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The Partition of India was the partition of the British Indian Empire[1] that led to the creation of the

sovereign
states of the Dominion of Pakistan (it later split into theIslamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of
Bangladesh) and the Union of India (later Republic of India) on 15 August 1947. "Partition" here refers not only to
the division of the Bengal province of British India into East Pakistan and West Bengal (India), and the similar
partition of the Punjab province into Punjab (West Pakistan) and Punjab, India, but also to the respective divisions of
other assets, including the British Indian Army, the Indian Civil Service and other administrative services,
therailways, and the central treasury.
In the riots which preceded the partition in the Punjab region, between 200,000 to 500,000 people were killed in the
retributive genocide.[2][3] UNHCR estimates 14 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced during the partition;
it was the largest mass migration in human history.[4][5][6]
The secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971 is not covered by the term Partition of India, nor is the earlier
separation of Burma (now Myanmar) from the administration of British India, or the even earlier separation
of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Ceylon was part of the Madras Presidency of British India from 1795 until 1798 when it
became a separate Crown Colony of the Empire. Burma, gradually annexed by the British during 182686 and
governed as a part of the British Indian administration until 1937, was directly administered thereafter. [7] Burma was
granted independence on 4 January 1948 and Ceylon on 4 February 1948. (See History of Sri Lanka and History of
Burma.)
Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives, the remaining countries of present-day South Asia, were unaffected by the
partition. The first two, Nepal and Bhutan, having signed treaties with the British designating them as independent
states, were never a part of the British Indian Empire, and therefore their borders were unaffected by the partition of
India.[8] The Maldives, which had become a protectorate of the British crown in 1887 and gained its independence in
1965, was also unaffected by the partition.

In 1905, the viceroy, Lord Curzon, who was considered by some to be both brilliant and indefatigable, and who in his
first term had built an impressive record of archaeological preservation and administrative efficiency, now, in his
second term, divided the largest administrative subdivision in British India, the Bengal Presidency, into the Muslimmajority province of East Bengal and Assam and the Hindu-majority province of Bengal (present-day Indian states
of West Bengal, Bihr, Jharkhand andOdisha).[9] Curzon's act, the Partition of Bengalwhich some considered
administratively felicitous, and, which had been contemplated by various colonial administrations since the time
of Lord William Bentinck, but never acted uponwas to transform nationalist politics as nothing else before it. [9] The
Hindu elite of Bengal, among them many who owned land in East Bengal that was leased out to Muslim peasants,
protested fervidly. The large Bengali Hindu middle-class (the Bhadralok), upset at the prospect of Bengalis being
outnumbered in the new Bengal province by Biharis and Oriyas, felt that Curzon's act was punishment for their
political assertiveness.[9] The pervasive protests against Curzon's decision took the form predominantly of
the Swadeshi ("buy Indian") campaign led by two-time Congress president, Surendranath Banerjee, and involved
boycott of British goods. Sporadicallybut flagrantlythe protesters also took to political violence that involved
attacks on civilians.[10] The violence, however, was not effective, most planned attacks were either preempted by the
British or failed.[11] The rallying cry for both types of protest was the slogan Bande Mataram (Bengali, lit: "Hail to the

