The Sixteen Kingdoms, less the Sixteen States, was a chaotic period in Chinese history from AD 304 to 439, when the political order of northern China fractured into a series of short-lived sovereign states, most of which were founded by the "Five Barbarians," ethnic minority peoples who had settled in northern China during the preceding centuries and participated in the overthrow of the Western Jin dynasty in the early 4th century. The kingdoms founded by ethnic Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Qiang, as well as Han Chinese and other ethnicities, fought against each other and the Eastern Jin dynasty, which succeeded the Western Jin and ruled southern China; the period ended with the unification of northern China in the early 5th century by the Northern Wei, a dynasty that evolved from a kingdom founded by ethnic Xianbei. The term "Sixteen Kingdoms" was first used by the 6th-century historian Cui Hong in the Spring and Autumn Annals of the Sixteen Kingdoms and refers to the five Liangs, four Yans, three Qins, two Zhaos, Cheng Han and Xia.
Cui Hong did not count several other kingdoms that appeared at the time including the Ran Wei, Zhai Wei, Duan Qi, Qiao Shu, Huan Chu and Western Yan. Nor did he include the Northern Wei and its predecessor Dai, because the Northern Wei became the ruling dynasty of northern China. Classical Chinese historians called the period the Sixteen Kingdoms of the Five Barbarians because most of the kingdoms were founded by ethnic Xiongnu, Xianbei, Di, Jie and Dingling rulers who took on Chinese dynastic names. Among the handful of the states founded by Han Chinese, several founders had close relations with ethnic minorities; the father of Ran Min, the founder of the Ran Wei, was adopted into a Jie ruling family. Feng Ba, considered by some historians to be the founder of the Northern Yan, had been assimilated into Xianbei culture. Gao Yun, considered by other historians to be the Northern Yan founder, was an ethnic Korean, adopted by Xianbei nobility. Due to fierce competition among the states and internal political instability, the kingdoms of this era were short-lived.
For seven years from 376 to 383, the Former Qin unified northern China, but its collapse led to greater political fragmentation. The Sixteen Kingdoms is considered to be one of the most chaotic periods in Chinese history; the collapse of the Western Jin Dynasty and the rise of barbarian regimes in China during this period resembles the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire amidst invasions by the Huns and Germanic tribes in Europe, which occurred in the 4th to 5th centuries. From the late Han Dynasty to the early Jin dynasty, large numbers of non-Han Chinese peoples living along China's northern periphery settled in northern China; some of these migrants such as the Xiongnu and Xianbei had been pastoralist nomads from the northern steppes. Others such as the Di and Qiang were herders from the mountains of western Sichuan; as migrants, they were sinified to varying degrees. Many worked as farm laborers; some attained official positions in the military. They faced discrimination and retained clan and tribal affiliations.
The War of the Eight Princes during the reign of the second Jin ruler Emperor Hui divided and weakened imperial authority. Hundreds of thousands were killed and millions were uprooted by the internecine fighting. Popular rebellions against heavy taxation and repression erupted throughout the country. In Sichuan, Li Xiong, a Di chieftain, led a successful rebellion and founded Cheng Han kingdom in 304, thus began the creation of independent kingdoms in northern China as Jin authority crumbled. Most of these kingdoms were founded by ethnic minority leaders. Jin princes and military governors recruited ethnic minorities into their armies in their suppression of rebellions and wars with each other. In 304, Liu Yuan, a Xiongnu chieftain, fighting in the Jin civil war on the side of Prince Sima Ying, returned home to Shanxi where he reorganized the five tribes of the Xiongnu and declared independence as the successor to the Han Dynasty, his regime renamed Zhao, is designated by historians as the Han Zhao or Former Zhao.
