Spring and Autumn
770 - 476
History of China 206 B.C. - 9 A.D.

The Warring States, 476 - 206

In 476 a long series of wars began, which resulted in the emergence and consolidation of a smaller number of states; Chinese historians refer to the period as the Warring States Period. These states include CHI (northern Shandong), LU (southwestern Shandong), SUNG (to the south of Lu), CH'U (a large state along the Yangtse valley), HAN and CHOU, small states along the Hwangho, CH'IN (southern Shensi), WEI (southern Shaanxi), CHAO (northern Shaanxi) and YEN (Hopei).
The HUNS (or Hsiung-nu) formed a threat to the north. Border stretches were fortified with walls, although only parts of the Great Wall of China date back into this period.
China continued to produce great thinkers, such as MENCIUS and HSUN TZU.
Nominally the Chou Kings ruled over all of China; in reality their authority hardly extended beyond the walls of their capital CHANG'AN.
In 223-221 ruler CHENG WANG of CH'IN succeeded in conquering it's rivals and established a unified CHINESE EMPIRE - he assumed the new title of Huangti - Great King (Emperor). The basis of his success were the introduction of cavalry into Chinese warfare, as well as the replacement of bronze weapons by iron ones. The state was centralized; chancellor LI SSU ordered the BURNING OF THE BOOKS; because of this act, Cheng Wang, who took on the Imperial name SHI-HUANG-TI, is remembered as the book burner. He established his capital in XIAN. In 213-209 he expanded southward, the first Chinese ruler to conquer the Canton region. He is also credited with constructing the GREAT WALL OF CHINA.

Ancient Dynasties, from History of China, online edition of the Army Area Handbook, posted by Leon Poon ; gives names in transcription and in Chinese characters
The Zhou Dynasty, 1027-777, from China and East Asia Chronology, from North Park
Chinese History Timeline, from Daoism Depot
Online map of Warring States Period, from friesian.com, scroll down. Map sketchy
List of Late Chou (nominal kings, 475-256) and Ch'in kings/emperors (256-206) from friesian.com, scroll down
REFERENCE Map of the Warring States Period in H. Kinder/W. Hilgemann, The Penguin Atlas of World History, Vol.1 p.40

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 14th 2002, last revised on November 4th 2004

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