Mother"), the title of a song by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, which invoked a mother goddess, who stood variously
for Bengal, India, and the Hindu goddessKali.[12] The unrest spread from Calcutta to the surrounding regions of
Bengal when Calcutta's English-educated students returned home to their villages and towns. [13]The religious
stirrings of the slogan and the political outrage over the partition were combined as young men, in groups such
as Jugantar, took to bombing public buildings, staging armed robberies, [11] and assassinating British officials.[12] Since
Calcutta was the imperial capital, both the outrage and the slogan soon became nationally known. [12]
The overwhelming, but predominantly Hindu, protest against the partition of Bengal and the fear, in its wake, of
reforms favouring the Hindu majority, now led the Muslim elite in India, in 1906, to meet with the new viceroy, Lord
Minto, and to ask for separate electorates for Muslims. In conjunction, they demanded proportional legislative
representation reflecting both their status as former rulers and their record of cooperating with the British. This led,
in December 1906, to the founding of the All-India Muslim League in Dacca. Although Curzon, by now, had resigned
his position over a dispute with his military chief Lord Kitchener and returned to England, the League was in favour
of his partition plan. The Muslim elite's position, which was reflected in the League's position, had crystallized
gradually over the previous three decades, beginning with the 1871 Census of British India, which had first
estimated the populations in regions of Muslim majority.[14] (For his part, Curzon's desire to court the Muslims of East
Bengal had arisen from British anxieties ever since the 1871 censusand in light of the history of Muslims fighting
them in the 1857 Mutiny and the Second Anglo-Afghan Warabout Indian Muslims rebelling against the Crown. [14])
In the three decades since that census, Muslim leaders across northern India, had intermittently experienced public
animosity from some of the new Hindu political and social groups. [14] The Arya Samaj, for example, had not only
supported Cow Protection Societies in their agitation, [15] but alsodistraught at the 1871 Census's Muslim numbers
organized "reconversion" events for the purpose of welcoming Muslims back to the Hindu fold. [14] In UP, Muslim
became anxious when, in the late 19th century, political representation increased, giving more power to Hindus, and
Hindus were politically mobilized in the Hindi-Urdu controversy and the anti-cow-killing riots of 1893. [16] In 1905,
when Tilak and Lajpat Rai attempted to rise to leadership positions in the Congress, and the Congress itself rallied
around symbolism of Kali, Muslim fears increased. [14] It was not lost on many Muslims, for example, that the rallying
cry, "Bande Mataram," had first appeared in the novel Anand Math in which Hindus had battled their Muslim
oppressors.[17] Lastly, the Muslim elite, and among it Dacca Nawab, Khwaja Salimullah, who hosted the League's first
meeting in his mansion in Shahbag, was aware that a new province with a Muslim majority would directly benefit
Muslims aspiring to political power.[17]

World War I, Lucknow Pact: 19141918[edit]

Indian medical orderlies attending to


wounded

soldiers

theMesopotamian

with

Expeditionary

Force in Mesopotamia duringWorld


War I.

Mohandas

Karamchand

Gandhi (seated in carriage, on the


right, eyes downcast, with black flattop hat) receives a big welcome in
Karachi in 1916 after his return to
India from South Africa.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, seated, third


from the left, was a supporter of the
Lucknow Pact, which, in 1916,
ended the three-way rift between the
Extremists, the Moderates and the
League.

World War I would prove to be a watershed in the imperial relationship between Britain and India. 1.4 million Indian
and British soldiers of the British Indian Army would take part in the war and their participation would have a wider
cultural fallout: news of Indian soldiers fighting and dying with British soldiers, as well as soldiers from dominionslike
Canada and Australia, would travel to distant corners of the world both in newsprint and by the new medium of the
radio.[18] India's international profile would thereby rise and would continue to rise during the 1920s. [18] It was to lead,
among other things, to India, under its own name, becoming a founding member of the League of Nations in 1920
and participating, under the name, "Les Indes Anglaises" (British India), in the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp.
[19]

Back in India, especially among the leaders of the Indian National Congress, it would lead to calls for greater self-

government for Indians.[18]


The 1916 Lucknow Session of the Congress was also the venue of an unanticipated mutual effort by the Congress
and the Muslim League, the occasion for which was provided by the wartime partnership between Germany and
Turkey. Since the Turkish Sultan, or Khalifah, had also sporadically claimed guardianship of the Islamic holy sites
of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, and since the British and their allies were now in conflict with Turkey, doubts
began to increase among some Indian Muslims about the "religious neutrality" of the British, doubts that had already
surfaced as a result of the reunification of Bengal in 1911, a decision that was seen as ill-disposed to Muslims. [20] In
the Lucknow Pact, the League joined the Congress in the proposal for greater self-government that was
campaigned for by Tilak and his supporters; in return, the Congress accepted separate electorates for Muslims in
the provincial legislatures as well as the Imperial Legislative Council. In 1916, the Muslim League had anywhere
between 500 and 800 members and did not yet have its wider following among Indian Muslims of later years; in the
League itself, the pact did not have unanimous backing, having largely been negotiated by a group of "Young Party"
Muslims from the United Provinces (UP), most prominently, two brothers Mohammad andShaukat Ali, who had
embraced the Pan-Islamic cause;[20] however, it did have the support of a young lawyer from Bombay, Muhammad
Ali Jinnah, who was later to rise to leadership roles in both the League and the Indian independence movement. In
later years, as the full ramifications of the pact unfolded, it was seen as benefiting the Muslim minority lites of
provinces like UP and Bihar more than the Muslim majorities of Punjab and Bengal, nonetheless, at the time, the
"Lucknow Pact," was an important milestone in nationalistic agitation and was seen so by the British. [20]