After Liu Yuan died in 310, his son Liu Cong claimed the throne. Liu Cong captured the Jin capital Luoyang and Emperor Hui in 311. In 316, Liu Cong's uncle Liu Yao seized ending the Western Jin Dynasty. Sima Rui, a Jin prince who had moved to the South, continued the dynasty as the Eastern Jin from Jiankang; the collapse of Jin authority in the North led other leaders to declare independence. In 313, Zhang Gui, the ethnic Han governor of Liangzhou founded the Former Liang in modern-day Gansu. In 315, Tuoba Yilu, a Xianbei chieftain, founded the Dai in modern-day Inner Mongolia. After Liu Cong's death, the kingdom was split between General Shi Le. Shi Le was an ethnic Jie who had worked as an indentured farm laborer before joining Liu Yuan's rebellion and becoming a powerful general in Hebei. In 319, he founded a rival Zhao Kingdom, known as the Later Zhao and in 328 conquered Liu Yao's Former Zhao. Shi Le instituted a dual-system of government that imposed separate rules for Han Chinese and non-Han Chinese, managed to control much of northern China.
After his death, his sons were locked in a fratricidal succession struggle and the kingdom was ended in 350 by General Ran Min, an ethnic Han who seized the throne and founded the Ran Wei. Ra
Republic of China (1912–1949)
The Republic of China controlled the Chinese mainland between 1912 and 1949. It was established in January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China, its government moved to Taipei in December 1949 due to the Kuomintang's defeat in the Chinese Civil War. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army, his party led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song Jiaoren was assassinated shortly after and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan Shikai tried to reinstate the monarchy before abdicating due to popular unrest. After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, members of cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other. During this period, the authority of the Beiyang government was weakened by a restoration of the Qing dynasty.
In 1921, Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang established a rival government in Canton City, Canton Province, together with the fledgling Communist Party of China. The economy of North China, overtaxed to support warlord adventurism, collapsed between 1927 and 1928. General Chiang Kai-shek, who became KMT leader after Sun Yat-sen's death, started the Northern Expedition military campaign in 1926 to overthrow the Beiyang government, completed in 1928. In April 1927, Chiang established a nationalist government in Nanking, massacred communists in Shanghai, which forced the CPC into armed rebellion, marking the beginning of the Chinese Civil War. There were industrialization and modernization, but conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanking, the CPC, remnant warlords, the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to the Second Sino-Japanese War when the Imperial Japanese Army launched an offensive against China in 1937 that turned into a full-scale invasion. After the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945, the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1946 between the KMT and CPC, with both sides receiving foreign assistance due to the Cold War from the USA and USSR, respectively.
During this period, the 1946 Constitution of the Republic of China replaced the 1928 Organic Law as the Republic's fundamental law. Near the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party established the People's Republic of China, overthrowing the nationalist government on the Chinese mainland; the Government of the Republic of China moved from Nanking to Taipei in 1949, controlling only the Taiwan area after 1949. The official name of the state in the mainland was the "Republic of China". Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne, the name was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era; the ROC used alternate names throughout its existence were Republican China or Republican Era, as well as the Beiyang government, the Nationalist government.
A republic was formally established on 1 January 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution, which itself began with the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911 overthrowing the Qing dynasty and ending over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. From its founding until 1949 it was based on mainland China. Central authority waxed and waned in response to warlordism, Japanese invasion, a full-scale civil war, with central authority strongest during the Nanjing Decade, when most of China came under the control of the Kuomintang under an authoritarian one-party military dictatorship. At the end of World War II in 1945, the Empire of Japan surrendered control of Taiwan and its island groups to the Allies, Taiwan was placed under the Republic of China's administrative control; the communist takeover of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War in 1949 left the ruling Kuomintang with control over only Taiwan, Kinmen and other minor islands. With the 1949 loss of mainland China in the civil war, the ROC government retreated to Taiwan and the KMT declared Taipei the provisional capital.
