for Cloud Forest Martial Arts students

  • 130,000-900,000 BC (Middle Pleistocene): Homo erectus walks the earth near Peking, leaving remains to be found at Zhoukoudian cave (“Peking man”).
  • 6,000 BC: “Neolithic revolution” initiates the Bronze Age.
  • 1,000 BC: Yu establishes first Chinese dynasty, the Hsia, which lasts for seventeen kings.
  • 1,550-1,050 BC: Shang dynasty becomes first dynasty to leave historical records.
  • 1,111 BC: Royal house of Chou wins decisive battle against last Shang king, initiating the Chou dynasty.
  • 770-476 BC: Ch'un-ch'iu (“Spring and Autumn”) periord of the Chou dynasty. Chou royal line is broken, feudal system in decline.
  • 551 BC: Philosopher and teacher Kongfuzi (Confucious) is born. The archetypal Chinese wise man, he elaborates a philosphy of filial piety, respect for education, and a meritocratic view of government.
  • 221 BC: Ch'in ruling house survives Ch'un-ch'iu power struggle and initiates the first imperial dynasty, the Ch'in. Shih huang-ti unifies China and becomes the first Chinese emperor. Defensive walls in north of China are connected and strengthened into what will become the Great Wall of China.
  • 202 BC: Han Dynasty founded by Liu Pang, the first long lasting imperial dynasty.
  • 220 AD: Single Han empire split into the Three Kingdoms when the last Han emperor cedes authority to Wei, the son of a Warlord, shortly after, two other military leaders declare themselves emperor, Shu-Han in the interior, and Wu, in the South. The Three Kingdoms period is marked by civil war.
  • 263: Wei conquers Shu-Han.
  • 265: A general of the Ssu-ma clan overthrows the Wei-dynasty, founding the Hsi Chin (Western Chin) dynasty.
  • 280: Hsi Chin armies conquer the Wu dyansty. reuniting China under a single rule and initiating a short period of peace.
  • 304: Liu Yuan, a northern barbarian cheftain, conquers northern China. North China splits into a collection of barbarian states known as the Sixteen Kingdoms.
  • 317: Six Dynasties period. Southern China is ruled by a succession of royal families. Considered on of the most culturally creative periods in Chinese history.
  • 577: The Pei Chou (Northern Chou) unity Northern China.
  • 581: The general Yang Chien usurps the northern throne and founds the Sui dynasty.
  • 589: Yang Chien invades the south, and once again China is reunited, the time under a barbarian ruler.
  • 617: Li Yuan, one of various rebel leaders, marches on the capital and deposes Yang-ti, the current Sui emperor. A Sui prince, Kung-ti, is put on the throne as a puppet emperor, while Yang-ti is demoted to “retired emperor”. One year later, Yang-ti dies and Li Yuan takes the throne for himself, beginning the T'ang dynasty.
  • 624: The T'ang defeat the other rebel leaders, who have been causing trouble contending for the throne. All of China reunited and pacified.
  • 874: A wave of peasant uprisings begin that eventually topple the T'ang dynasty.
  • 907: Fall of the T'ang dynasty gives rise to the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Five short-lived dynasties subsequently control northern China, while ten stable regimes control sections of southern and western China.
  • 960: Chao K'uang-yin (better known as Tai-tsu), a military leader, stages a coup and usurps the throne from the Wu-tai, the last of the Five Dynasties. Under the Pei Sung (Northern Sung) dynasty, the civil service system achieves its most sophisticated form.
  • 965: T'ai-tsu begins program of reunification by taking Szechwan.
  • 978: The Wu-Yueh, last of the Ten Kingdoms in the south, surrenders without a struggle, completing reunification under the Sung dynasty.
  • 1127: After several cycles of reform and anti-reform, extravagant spending by the rulers, and an alliance with the Manchurian Juchen that goes awry, the Juchen invade the Chinese capital and demand heavy ransoms. The court pays them off, but realizing that the emperor's resources have been exhausted, the invaders usurp the throne and found the Nan Sung (Northern Sung) dynasty.
  • 1276: After four decades of effective defense from the Nan Sung, Mongol invaders outflank the defenders to the west and take the Sung Capital.
