History of China Essay

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China is one of the world’s four ancient civilizations with a time-honored, recorded history. The history of China reaches back over 5,000 years. China covers an area of 9.6 million square kilometers and its continental coastline is 18,000 kilometers. Its population is over 1.3 billion people. China has created a culture rich in art and philosophy. China is the home of the inventions of amazing products and technologies such as silk, papermaking, movable-type printing, gunpowder, and calligraphy. Over the eras, China has fought hundreds of wars. It has conquered its neighboring countries, and it has also been conquered by them in return. Because of its 5,000 year recorded history, China can trace her culture back to a blend of small original tribes which have expanded till they became the great country we have today. The first non-mythical dynasty to rule China was the Xia Dynasty in the 21st century B.C. (2200-1700 B.C.), founded by Emperor Yu. This dynasty marked a change from a primitive society to a slave society. The Xia Dynasty was succeeded by the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.). The Shang Dynasty is the first civilization in China for which there is a written record. The Shang Dynasty is characterized by its writing system, agriculture and bronze technology, and urban development. In 221 B.C., Ying Zheng took the throne as the first emperor. He called himself ‘Qin Shi Huang’, which means the first emperor. Zheng established the first centralized, unified, multi-ethnic state in Chinese history. He founded the Qin Dynasty (221-206 B.C.). During his reign, he began the reconstruction of the Great Wall of China. Ying Zheng is best known for building a large palace/ tomb complex which houses the Terracotta Army. The Qin Dynasty came to an end when Liu Bang, a peasant leader, overthrew it. Liu then founded the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220). During the Han Dynasty era, China expanded west as far as India, where it opened trade along the Silk Road. The Han...
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