The Communist Party of China took over all of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China in Beijing. In 1912, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established to replace the monarchy; the Qing dynasty that preceded the republic experienced a century of instability throughout the 19th century, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism. The ongoing instability led to the outburst of Boxer Rebellion in 1900, whose attacks on foreigners led to the invasion by the Eight Nation Alliance. China signed the Boxer Protocol and paid a large indemnity to the foreign powers: 450 million taels of fine silver. A program of institutional reform proved too late. Only the lack of an alternative regime prolonged its existence until 1912; the establishment of the Chinese Republic developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against the Qing government on 10 October 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day known as the "Double Ten Day".
On 29 December 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected president b
The Western Zhou was the first half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It began when King Wu of Zhou overthrew the Shang dynasty at the Battle of Muye and ended when the Quanrong nomads sacked its capital Haojing and killed King You of Zhou in 771 BC; the Western Zhou early state was successful for about seventy-five years and slowly lost power. The former Shang lands were divided into hereditary fiefs which became independent of the king. In 771 BC, the Zhou were driven out of the Wei River valley. Few records survive from this early period and accounts from the Western Zhou period cover little beyond a list of kings with uncertain dates. King Wu died three years after the conquest; because his son, King Cheng of Zhou was young, his brother, the Duke of Zhou assisted the young and inexperienced king as regent. Wu's other brothers, concerned about the Duke of Zhou's growing power, formed an alliance with other regional rulers and Shang remnants in a rebellion; the Duke of Zhou stamped out this rebellion and conquered more territory to bring other people under Zhou rule.
The Duke formulated the Mandate of Heaven doctrine to counter Shang claims to a divine right of rule and founded Luoyang as an eastern capital. With a feudal fengjian system, royal relatives and generals were given fiefs in the east, including Luoyang, Ying, Lu, Qi and Yan. While this was designed to maintain Zhou authority as it expanded its rule over a larger amount of territory, many of these became major states when the dynasty weakened; when the Duke of Zhou stepped down as regent, the remainder of Cheng's reign and that of his son King Kang of Zhou seem to have been peaceful and prosperous. The fourth king, King Zhao of Zhou led an army south against Chu and was killed along with a large part of the Zhou army; the fifth king, King Mu of Zhou is remembered for his legendary visit to the Queen Mother of the West. Territory was lost to the Xu Rong in the southeast; the kingdom seems to have weakened during Mu's long reign because the familial relationship between Zhou Kings and regional rulers thinned over generations so that fiefs that were held by royal brothers were now held by third and fourth cousins.
The reigns of the next four kings are poorly documented. The ninth king is said to have boiled the Duke of Qi in a cauldron, implying that the vassals were no longer obedient; the tenth king, King Li of Zhou was forced into exile and power was held for fourteen years by the Gonghe Regency. Li's overthrow may have been accompanied by China's first recorded peasant rebellion; when Li died in exile, Gonghe retired and power passed to Li's son King Xuan of Zhou. King Xuan worked to restore royal authority, though regional lords became less obedient in his reign; the twelfth and last king of the Western Zhou period was King You of Zhou. When You replaced his wife with a concubine, the former queen's powerful father, the Marquess of Shen, joined forces with Quanrong barbarians to sack the western capital of Haojing and kill King You in 771 BC, his killing resulted to beginning wars between local states which continued until Qin unification of China. Some scholars have surmised that the sack of Haojing might have been connected to a Scythian raid from the Altai before their westward expansion.
