作者: admin 发布于:2021-07-18 19:42:42


ancient china was one of the earliest centers of human civilization. chinese civilization was also one of the few to invent writing independently, the others being mesopotamia, the indus valley civilization, the mayan civilization, the minoan civilization of ancient greece, and ancient egypt.

archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest humans in china date from 2.24 million to 250,000 years ago.[6][7] a cave in zhoukoudian (near present-day beijing) has fossils dated at somewhere between 300,000 to 550,000 years.

the earliest evidence of a fully modern human in china comes from liujiang county, guangxi, where a cranium has been found and dated to approximately 67,000 years ago. although much controversy persists over the dating of the liujiang remains,[8][9][dead link] a partial skeleton from minatogawa in okinawa, japan has been dated to 18,250 ± 650 to 16,600 ± 300 years ago, so modern humans must have reached china before that time.

dynastic rule
main articles: dynasties in chinese history and chinese sovereign
chinese tradition names the first dynasty xia, but it was considered mythical until scientific excavations found early bronze-age sites at erlitou in henan province.[10] archaeologists have since uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs in locations cited as xia's in ancient historical texts, but it is impossible to verify that these remains are of the xia without written records from the period.

some of the thousands of life-size terracotta warriors of the qin dynasty, ca. 210 bce.the second dynasty, the loosely feudal shang, settled along the yellow river in eastern china from the 18th to the 12th century bce. they were invaded from the west by the zhou, who ruled from the 12th to the 5th century bce until their centralized authority was slowly eroded by neighboring warlords. many strong, independent states continually waged war with each other in the spring and autumn period, only occasionally deferring to the zhou king.

the first unified chinese state was established by the qin dynasty in 221 bce, when the office of the emperor was set up and the chinese language was forcibly standardized. this state did not last long, as its legalist policies soon led to widespread rebellion.

the subsequent han dynasty ruled china between 206 bce and 220 ce, and created a lasting han cultural identity among its populace that would last to the present day. the han dynasty expanded the empire's territory considerably with military campaigns reaching korea, vietnam, mongolia and central asia, and also helped establish the silk road in central asia.

after han's collapse, another period of disunion followed, including the highly chivalric period of the three kingdoms. independent chinese states of this period also opened diplomatic relations with japan, introducing the chinese writing system there. in 580 ce, china was reunited under the sui. however, the sui dynasty was short-lived after a failure in the goguryeo-sui wars (598–614) weakened it.

a 10th-11th century longquan stoneware vase from zhejiang province, during the song dynasty.under the succeeding tang and song dynasties, chinese technology and culture reached its zenith. the song dynasty was the first government in world history to issue paper money and the first chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy. between the 10th and 11th centuries, the population of china doubled in size. this growth came about through expanded rice cultivation in central and southern china, and the production of abundant food surpluses. within its borders, the northern song dynasty had a population of some 100 million people. the song dynasty was a culturally rich period in china for the arts, philosophy, and social life. landscape art and portrait paintings were brought to new levels of maturity and complexity after the tang dynasty, and social elites gathered to view art, share their own, and make trades of precious artworks. philosophers such as cheng yi and chu hsi reinvigorated confucianism with new commentary, infused buddhist ideals, and emphasized a new organization of classic texts that brought about the core doctrine of neo-confucianism.

in 1271, the mongol leader and the fifth khagan of the mongol empire kublai khan established the yuan dynasty, with the last remnant of the song dynasty falling to the yuan in 1279. a peasant named zhu yuanzhang overthrew the mongols in 1368 and founded the ming dynasty. ming dynasty thinkers such as wang yangming would further critique and expand neo-confucianism with ideas of individualism and innate morality that would have tremendous impact on later japanese thought. chosun korea also became a nominal vassal state of ming china and adopted much of its neo-confucian bureaucratic structure. china's capital was moved from nanjing to beijing during the early ming dynasty. the ming fell to the manchus in 1644, who then established the qing dynasty. an estimated 25 million people died during the manchu conquest of the ming dynasty (1616–1644).[11]

the qing dynasty, which lasted until 1912, was the last dynasty in china. in the 19th century the qing dynasty adopted a defensive posture towards european imperialism, even though it engaged in imperialistic expansion into central asia itself. at this time china awoke to the significance of the rest of the world, in particular the west. as china opened up to foreign trade and missionary activity, opium produced by british india was forced onto qing china. two opium wars with britain weakened the emperor's control.

