China: Historical Overview                                                    

 For more in depth history of China navigate your way through different time periods here (scroll to China and click the down arrow to start)!

1500 BC                               

Written records of the history of China can be found from as early as 1500 BC under the Shang Dynasty. Although cultures originated at various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys millennia ago in the Neolithic era, the Yellow River is said to be the cradle of the Chinese civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations.


221 BC                                  

China was unified under the Qin Dynasty.


19th and 20th Centuries   

For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats and foreign occupation.



 On January 1, 1912 the Qing Dynasty was replaced by the Republic of China.



On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was formed. Post WWII, the communists under Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) (photo) established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people.


After 1978, Mao's successor Deng Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development.



Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.



By the year 2000 economic output quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically and the room for personal choice has expanded, yet political controls remain tight.



China hosts the Summer Olympics in Beijing.



 On August 24, 2015, Chinese stocks suffered their steepest fall in one day. The world's second largest economy suffered massive financial losses causing trillions of dollars to be wiped from global stock markets. 

2008 Olympics Mascots: Fuwa, Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingying and Nini



Want to watch and hear the history? Crash Course World History can help you!