Most of the Zhou nobles withdrew from the Wei River valley and the capital was reestablished downriver at the old eastern capital of Chengzhou near modern-day Luoyang. This was the start of the Eastern Zhou period, customarily divided into the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, it is possible. This would explain the sudden loss of royal power when the Zhou were driven east, but the matter is hard to prove. In recent decades, archaeologists have found a significant number of treasure hoards that were buried in the Wei valley about the time the Zhou were expelled; this implies that the Zhou nobles were driven from their homes and hoped to return, but never did. Shaughnessy, Edward L. "Western Zhou history", in Michael. The Cambridge History of Ancient China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 292–351, ISBN 978-0-521-47030-8. Li, Feng, "'Feudalism' and Western Zhou China: a criticism", Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 63: 115–144, JSTOR 25066693. ——, Landscape and Power in Early China: The Crisis and Fall of the Western Zhou 1045–771 BC, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-85272-2
Wei known as Cao Wei, was one of the three major states that competed for supremacy over China in the Three Kingdoms period. With its capital located at Xuchang, thereafter Luoyang, the state was established by Cao Pi in 220, based upon the foundations laid by his father, Cao Cao, towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty; the name "Wei" first became associated with Cao Cao when he was named the Duke of Wei by the Eastern Han government in 213, became the name of the state when Cao Pi proclaimed himself emperor in 220. Historians add the prefix "Cao" to distinguish it from other Chinese states known as "Wei", such as Wei of the Warring States period and Northern Wei of the Southern and Northern Dynasties; the authority of the ruling Cao family weakened in the aftermath of the deposal and execution of Cao Shuang and his siblings, the former being one of the regents for the third Wei emperor, Cao Fang, with state authority falling into the hands of Sima Yi, another Wei regent, his family, from 249 onwards.
The last Wei emperors would remain as puppet rulers under the control of the Simas until Sima Yi's grandson, Sima Yan, forced the last Wei ruler, Cao Huan, to abdicate the throne and established the Jin dynasty. Towards the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, northern China came under the control of Cao Cao, the chancellor to the last Han ruler, Emperor Xian. In 213, Emperor Xian granted Cao Cao the title of "Duke of Wei" and gave him ten cities as his dukedom; the area was named "Wei". At that time, the southern part of China was divided into two areas controlled by two other warlords, Liu Bei and Sun Quan. In 216, Emperor Xian promoted Cao Cao to the status of a vassal king — "King of Wei" — and granted him more territories. Cao Cao died on 15 March 220 and his vassal king title was inherited by his son Cao Pi; that year, on 11 December, Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian to abdicate in his favour and took over the throne, establishing the state of Wei. However, Liu Bei contested Cao Pi's claim to the Han throne and declared himself "Emperor of Shu Han" a year later.
Sun Quan was nominally a vassal king under Wei, but he declared independence in 222 and proclaimed himself "Emperor of Wu" in 229. Cao Pi ruled for six years until his death in 226 and was succeeded by his son, Cao Rui, who ruled until his death in 239. Throughout the reigns of Cao Pi and Cao Rui, Wei had been fighting numerous wars with its two rival states — Shu and Wu. Between 228 and 234, Zhuge Liang, the Shu chancellor and regent, led a series of five military campaigns to attack Wei's western borders, with the aim of conquering Chang'an, a strategic city which lay on the road to the Wei capital, Luoyang; the Shu invasions were repelled by the Wei armies led by the generals Cao Zhen, Sima Yi, Zhang He and others. On its southern and eastern borders, Wei engaged Wu in a series of armed conflicts throughout the 220s and 230s, including the battles of Dongkou and Shiting. However, most of the battles resulted in stalemate and neither side managed to expand its territory. After Guanqiu Jian failed to subjugate the Gongsun clan of the Liaodong commandery, it was Sima Yi who, in June 238, as the Grand Commandant, launched an invasion with 40,000 troops at the behest of Emperor Cao Rui against Liaodong, which at this point had been rooted under Gongsun control for 4 decades.
After a three-month long siege, involving some assistance from the Goguryeo Kingdom, Sima Yi managed to capture the capital city of Xiangping, resulting in the conquest of the commandery by late September of the same year. Around that time, as the Korean kingdom Goguryeo consolidated its power, it proceeded to conquer the territories on the Korean peninsula which were under Chinese rule. Goguryeo initiated the Goguryeo–Wei Wars in 242, trying to cut off Chinese access to its territories in Korea by attempting to take a Chinese fort. However, Wei defeated Goguryeo. Hwando was destroyed in revenge by Wei forces in 244. In 249, during the reign of Cao Rui's successor, Cao Fang, the regent Sima Yi seized state power from his co-regent, Cao Shuang, in a coup; this event marked the collapse of imperial authority in Wei, as Cao Fang's role had been reduced to a puppet ruler while Sima Yi wielded state power in his hands. Wang Ling, a Wei general, tried to rebel against Sima Yi, but was swiftly dealt with, took his own life.