MontagueChelmsford Reforms: 1919[edit]


Montague and Chelmsford presented their report in July 1918 after a long fact-finding trip through India the previous
winter.[21] After more discussion by the government and parliament in Britain, and another tour by the Franchise and
Functions Committee for the purpose of identifying who among the Indian population could vote in future elections,
the Government of India Act of 1919 (also known as the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms) was passed in December
1919.[21] The new Act enlarged both the provincial and Imperial legislative councils and repealed the Government of
India's recourse to the "official majority" in unfavorable votes. [21] Although departments like defense, foreign affairs,
criminal law, communications, and income-tax were retained by the Viceroy and the central government in New
Delhi, other departments like public health, education, land-revenue, local self-government were transferred to the
provinces.[21] The provinces themselves were now to be administered under a newdyarchical system, whereby some

areas like education, agriculture, infrastructure development, and local self-government became the preserve of
Indian ministers and legislatures, and ultimately the Indian electorates, while others like irrigation, land-revenue,
police, prisons, and control of media remained within the purview of the British governor and his executive council.
[21]

The new Act also made it easier for Indians to be admitted into the civil service and the army officer corps.

A greater number of Indians were now enfranchised, although, for voting at the national level, they constituted only
10% of the total adult male population, many of whom were still illiterate. [21] In the provincial legislatures, the British
continued to exercise some control by setting aside seats for special interests they considered cooperative or
useful. In particular, rural candidates, generally sympathetic to British rule and less confrontational, were assigned
more seats than their urban counterparts. [21] Seats were also reserved for non-Brahmins, landowners, businessmen,
and college graduates. The principal of "communal representation," an integral part of the Minto-Morley Reforms,
and more recently of the Congress-Muslim League Lucknow Pact, was reaffirmed, with seats being reserved
for Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, and domiciled Europeans, in both provincial and Imperial
legislative councils.[21] The Montague-Chelmsford reforms offered Indians the most significant opportunity yet for
exercising legislative power, especially at the provincial level; however, that opportunity was also restricted by the
still limited number of eligible voters, by the small budgets available to provincial legislatures, and by the presence
of rural and special interest seats that were seen as instruments of British control. [21]

Muslim homeland, provincial elections, World War II, Lahore resolution: 1930
1945[edit]

Allama Muhammad Iqbal, fifth from


left, arriving at the 1930 session of
the All India Muslim League, where
he delivered his presidential address
outlining his plan for a homeland for
the Muslims of British India.

Jawaharlal

Nehru, Sarojini

Naidu, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,


and Maulana

Azad at

the

1940

Ramgarh session of the Congress in


which Azad was elected president for
the second time.

Chaudhari
seconding

Khaliquzzaman(left)
the

1940

Lahore

Resolution of the All-India Muslim


League withJinnah (right) presiding,
andLiaquat Ali Khan centre.

Although Choudhry Rahmat Ali had in 1933 produced a pamphlet, Now or never, in which the term "Pakistan," "the
land of the pure," comprising the Punjab, North West Frontier Province (Afghania), Kashmir, Sindh, and Balochistan,
was coined for the first time, the pamphlet did not attract political attention. [22] A little later, a Muslim delegation to the
Parliamentary Committee on Indian Constitutional Reforms, gave short shrift to the Pakistan idea, calling it
"chimerical and impracticable."[22]
Two years later, the Government of India Act 1935 introduced provincial autonomy, increasing the number of voters
in India to 35 million.[23] More significantly, law and order issues were for the first time devolved from British authority
to provincial governments headed by Indians. [23] This increased Muslim anxieties about eventual Hindu domination.
[23]