  • 1279: Mongol invasion topples the Sung dynasty when the boy emperor and a loyal minister commit suicide by jumping into the sea, beginning the Mongolian Yuan dynasty under the Kublai Khan.
  • 1368: A weak emperor and increasing militarization of Chinese society encourages the formation of rebel movements following disastrous flooding in 1351, which culminate with the fall of the Mongol emperor. An ex-Buddhist priest, Chu Yuan-Chang, becomes the Hung-wu emperor, founding the Ming Dynasty, one of the most stable and longest dynasties in Chinese history.
  • 1592: Japanese forces under Toyotomi Hideyoshi invade Korea. Ming China comes to its support, but the war drags on and precipitates a military decline in China.
  • 1624: Beleagured by partisan politics, the T'ien-Chi emperor grants totalitarian power to his favorite unich, Wei Chung-hsien, who begins a bloody purge of reformist officials.
  • 1616: Nurhachi becomes the leader of the Manchus and initiates an invasion of China, gaining control over northeastern China by 1621.
  • 1644: Li Tzu-ch'eng, a domestic rebel, captures the capital. The Chinese emperor commits suicide. The Manchu forces help Ming forces to remove Li Tzu-Ch'eng, but take the throne for themselves. The Ch'ing (Qing) dynasty is declared by Dorgon, the regent for Nurhachi's grandson, who becomes the first Ch'ing emperor.
  • 1839: Lin Tse-hsu is named Imperial commissioner for an anti-opium campaign. He seizes and destroys 20,000 chests of smuggled British opium in Canton. Fighting breaks out between China and Britain.
  • 1840: Rear Admiral George Elliot sets sail with 16 British warships to demand a lifting of the ban on opium. No agreement reached.
  • 1841: Elliot's forces attack Canton and hold it for ransom for $6,000,000. The Cantonese counter-attack and kick off the First Opium War.
  • 1842: Henry Pottinger, Elliot's successor, takes Nanking and forces the Treaty of Nanking, with China giving up concession after concession to British Trade. Anti-foreign sentiment grows.
  • 1851: Hung Hsiu-ch'uan fails his civil service examination, goes into a trance and discovers that he is the Son of God. He declares the Tai-p'ing T'ien-kuo, the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, and kicks off the Taiping rebellion, the bloodiest civil war in history.
  • 1856-1858: A British-registered ship, the Arrow, is seized and its Chinese crew charged with smuggling. A joint force of British and French led by Lord Elgin is sent to occupy Canton, beginning the Arrow War. In 1857, the Anglo-French forces occupy Canton; the next year, they march on Tientsin. Four Tientsin treaties are signed, establishing foreign diplomats in Peking and freedom of movement for Christian missionaries.
  • 1859-1860: The Western signatories to the Tientsin treaties show up to get their treaties signed, but are repulsed by the guns at Ta-ku fort. In 1860, allied forces march on Peking. In response to the torture and execution of several emissaries, Lord Elign orders the destruction of the Summer Palace.
  • 1894: Japanese Navy clashes with a Chinese fleet over issues of Korean independence, starting the Sino-Japanese War.
  • 1896-1898: Bands of I-ho ch'uan (Righteous and Harmonious Fists), or Boxers, stir up anti-Christian hysteria and begin the Boxer Rebellion.
  • 1898: Kuang-hsu emperor initiates the Hundred Days of Reform, a series of radical reform decrees. The empress dowager Tz'u-hsi puts the stop to that, has the Emperor detained, and takes the reins of government.
  • 1908: Tz'u-hsi and the Emperor die, and the Hsuan-t'ung emperor is crowned. His father, the Prince Chun, becomes regent and initiates a series of reforms.
  • 1911: Chinese Revolution. Yuan Shih-k'ai is recalled from retirement to take command of army to put down the revolution. He negotiates with the revolutionaries, with the hope of being instituted as the head of a new government, but is disappointed when Sun Yat-sen is appointed president of the new republic.
  • 1937-1945: Sino-Japanese War
  • 1945: Civil war begins, Nationalists vs Communists.
  • 1949: People's Republic of China established with the victory of the Communists.
  • 1966-1976: Cultural Revolution

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