Sima Yi died on 7 September 251, passing on his authority to his eldest son, Sima Shi, who continued ruling as regent. Sima Shi deposed Cao Fang in 254, on grounds of planning to stage a rebellion, replaced him with Cao Mao. In response, Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin staged a rebellion, but were crushed by Sima Shi in an event that took a heavy toll on Sima Shi's health, having undergone eye surgery prior to the insurrection, causing him to die on 23 March 255, but not before handing his power and regency over to his younger brother, Sima Zhao. In 258, Sima Zhao quelled Zhuge Dan's rebellion, marking an end to what are known as the Three Rebellions in Shouchun. In 260, Cao Mao attempted to seize back state power from Sima Zhao in a coup, but was killed by Cheng Ji, a military officer, serving under Jia Chong, a subordinate to the Simas. After Cao Mao's death, Cao Huan was enthroned as the fifth ruler of Wei. However, Cao Huan was a mere figurehead under Sima Zhao's control, much like his predecessor.
In 263, Wei armies led by Deng Ai conquered Shu. Afterwards, Zhong Hui and former Shu general Jiang Wei grouped and plotted together in order to oust Sima Zhao from power, various Wei officials t
Dong Zhuo, courtesy name Zhongying, was a military general and warlord who lived in the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He seized control of the capital Luoyang in 189 when it entered a state of turmoil following the death of Emperor Ling of Han and a massacre of the eunuch faction by the court officials led by General-in-Chief He Jin. Dong Zhuo subsequently replaced him with the puppet Emperor Xian of Han. Dong Zhuo's rule was brief and characterized by tyranny. In the following year, a coalition of regional officials and warlords launched a Campaign against Dong Zhuo. Failing to stop the coalition forces, Dong Zhuo sacked Luoyang and relocated further west to Chang'an, he was assassinated soon after in 192 by his subordinate Lü Bu in a plot orchestrated by Interior Minister Wang Yun. Dong Zhuo was born in Longxi Commandery, he was said to be a chivalrous youth, physically strong and excelled in horseback archery in his early days. He befriended many men of valor; when he became an adult, he returned and started farming in the countryside, where he incidentally discovered a blade which had obscure inscription fading from it, reading "slash the kings like logging."
When he took the sabre to the scholar Cai Yong for appraisal, the latter claimed that it was the blade of the Hegemon-King of Western Chu, Xiang Yu. Dong Zhuo became an imperial guard and joined Zhang Huan's campaign against Qiang rebels in Bing Province as a Major, he was rewarded with 9,000 rolls of fine silk for his performance, all of which he distributed to his colleagues and subordinates. Dong Zhuo was sent to quell the Yellow Turban Rebellion in the early 180s after a few subsequent promotions but he was defeated by the rebels and demoted; when the Liang Province Rebellion occurred and the barbarians rebelled with local gentries Han Sui and Bian Zhang, Dong was reinstated and sent to suppress the rebels. During a battle with the Qiang tribes, Dong Zhuo's outnumbered army was driven to a river which sealed his escape. To prevent his army from being routed by the enemy, Dong ordered his troops to dam the river and pretend to fish in the artificial reservoir; when they escaped enemy notice, he sent his men to cross the drained lower stream and break the dam in order to thwart any subsequent pursuits by the enemy.