In the Indian provincial elections, 1937, the Muslim League turned out its best performance in Muslim-minority

provinces such as the United Provinces, where it won 29 of the 64 reserved Muslim seats. [23] However, in the
Muslim-majority regions of the Punjab and Bengal regional parties outperformed the League. [23] In the Punjab,
the Unionist Part of Sikandar Hayat Khan, won the elections and formed a government, with the support of
the Indian National Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal, which lasted five years.[23] In Bengal, the League had to
share power in a coalition headed by A. K. Fazlul Huq, the leader of the Krishak Praja Party.[23]
The Congress, on the other hand, with 716 wins in the total of 1585 provincial assemblies seats, was able to form
governments in 7 out of the 11 provinces of British India.[23] In its manifesto the Congress maintained that religious
issues were of lesser importance to the masses than economic and social issues, however, the election revealed
that the Congress had contested just 58 out of the total 482 Muslim seats, and of these, it won in only 26. [23] In UP,
where the Congress won, it offered to share power with the League on condition that the League stop functioning as
a representative only of Muslims, which the League refused. [23] This proved to be a mistake as it alienated the
Congress further from the Muslim masses. In addition, the new UP provincial administration promulgated cow
protection and the use of Hindi. [23] The Muslim elite in UP was further alienated, when they saw chaotic scenes of the
new Congress Raj, in which rural people who sometimes turned up in large numbers in Government buildings, were
indistinguishable from the administrators and the law enforcement personnel. [24]
The Muslim League conducted its own investigation into the conditions of Muslims under Congress-governed
provinces.[25] Although its reports were exaggerated, it increased fear among the Muslim masses of future Hindu
domination.[25] The view that Muslims would be unfairly treated in an independent India dominated by the Congress
was now a part of the public discourse of Muslims. [25] With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the viceroy, Lord
Linlithgow, declared war on India's behalf without consulting Indian leaders, leading the Congress provincial
ministries to resign in protest.[25] The Muslim League, which functioned under state patronage, [26] in contrast,
organized "Deliverance Day," celebrations (from Congress dominance) and supported Britain in the war effort.
[25]

When Linlithgow, met with nationalist leaders, he gave the same status to Jinnah as he did to Gandhi, and a

month later described the Congress as a "Hindu organization." [26]


In March 1940, in the League's annual three-day session in Lahore, Jinnah gave a two-hour speech in English, in
which were laid out the arguments of the Two-nation theory, stating, in the words of historians Talbot and Singh, that
"Muslims and Hindus ... were irreconcilably opposed monolithic religious communities and as such no settlement

could be imposed that did not satisfy the aspirations of the former." [25] On the last day of its session, the League
passed, what came to be known as the Lahore Resolution, sometimes also "Pakistan Resolution," [25] demanding
that, "the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in majority as in the North-Western and Eastern zones of India
should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constituent units shall be autonomous and
sovereign." Though it had been founded more than three decades earlier, the League would gather support among
South Asian Muslims only during the Second World War.[27]
In March 1942, with the Japanese fast moving up the Malayan Peninsula after the Fall of Singapore,[26] and with the
Americans supporting independence for India, [28]Winston Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister of Britain, sent
Sir Stafford Cripps, the leader of the House of Commons, with an offer of dominion status to India at the end of the
war in return for the Congress's support for the war effort. [29] Not wishing to lose the support of the allies they had
already securedthe Muslim League, Unionists of the Punjab, and the Princesthe Cripps offer included a clause
stating that no part of the British Indian Empire would be forced to join the post-war Dominion. As a result of the
proviso, the proposals were rejected by the Congress, which, since its founding as a polite group of lawyers in 1885,
[27]

saw itself as the representative of all Indians of all faiths. [29] After the arrival in 1920 of Gandhi, the preeminent

strategist of Indian nationalism,[30] the Congress had been transformed into a mass nationalist movement of millions.
[27]

In August 1942, the Congress launched the Quit India Resolution which asked for drastic constitutional changes,

which the British saw as the most serious threat to their rule since the Indian rebellion of 1857.[29] With their
resources and attention already spread thin by a global war, the nervous British immediately jailed the Congress
leaders and kept them in jail until August 1945,[31] whereas the Muslim League was now free for the next three years
to spread its message.[26] Consequently, the Muslim League's ranks surged during the war, with Jinnah himself
admitting, "The war which nobody welcomed proved to be a blessing in disguise." [32] Although there were other
important national Muslim politicians such as Congress leader Ab'ul Kalam Azad, and influential regional Muslim
politicians such as A. K. Fazlul Huq of the leftistKrishak Praja Party in Bengal, Sikander Hyat Khan of the landlorddominated Punjab Unionist Party, and Abd al-Ghaffar Khan of the pro-Congress Khudai Khidmatgar(popularly, "red
shirts") in the North West Frontier Province, the British were to increasingly see the League as the main
representative of Muslim India.[33]

Cabinet Mission, Direct Action Day, Plan for Partition, Independence 1946
1947[edit]

Members

of

the 1946

Cabinet

Mission to India meetingMuhammad


Ali Jinnah. On the extreme left
is Lord Pethick Lawrence; on the
extreme right, Sir Stafford Cripps.

