China is in the eastern part of the Asian continent and since it can be traced back to over 4,000 years, it is one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
For many years in its history, China was made up of smaller regions, each one ruled by its own lord. Many of the lords were cruel, often battling with each other and leaving the people in poverty conditions.
When Qin Shi Huang became ruler, he united all of the kingdoms in 221 B.C. under his domain and established the first of many family run “dynasties”.
The dynasties were rulers for over 2,000 years; each ruler known as an emperor. There were many dynasties that were maintained including: Qin, Ming, Han, Tang, and Shang.
Ancient China was rich in art, culture, and religious beliefs. These played a big part in their way of life and their view of how things should be done.
There were three major religions that affected their philosophies: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The heart of many of their beliefs was the respect of nature as a living thing.
They were encouraged to develop science, art, medicine, and even technologies and are given credit for many of the inventions that we are familiar with today.
These included their ability to create beautiful works of art, highly valued ceramics, mathematics, astronomy, advanced military procedures, archeology, calendars, and even the printing press. Ancient China was well-known for their sailing abilities and often set out to find new cultures and peoples.
Silk was a highly valued product that the Chinese had perfected. Many other countries were willing to travel long distances and pay a lot of money for the beautiful silk fabrics.
Traders in the Middle East and Europe eventually created a network of routes used for trading that connected China with their countries. This was known as the “Silk Road” and it was one of the main reasons that China became rich.
The exchange of cultures between all of the countries had a lasting impact on both history and commerce of all that were involved.
The Mongols were the largest enemy of the Chinese people. They lived in the northern portion of the continent and were known for their exceptional horsemanship.
These tribes would attack various Chinese villages, stealing everything in their invasion. There was a short period of Chinese history where the Mongols succeeded in taking over China and established their own Yuan Dynasty.
The attacks became so overwhelming that emperors decided to build a wall for protection that covered thousands of miles.