Despite failing to defeat the rebels, Dong's unit was the only one. Dong Zhuo was henceforth promoted to General of the Inspector of Bing Province. However, he refused to take up his new post as he was unwilling to leave his troops and subordinates back in Liang Province. Realizing that the power of the Han dynasty was waning, Dong chose to settle in Liang Province and build up his power. At the time, a Han military officer, Sun Jian, suggested to his superior that Dong's arrogance and insubordination to the court warranted a death sentence, but his advice went unheeded. Following the death of Emperor Ling of Han in 189, General-in-Chief He Jin ordered Dong Zhuo to lead troops into Luoyang to aid him in eliminating the eunuch faction known as the Ten Attendants. Before Dong could arrive, He Jin was assassinated by the eunuchs and the capital city fell into a state of turmoil; the eunuchs took Liu Bian fled from Luoyang. Dong Zhuo's army brought the emperor back to the palace. At the same time, He Jin's half-brother, General of Chariots and Cavalry He Miao, was killed by his subordinates after they accused him of colluding with the eunuchs.
Before arriving in Luoyang, Dong Zhuo realized that he was an unpopular candidate for regent among the city gentry, so to make himself seem more powerful than he was, Dong ordered his army to march out at night and re-enter the city at noon. Thus making it seem as though he had doubled his army. Dong took command of the leaderless forces of He Jin and He Miao. Dong Zhuo proposed to replace Liu Bian with his younger brother, Liu Xie, but the Imperial Commandant of Capital Guards, Ding Yuan, disagreed with him. In retaliation, Dong convinced Lü Bu, to kill his foster father. Henceforth, Lü Bu became Dong's adopted son and trusted aide, assisting him in taking total control of the imperial capital of Luoyang. In 190, Dong replaced him with the Emperor Xian of Han. Dong became the head of court in Luoyang, he was given special permission to carry his sword to the Imperial Court while others were forbidden to do so, a privilege not granted to anyone since Xiao He in the time of Emperor Gaozu of Han.
The Chancellor was allowed to enter the court without removing his footwear. His control over the city was so total that he was able to order the army to massacre all the male inhabitants under the pretext of eliminating a rebel army, it was said that Dong Zhuo slept on the emperor's bed and with the palace maids. In the same year, regional officials and warlords around the country formed a coalition force and launched a punitive campaign against Dong Zhuo. In response, he sent a detachment to intercept the coalition vanguard led by Sun Jian, ordered his son-in-law, Niu Fu, to supply the fortress of Mei with 30 years' worth of rations. After his subordinates Hua Xiong, Hu Zhen, Lu Bu were defeated by Sun Jian at Yangren, Dong Zhuo sent Li Jue to propose a marriage between Sun's son and Dong's daughter, split the empire between the two families. Sun Jian prepared to attack Luoyang. Dong moved them to Chang ` an in the west. Before the relocation, Dong ordered his troops to ransack the tombs of the late Han emperors for treasures, seize valuables from
Jin dynasty (1115–1234)
The Jin dynasty known as the Great Jin, lasted from 1115 to 1234 as one of the last dynasties in Chinese history to predate the Mongol invasion of China. Its name is sometimes written as Kin, Jurchen Jin or Jinn in English to differentiate it from an earlier Jìn dynasty of China whose name is identical when transcribed without tone marker diacritics in the Hanyu Pinyin system for Standard Chinese, it is sometimes called the "Jurchen dynasty" or the "Jurchen Jin", because its founding leader Aguda was of Wanyan Jurchen descent. The Jin emerged from Taizu's rebellion against the Liao dynasty, which held sway over northern China until the nascent Jin drove the Liao to the Western Regions, where they became known as the Western Liao. After vanquishing the Liao, the Jin launched an over hundred-year struggles against the Chinese Song dynasty, based in southern China. Over the course of their rule, the Jurchens of Jin adapted to Chinese customs, fortified the Great Wall against the rising Mongols.
Domestically, the Jin oversaw a number of cultural advancements, such as the revival of Confucianism. The Mongols invaded the Jin under Genghis Khan in 1211 and inflicted catastrophic defeats on their armies. Though the Jin seemed to suffer a never-ending wave of defeats, revolts and coups, they proved to have tenacity; the Jin succumbed to Mongol conquest 23 years in 1234. The Jin dynasty was known as the "Great Jin" at that time. Furthermore, the Jin emperors referred to their state as Zhongguo like some other non-Han dynasties. Non-Han rulers expanded the definition of "China" to include non-Han peoples in addition to Han people whenever they ruled China. Jin documents indicate that the usage of "China" by dynasties to refer to themselves began earlier than thought; the Jin dynasty was created in modern Jilin and Heilongjiang by the Jurchen tribal chieftain Aguda in 1115. According to tradition, Aguda was a descendant of Hanpu. Aguda adopted the term for "gold" as the name of his state, itself a translation of "Anchuhu" River, which meant "golden" in Jurchen.