An aged and abandoned Muslim


couple and their grand children
sitting by the roadside on this
arduous journey. "The old man is
dying of exhaustion. The caravan has
gone on," wrote Bourke-White.

An old Sikh man carrying his wife.


Over

10

million

people

were

uprooted from their homeland and


travelled on foot, bullock carts and
trains to their promised new home.

Gandhi in Bela, Bihar, after attacks


on Muslims, 28 March 1947.

In January 1946, a number of mutinies broke out in the armed services, starting with that of RAF servicemen
frustrated with their slow repatriation to Britain. [34] The mutinies came to a head with mutiny of the Royal Indian
Navy in Bombay in February 1946, followed by others in Calcutta, Madras, and Karachi. Although the mutinies were
rapidly suppressed, they had the effect of spurring the new Labour government in Britain to action, and leading to
the Cabinet Mission to India led by the Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethick Lawrence, and including Sir
Stafford Cripps, who had visited four years before. [34] Also in early 1946, new elections were called in India. Earlier,
at the end of the war in 1945, the colonial government had announced the public trial of three senior officers
of Subhas Chandra Bose's defeated Indian National Army who stood accused of treason. Now as the trials began,
the Congress leadership, although ambivalent towards the INA, chose to defend the accused officers. [35] The
subsequent convictions of the officers, the public outcry against the convictions, and the eventual remission of the
sentences, created positive propaganda for the Congress, which only helped in the party's subsequent electoral
victories in eight of the eleven provinces. [36] The negotiations between the Congress and the Muslim League,
however, stumbled over the issue of the partition.
Jinnah proclaimed 16 August 1946, Direct Action Day, with the stated goal of highlighting, peacefully, the demand
for a Muslim homeland in British India. However, on the morning of the 16th armed Muslim gangs gathered at
the Ochterlony Monument in Calcutta to hear Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, the League's Chief Minister of Bengal,
who, in the words of historian Yasmin Khan, "if he did not explicitly incite violence certainly gave the crowd the
impression that they could act with impunity, that neither the police nor the military would be called out and that the
ministry would turn a blind eye to any action they unleashed in the city." [37] That very evening, in Calcutta, Hindus
were attacked by returning Muslim celebrants, who carried pamphlets distributed earlier showing a clear connection
between violence and the demand for Pakistan, and implicating the celebration of Direct Action day directly with the
outbreak of the cycle of violence that would be later called the "Great Calcutta Killing of August 1946". [38]The next
day, Hindus struck back and the violence continued for three days in which approximately 4,000 people died
(according to official accounts), Hindus and Muslims in equal numbers. Although India had had outbreaks of
religious violence between Hindus and Muslims before, the Calcutta killings was the first to display elements of
"ethnic cleansing," in modern parlance.[39] Violence was not confined to the public sphere, but homes were entered,
destroyed, and women and children attacked. [40]Although the Government of India and the Congress were both
shaken by the course of events, in September, a Congress-led interim government was installed, with Jawaharlal
Nehru as united India's prime minister.

