As one of the Four Great Ancient Civilizations, China has a recorded history of more than 4,000 years. In 2070 BC, the first Chinese dynasty – Xia Dynasty, was established. This brought into being a society based upon slavery. In 221 BC, Ying Zheng established the first centralized, unified, multi-ethnic feudal state in Chinese history – the Qin Dynasty. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Republic of China rose from the chaos, thereby establishing the country as a modern capitalist society. On January 1, 1949. The whole nation entered the socialist era that we know today. Here below is a timeline of the dynasties of the Chinese history.

Terra-Cotta Warriors
Terra-Cotta Warriors

Ancient Times

Xia Dynasty (2070 B.C. – 1600 BC)
The Xia Dynasty is the first dynasty in China. The dynasty was established by the legendary Yu. Xia dynasty is a period, when anceint people evoluted from the late neolithic cultures to the Chinese urban civilization.

Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C. – 1029 B.C.)
The Shang Dynasty succeeded the Xia Dynasty and was followed by the Zhou Dynasty. During the Shang dynasty, bronze working became common. A writing system has been found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones)

Zhou Dynasty (1,100 B.C. – 256 B.C.)
The history of Zhou dynasty could be dated back from 1,100 B.C. to o 256 B.C., lasting about 850 years. The Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history. During the Zhou Dynasty, the use of iron was introduced to China.

Spring and Autumn Period (771 B.C. until 476 B.C.)
The Spring and Autumn Period was a period in Chinese history that took place from approximately 771 until 476 BC. It roughly corresponds to the first half of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty.

The Warring States Period (475 B.C. – 221 B.C)
The Warring States Period is a period in ancient China following the Spring and Autumn period and concluding with the victory of the state of Qin in 221 BC, creating a unified China under the Qin Dynasty.

Imperial Times

Qin Dynasty (221 B.C. – 206 B.C.)
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. The Qin Dynasty achieved increased trade, improved agriculture, and military protection. The Qin Dynasty also introduced several reforms: currency, weights and measures were standardized, and a better system of writing was established.

Han Dynasty (206 B.C. -220 A.D.)
The Han Dynasty was preceded by the Qin Dynasty (221–207 BC) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms (220–280 AD). 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”.

Three Kingdoms Period (220 B.C. -280 A.D.)
Three Kingdoms Period is the period when the three kingdom of Wei, Shu and Wu established its state respectively and warred with each other to enlarge its territory.

Sui Dynasty (581 A.D. – 618 A.D.)
The Sui Dynasty was a short-lived imperial Chinese dynasty. It unified China for the first time after over a century of north-south division. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty.

Tang Dynasty (618 A.D. – 907 A.D.)
The Tang Dynasty, which at the time was the most populous city in the world, is generally regarded as a high point in Chinese civilization—equal to, or surpassing that of, the earlier Han Dynasty—a golden age of cosmopolitan culture.

Song Dynasty (960 A.D. – 1279 A.D.)
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279. 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.

Yuan Dynasty (1279 A.D. – 1368 A.D.)
The Yuan Dynasty was the empire established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan.  Yuan rule stretched throughout most of Asia and eastern Europe.

Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.)
The Ming Dynasty was the ruling dynasty of China for 276 years. The Ming was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic Han Chinese.

Qing Dynasty (1644 A.D. – 1911 A.D.)
The Qing 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.

Republic of China

Republic of China (1911 A.D. – 1949 A.D.)
The Republic of China was founded in 1912 and it governed mainland China until 1949.

Modern Times

People’s Republic of China 1949 –
In 1949, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China. Oct 1st 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People’s Republic of China from atop Tiananmen. Nowadays  China has become one of the most powerful countries in the world.