This river known as Alachuke in Chinese, was a tributary of the Songhua River east of Harbin. The Jurchens' early rival was the Khitan-led Liao dynasty, which had held sway over modern north and northeast China and Mongolia, for several centuries. In 1121, the Jurchens entered into the Alliance Conducted at Sea with the Han Chinese-led Northern Song dynasty and agreed to jointly invade the Liao dynasty. While the Song armies faltered, the Jurchens succeeded in driving the Liao to Central Asia. In 1125, after the death of Aguda, the Jin dynasty broke its alliance with the Song dynasty and invaded north China; when the Song dynasty reclaimed the southern part of the Liao where Han Chinese lived, they were "fiercely resisted" by the Han Chinese population there, under Liao rule, while when the Jurchens invaded that area, the Han Chinese did not oppose them at all and handed over the Southern Capital to them. The Jurchens were supported by the Beijing-based noble Han clans; the Han Chinese who worked for the Liao were viewed as hostile enemies by the Song dynasty.
Song Han Chinese defected to the Jin. One crucial mistake that the Song made during this joint attack was the removal of the defensive forest it built along the Song-Liao border; because of the removal of this landscape barrier, in 1126/27, the Jin army marched across the North China Plain to Bianjing. On 9 January 1127, the Jurchens ransacked Kaifeng, the capital of the Northern Song dynasty, capturing both Emperor Qinzong and his father, Emperor Huizong, who had abdicated in panic in the face of the Jin invasion. Following the fall of Bianjing, the succeeding Southern Song dynasty continued to fight the Jin dynasty for over a decade signing the Treaty of Shaoxing in 1141, which called for the cession of all Song territories north of the Huai River to the Jin dynasty and the execution of Song general Yue Fei in return for peace; the peace treaty was formally ratified on 11 October 1142. Having conquered Kaifeng and occupied North China, the Jin deliberately chose earth as its dynastic element and yellow as its royal color.
According to the theory of the Five Elements, the earth element follows the fire, the dynastic element of the Song, in the sequence of elemental creation. Therefore, this ideological move shows that the Jin regarded the Song reign of China was over and themselves as the rightful ruler of China Proper. After taking over Northern China, the Jin dynasty became sinicised. About three million people, half of them Jurchens, migrated south into northern China over two decades, this minority governed about 30 million people; the Jurchens were given land grants and organised into hereditary military units: 300 households formed a moukecode: zho promoted to code: zh and 7–10 moukescode: zho promoted to code: zh formed a meng-ancode: zho promoted to code: zh. Many married Han Chinese, although the ban on Jurchen nobles marrying Han Chinese was not lifted until 1191. After Emperor Taizong died in 1135, the next three Jin emperors were grandsons of Aguda by three different princes. Emperor Xizong wrote Chinese poetry.
He adopted Han Chinese cultural traditions. In life, Emperor Xizong became an alcoholic and executed many officials for criticising him, he had Jurchen leaders who opposed him murdered those in the Wanyan clan. In 1149 he was murdered by a cabal of relatives and nobles, who made his cous
The Qin dynasty was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin state, the dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin; the strength of the Qin state was increased by the Legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the fourth century BC, during the Warring States period. In the mid and late third century BC, the Qin state carried out a series of swift conquests, first ending the powerless Zhou dynasty, conquering the other six of the Seven Warring States, its 15 years was the shortest major dynasty in Chinese history, consisting of only two emperors, but inaugurated an imperial system that lasted from 221 BC, with interruption and adaptation, until 1912 CE. The Qin sought to create a state unified by structured political power and a large military supported by a stable economy; the central government moved to undercut aristocrats and landowners to gain direct administrative control over the peasantry, who comprised the overwhelming majority of the population and labour force.