The communal violence spread to Bihar (where Muslims were attacked by Hindus), to Noakhali in Bengal (where
Hindus were targeted by Muslims), in Garhmukteshwar in the United Provinces (where Muslims were attacked by
Hindus), and on to Rawalpindi in March 1947 in which Hindus were attacked or driven out by Muslims. [39] Late in
1946, the Labour government in Britain, its exchequer exhausted by the recently concluded World War II, decided to
end British rule of India, and in early 1947 Britain announced its intention of transferring power no later than June
1948. However, with the British army unprepared for the potential for increased violence, the new viceroy,Louis
Mountbatten, advanced the date for the transfer of power, allowing less than six months for a mutually agreed plan
for independence. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders, including Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad on behalf of the
Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, B. R. Ambedkar representing the Untouchablecommunity,
and Master Tara Singh representing the Sikhs, agreed to a partition of the country along religious lines in stark
opposition to Gandhi's views. The predominantly Hindu and Sikh areas were assigned to the new India and
predominantly Muslim areas to the new nation of Pakistan; the plan included a partition of the Muslim-majority
provinces of Punjab and Bengal. The communal violence that accompanied the announcement of the Radcliffe Line,
the line of partition, was even more horrific.
Of the violence that accompanied the Partition of India, historians Ian Talbot and Gurharpal Singh write:
There are numerous eyewitness accounts of the maiming and mutilation of victims. The catalogue of horrors
includes the disembowelling of pregnant women, the slamming of babies' heads against brick walls, the cutting off of
victims limbs and genitalia and the display of heads and corpses. While previous communal riots had been deadly,
the scale and level of brutality was unprecedented. Although some scholars question the use of the term 'genocide'
with respect to the Partition massacres, much of the violence manifested as having genocidal tendencies. It was
designed to cleanse an existing generation as well as prevent its future reproduction." [41]
On 14 August 1947, the new Dominion of Pakistan came into being, with Muhammad Ali Jinnah sworn in as its first
Governor General in Karachi. The following day, 15 August 1947, India, now a smaller Union of India, became an
independent country with official ceremonies taking place in New Delhi, and with Jawaharlal Nehru assuming the
office of the prime minister, and the viceroy, Louis Mountbatten, staying on as its first Governor General; Gandhi,
however, remained in Bengal, preferring instead to work among the new refugees of the partitioned subcontinent.

Geographic partition, 1947[edit]


Mountbatten Plan[edit]

Mountbatten with a countdown calendar to the Transfer of Power in the background

The actual division of British India between the two new dominions was accomplished according to what has come
to be known as the 3 June Plan or Mountbatten Plan. It was announced at a press conference by Mountbatten on 3
June 1947, when the date of independence was also announced 15 August 1947. The plan's main points were:

Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in Punjab and Bengal legislative assemblies would meet and vote for partition. If
a simple majority of either group wanted partition, then these provinces would be divided.

Sindh was to take its own decision.

The fate of North West Frontier Province and Sylhet district of Assam was to be decided by a referendum.

India would be independent by 15 August 1947.

The separate independence of Bengal was ruled out.

A boundary commission to be set up in case of partition.

The Indian political leaders accepted the Plan on 2 June. It did not deal with the question of the princely states, but
on 3 June Mountbatten advised them against remaining independent and urged them to join one of the two new
dominions.[42]
The Muslim League's demands for a separate state were thus conceded. The Congress' position on unity was also
taken into account while making Pakistan as small as possible. Mountbatten's formula was to divide India and at the
same time retain maximum possible unity.
Within British India, the border between India and Pakistan (the Radcliffe Line) was determined by a British
Government-commissioned report prepared under the chairmanship of a London barrister, Sir Cyril Radcliffe.
Pakistan came into being with two non-contiguous enclaves, East Pakistan (today Bangladesh) and West Pakistan,
separated geographically by India. India was formed out of the majority Hindu regions of British India, and Pakistan
from the majority Muslim areas.
On 18 July 1947, the British Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act that finalized the arrangements for
partition and abandoned British suzerainty over theprincely states, of which there were several hundred, leaving
them free to choose whether to accede to one of the new dominions. The Government of India Act 1935 was
adapted to provide a legal framework for the new dominions.
Following its creation as a new country in August 1947, Pakistan applied for membership of the United Nations and
was accepted by the General Assembly on 30 September 1947. The Dominion of India continued to have the
existing seat as India had been a founding member of the United Nations since 1945. [43]

Radcliffe Line[edit]
Further information: Radcliffe Line

A map of the Punjab regionc.1947.

