The History of China

The following articles about the history of China are not meant to be either expert or exhaustive. Instead they are intended to provide an overview of the history of the country, particularly with the aim of giving context to the sights you will see in China. Choose below from an extremely over-simplified account of Chinese history which will give you the bare basics before you travel, or the more in-depth four-part look at Chinese history.


An Ultra-Simplified History of China
The bare basics you should know before you travel in order to understand what you see in China – the most important dynasties and background on the founding of modern China. Read More…




History of China, Part 1 (Prehistory – 221 BC)
From prehistoric times, through the semi-fictional early dynasties up to the unification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC: a mixture of myth and history. Read More…




History of China, Part 2 (221 BC – 1271)
From the start of Imperial Era in 221 BC up to the Mongol conquest in 1271, including extended periods of disunity and two of China’s glorious golden ages. Read More…




History of China, Part 3 (1271 – 1912)
From the great empire of Kublai Khan up until the fall of China’s last dynasty, this is the story of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties: most of China’s historical attractions are from these eras. Read More…




History of China, Part 4 (1912 – present)
From the birth of the Chinese Republic through civil war and Communism, right up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games – the story of modern China since the end of the imperial era. Read More…