This allowed ambitious projects involving three hundred thousand peasants and convicts, such as connecting walls along the northern border developing into the Great Wall of China. The Qin introduced a range of reforms such as standardized currency, measures, a uniform system of writing, which aimed to unify the state and promote commerce. Additionally, its military used the most recent weaponry and tactics, though the government was heavy-handedly bureaucratic. Han dynasty Confucians portrayed the dynasty as a monolithic tyranny, notably citing a purge known as the burning of books and burying of scholars although some modern scholars dispute the veracity of these accounts; when the first emperor died in 210 BC, two of his advisers placed an heir on the throne in an attempt to influence and control the administration of the dynasty. These advisors squabbled among themselves, resulting in both of their deaths and that of the second Qin Emperor. Popular revolt broke out and the weakened empire soon fell to a Chu general, Xiang Yu, proclaimed Hegemon-King of Western Chu, Liu Bang, who founded the Han dynasty.
Despite its short reign, the dynasty influenced the future of China the Han, its name is thought to be the origin of the European name for China. In the 9th century BC, Feizi, a supposed descendant of the ancient political advisor Gao Yao, was granted rule over Qin City; the modern city of Tianshui stands. During the rule of King Xiao of Zhou, the eighth king of the Zhou dynasty, this area became known as the state of Qin. In 897 BC, under the Gonghe Regency, the area became a dependency allotted for the purpose of raising and breeding horses. One of Feizi's descendants, Duke Zhuang, became favoured by King Ping of Zhou, the thirteenth king in that line; as a reward, Zhuang's son, Duke Xiang, was sent eastward as the leader of a war expedition, during which he formally established the Qin. The state of Qin first began a military expedition into central China in 672 BC, though it did not engage in any serious incursions due to the threat from neighbouring tribesmen. By the dawn of the fourth century BC, the neighbouring tribes had all been either subdued or conquered, the stage was set for the rise of Qin expansionism.
Lord Shang Yang, a Qin statesman of the Warring States period, advocated a philosophy of Legalism, introducing a number of militarily advantageous reforms from 361 BC until his death in 338 BC. Yang helped construct the Qin capital, commencing in the mid-fourth century BC Xianyang; the resulting city resembled the capitals of other Warring States. Notably, Qin Legalism encouraged ruthless warfare. During the Spring and Autumn period, the prevalent philosophy had dictated war as a gentleman's activity. For example, when Duke Xiang of Song was at war with the state of Chu during the Warring States period, he declined an opportunity to attack the enemy force, commanded by Zhu, while they were crossing a river. After allowing them to cross and marshal their forces, he was decisively defeated in the ensuing battle; when his advisors admonished him for such excessive courtesy to the enemy, he retorted, "The sage does not crush the feeble, nor give the order for attack until the enemy have formed their ranks."The Qin disregarded this military tradition, taking advantage of their enemy's weaknesses.
A nobleman in the state of Wei accused the Qin state of being "avaricious, eager for profit, without sincerity. It knows nothing about etiquette, proper relationships, virtuous conduct, if there be an opportunity for material gain, it will disregard its relatives as if they were animals." It was this Legalist thought combined with strong leadership from long-lived rulers, openness to employ talented men from other states, little internal opposition that gave the Qin such a strong political base. Another advantage of the Qin was that they had a efficient army and capable generals, they utilised the newest developments in weaponry and transportation as well, which many of their enemies lacked. These latter developments allowed greater mobility over several different terrain types which were most common in many regions of China. Thus, in both ideology and practice, the Qin were militarily superior; the Qin Empire had a geographical advantage due to its fertility and strategic position, protected by mountains that made the state a natural stronghold.
Its expanded agricultural output helped sustain Qin's large army with food and natural resources.