolated from the other khanates and controlled only most of present-day China and its surrounding areas including modern Mongolia. It was the first foreign dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368, after which its remnants in Mongolia were known as the Northern Yuan. Almost none of the Mongolian Emperors of the Yuan mastered the Chinese language, using instead their native language and Mongolian and 'Phags-pa script.The Yuan is considered both a successor to the Mongol Empire and as an imperial Chinese dynasty. In official Chinese histories, the Yuan dynasty bore the Mandate of Heaven, following the Song dynasty and preceding the Ming dynasty.
The Han dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms. It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang. This interregnum separates the Han into two periods: the Western Han and Eastern Han. Spanning over four centuries, the period of the Han dynasty is considered a golden age in Chinese history. To this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to itself as the "Han people" and the Chinese script is referred to as "Han characters".The Han Empire was divided into areas directly controlled by the central government, known as commanderies, and a number of semi-autonomous kingdoms. These kingdoms gradually lost all vestiges of their independence, particularly following the Rebellion of the Seven States. The Xiongnu, a nomadic steppe confederation, defeated the Han in 200 BC and forced the Han to submit as a de facto inferior partner, but continued their raids on the Han borders. Emperor Wu of Han launched several military campaigns against them.
The Sui dynasty was a short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it unified China for the first time after over a century of north-south division. It was followed by the Tang dynasty.Founded by Emperor Wen of Sui, the Sui dynasty capital was Chang'an and the later at Luoyang. Emperors Wen and Yang undertook various centralized reforms including the equal-field system, intended to reduce economic inequality and improve agricultural productivity; the institution of the Three Departments and Six Ministries system; and the standardization and re-unification of the coinage. They also spread and encouraged Buddhism throughout the empire and undertook monumental construction projects including expanding the Great Wall and digging the Grand Canal.After its costly and disastrous military campaigns against the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo ended in defeat by 614, the dynasty disintegrated under a series of popular revolts culminating in the assassination of Emperor Yang by his ministers in 618.
The Xia dynasty is the first dynasty in China to be described in ancient historical chronicles such as Bamboo Annals, Classic of History and Records of the Grand Historian. The dynasty was established by the legendary Yu the Great after Shun, the last of the Five Emperors, gave his throne to him. The Xia was later succeeded by the Shang dynasty.According to the traditional chronology based upon calculations by Liu Xin, the Xia ruled between 2205 and 1766 BC; according to the chronology based upon the Bamboo Annals, it ruled between 1989 and 1558 BC. The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project concluded that the Xia existed between 2070 and 1600 BC. The tradition of tracing Chinese political history from heroic early emperors to the Xia to succeeding dynasties comes from the idea of the Mandate of Heaven, in which only one legitimate dynasty can exist at any given time, and was promoted by the Confucian school in the Eastern Zhou period, later becoming the basic position of imperial historiography and ideology.
The Shang dynasty or Yin dynasty, according to traditional historiography, ruled in the Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. The classic account of the Shang comes from texts such as the Classic of History, Bamboo Annals and Records of the Grand Historian. According to the traditional chronology based upon calculations made approximately 2,000 years ago by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled from 1766 BC to 1122 BC, but according to the chronology based upon the "current text" of Bamboo Annals, they ruled from 1556 BC to 1046 BC. The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project dated them from c. 1600 BC to 1046 BC.Archaeological work at the Ruins of Yin, which has been identified as the last Shang capital, uncovered eleven major Yin royal tombs and the foundations of palaces and ritual sites, containing weapons of war and remains from both animal and human sacrifices. Tens of thousands of bronze, jade, stone, bone, and ceramic artifacts have been obtained. The workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization.
The Zhou dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang dynasty and preceded the Qin dynasty. Although the Zhou dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the dynasty, surnamed Ji, lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as the Western Zhou.This period of Chinese history produced what many consider the zenith of Chinese bronze-ware making. The dynasty also spans the period in which the written script evolved into its modern form with the use of an archaic clerical script that emerged during the late Warring States period.