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A Brief History of China

Updated: Jan 7


China's history is rich with art, politics, science, and philosophy. It is home to the oldest of the major world civilizations.

China was ruled by various dynasties for much of its history. The first dynasty is believed to be the Xia dynasty which formed somewhere around 2250 BC. The Shang or Yin dynasty gained power around the 14th century BC. The Han Dynasty, which lasted over 400 years from 206 BC to 220 AD, was one of the most influential in China's history. Much of the culture today was created during the Han Dynasty. Later famous dynasties, like the Song and the Tang, continued to refine the culture and bring new innovations to the world including printed money, a permanent navy, and a complex government that ruled over 100 million people.


The last of the great dynasties, the Qing Dynasty, began in 1644. The Ming Dynasty was in power, but was overthrown by the Manchus who put the Qing dynasty into power. During the Qing dynasty, western influences, European trade, and a number of wars all served to weaken China. Great Britain gained control of Hong Kong after the Opium Wars.

In 1958, Mao Zedong embarked on a new plan called the Great Leap Forward. Unfortunately, this plan backfired and China experienced a terrible famine including much starvation and death. Over the next several decades China would struggle with political reforms and economic policy, slowly recovering and becoming a major world power again. Today, China is a major world power and the second largest economy in the world.


In the early 1900s the people of China began to want reform. Revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen created the Chinese Nationalist Peoples Party, also called the KMT or Kuomintang. After Sun Yat-sen died, Chiang Kai-shek became leader of the party. However, Chiang turned on the leaders of the CCP, the communist party, and had many of them killed. The Chinese Civil War broke out between the KMT and the communists. A new leader, Mao Zedong took over the communists and led the CCP on a famous "Long March" to a distant area of China. There they regrouped and eventually gained the strength to force Chiang Kai-shek out of China and to the island of Taiwan.

Mao Zedong established the Peoples Republic of China on October 1, 1949. This new government was strongly allied with the Soviet Union and modeled its government after Soviet communism.

In 1958, Mao Zedong embarked on a new plan called the Great Leap Forward. Unfortunately, this plan backfired and China experienced a terrible famine including much starvation and death. Over the next several decades China would struggle with political reforms and economic policy, slowly recovering and becoming a major world power again. Today, China is a major world power and the second largest economy in the world.

To learn more about the culture, art, and more you can come over to CultureCon and learn more. The tickets are free, the education, fun comic book fun is everywhere and more.


Reference: https://www.ducksters.com/geography/country/china.php

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