China: the Classical Age 490 CE

In the north, developments are under way which will prepare the ground for the reunification of China.

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The later Zhou kingdom is fragmented amongst numerous local states, constantly at war with one another.

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After 500 BCE the Chinese culture area continued to expand into lands inhabited by “barbarian” (i.e. non-Chinese) peoples.

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The state of Qin is the most ruthless in the pursuit of military and administrative efficiency.

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The state of Qin, with its ruthless pursuit of military and administrative efficiency, has conquered all the other states and so unified China. Its ruler has become the “First Emperor”.

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The First Emperor, Qin Shih Huang, and his chief minister, Li Si, imposed a harsh, rigidly centralized regime on the whole of China.

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Many rebellions sprang up after the death of the First Emperor, and chaos engulfed the country. One of the rebels, Liu Bang, defeated the others to become the founder of the Han dynasty.

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The Han dynasty has given a peace and stability to the huge empire, and expanded its borders.

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