one result was the taiping civil war, which lasted from 1851 to 1862. it was led by hong xiuquan, who was partly influenced by a misinterpretation of christianity. hong believed himself to be the son of god and the younger brother of jesus. although the qing forces were eventually victorious, the civil war was one of the bloodiest in human history, costing at least twenty million lives (more than the total number of fatalities in the first world war), with some estimates of up to two hundred million. other costly rebellions followed the taiping rebellion, such as the punti-hakka clan wars (1855–1867), nien rebellion (1851–1868), muslim rebellion (1862–1877), panthay rebellion (1856–1873) and the miao rebellion (1854–1873).[12][13] these rebellions resulted in an estimated loss of several million lives each and led to disastrous results for the economy and the countryside.[14][15][16] the flow of british opium hastened the empire's decline.

a corner tower of the forbidden city at night; the palace served as the residence for the imperial family since the reign of the yongle emperor of the ming dynasty in the 15th century, up until the fall of the qing dynasty in 1912.while china was wracked by continuous war, meiji japan succeeded in rapidly modernizing its military and set its sights on korea and manchuria. influenced by japan, korea declared independence from qing china's suzerainty in 1894, leading to the first sino-japanese war, which resulted in the qing dynasty's cession of both korea and taiwan to japan. following these series of defeats, a reform plan for the empire to become a modern meiji-style constitutional monarchy was drafted by the emperor guangxu in 1898, but was opposed and stopped by the empress dowager cixi, who placed emperor guangxu under house arrest in a coup d'état. further destruction followed the ill-fated 1900 boxer rebellion against westerners in beijing. by the early 20th century, mass civil disorder had begun, and calls for reform and revolution were heard across the country. the 38-year-old emperor guangxu died under house arrest on 14 november 1908, suspiciously just a day before cixi's own death. with the throne empty, he was succeeded by cixi's handpicked heir, his two year old nephew puyi, who became the xuantong emperor, the last chinese emperor. guangxu's consort, who became the empress dowager longyu, signed the abdication decree as regent in 1912, ending two thousand years of imperial rule in china. she died, childless, in 1913.

republic of china (1912–1949)
main article: history of the republic of china
on 1 january 1912, the republic of china was established, heralding the end of the qing dynasty. sun yat-sen of the kuomintang (the kmt or nationalist party) was proclaimed provisional president of the republic. however, the presidency was later given to yuan shikai, a former qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire beiyang army from the qing empire to the revolution. in 1915, yuan proclaimed himself emperor of china but was forced to abdicate and return the state to a republic when he realized it was an unpopular move, not only with the population but also with his own beiyang army and its commanders.

map of republic of china printed by rand mcnally & co. in the year 1914.after yuan shikai's death in 1916, china was politically fragmented, with an internationally recognized but virtually powerless national government seated in peking (modern day beijing). warlords in various regions exercised actual control over their respective territories. in the late 1920s, the kuomintang, under chiang kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control, moving the nation's capital to nanking (modern day nanjing) and implementing "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in sun yat-sen's program for transforming china into a modern, democratic state. effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the kuomintang.

the sino-japanese war of 1937–1945 (part of world war ii) forced an uneasy alliance between the nationalists and the communists as well as causing around 10 million chinese civilian deaths. with the surrender of japan in 1945, china emerged victorious but financially drained. the continued distrust between the nationalists and the communists led to the resumption of the chinese civil war. in 1947, constitutional rule was established, but because of the ongoing civil war many provisions of the roc constitution were never implemented on the mainland.