History of China

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Chinese historiography
Timeline of Chinese history
Dynasties in Chinese history
Linguistic history
Art history
Economic history
Education history
Science and technology history
Legal history
Media history
Military history
Naval history

Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. The written history of China can be found as early as the Shang Dynasty (c. 1700 – c. 1046 BC).[1] Oracle bones with ancient Chinese writing from the Shang Dynasty have been radiocarbon dated to as early as 1500 BC.[2] The origins of Chinese culture, literature and philosophy developed during the Zhou Dynasty (1045-256 BC).

The Zhou Dynasty began to bow to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC. The ability of the Zhou to control its regional lords lessened, and the kingdom eventually broke apart into smaller states, beginning in the Spring and Autumn Period and reaching full expression in the Warring States period. In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang united the various warring kingdoms and created the first Chinese empire. Successive dynasties in Chinese history developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the Emperor of China to directly control vast territories.

The conventional view of Chinese history is that of alternating periods of political unity and disunity, with China occasionally being dominated by Inner Asian peoples, most of whom were in turn assimilated into the Han Chinese population. Cultural and political influences from many parts of Asia, carried by successive waves of immigration, expansion, and cultural assimilation, are part of the modern culture of China.

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