The Punjab the region of the five rivers east of Indus: Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej consists of
interfluvial doabs, or tracts of land lying between two confluent rivers. These are the Sind-Sagar doab (between
Indus and Jhelum), the Jech doab (Jhelum/Chenab), the Rechna doab (Chenab/Ravi), the Bari doab (Ravi/Beas),
and the Bist doab (Beas/Sutlej) (see map). In early 1947, in the months leading up to the deliberations of the Punjab
Boundary Commission, the main disputed areas appeared to be in the Bari and Bist doabs, although some areas in
the Rechna doab were claimed by the Congress and Sikhs. In the Bari doab, the districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar,
Lahore, and Montgomery (Sahiwal) were all disputed.[44]
All of these disputed districts (other than Amritsar, which was 46.5% Muslim) had Muslim majorities; albeit, in
Gurdaspur, the Muslim majority, at 51.1%, was slender. At a smaller area-scale, only three tehsils (sub-units of a
district) in the disputed section of the Bari doab had non-Muslim majorities. These were: Pathankot (in the extreme
north of Gurdaspur, which was not in dispute), and Amritsar and Tarn Taran in Amritsar district. In addition, there
were four Muslim-majority tehsils east of Beas-Sutlej (with two where Muslims outnumbered Hindus and Sikhs
together).[44]
Before the Boundary Commission began formal hearings, governments were set up for the East and the West
Punjab regions. Their territories were provisionally divided by "notional division" based on simple district majorities.
In both the Punjab and Bengal, the Boundary Commission consisted of two Muslim and two non-Muslim judges with
SirCyril Radcliffe as a common chairman.[44]
The mission of the Punjab commission was worded generally as the following: "To demarcate the boundaries of the
two parts of the Punjab, on the basis of ascertaining the contiguous majority areas of Muslims and non-Muslims. In
doing so, it will take into account other factors."[44]
Each side (the Muslims and the Congress/Sikhs) presented its claim through counsel with no liberty to bargain. The
judges too had no mandate to compromise and on all major issues they "divided two and two, leaving Sir Cyril
Radcliffe the invidious task of making the actual decisions."[44]

Independence, population transfer, and violence[edit]


Massive population exchanges occurred between the two newly formed states in the months immediately following
Partition. The population of undivided India in 1947 was approx 390 million. After partition, there were 330 million
people in India, 30 million in West Pakistan, and 30 million people in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Once the
lines were established, about 14.5 million people crossed the borders to what they hoped was the relative safety of
religious majority. The 1951 Census of Pakistan identified the number of displaced persons in Pakistan at
7,226,600, presumably all Muslims who had entered Pakistan from India. Similarly, the 1951 Census of India
enumerated 7,295,870 displaced persons, apparently all Hindus and Sikhs who had moved to India from Pakistan
immediately after the Partition.[citation needed] The two numbers add up to 14.5 million. Since both censuses were held
about 3.6 years after the Partition, the enumeration included net population increase after the mass migration.

About 11.2 million ( 77.4% of the displaced persons) were in the west, with the Punjab accounting for most of it: 6.5
million Muslims moved from India to West Pakistan, and 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from West Pakistan to
India; thus the net migration in the west from India to West Pakistan (now Pakistan) was 1.8 million.

A crowd of Muslims at the Old Fort (Purana Qila) in Delhi, which had been converted into a vast camp for Muslim refugees waiting to be
transported to Pakistan. Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1947.

The remaining 3.3 million (22.6% of the displaced persons) were in the east: 2.6 million moved from East Pakistan
to India and 0.7 million moved from India to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh); thus net migration in the east was 1.9
million into India. The newly formed governments were completely unequipped to deal with migrations of such
staggering magnitude, and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. Estimates of the
number of deaths vary, with low estimates at 200,000 and high estimates at 1,000,000. [45]

Punjab[edit]
The Indian state of East Punjab was created in 1947, when the Partition of India split the former British province of
Punjab between India and Pakistan. The mostly Muslim western part of the province became Pakistan's Punjab
province; the mostly Sikh and Hindu eastern part became India's East Punjab state. Many Hindus and Sikhs lived in
the west, and many Muslims lived in the east, and the fears of all such minorities were so great that the Partition
saw many people displaced and much intercommunal violence.
Lahore and Amritsar were at the centre of the problem; the Boundary Commission was not sure where to place
them to make them part of India or Pakistan. The Commission decided to give Lahore to Pakistan, whilst Amritsar
became part of India. Some areas in Punjab, including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Gujrat, had a large Sikh and
Hindu population, and many of the residents were attacked or killed. On the other side, in East Punjab, cities such
as Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, and Jalandharhad a majority Muslim population, of which thousands were killed
or emigrated.

Bengal[edit]
Main article: Partition of Bengal (1947)
The province of Bengal was divided into the two separate entities of West Bengal belonging to India, and East
Bengal belonging to Pakistan. East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan in 1955, and later became the independent
nation of Bangladesh after the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

While the Muslim majority districts of Murshidabad and Malda were given to India, the Hindu majority district
of Khulna and the majority Buddhist, but sparsely populatedChittagong Hill Tracts was given to Pakistan by the
award.

Sindh[edit]
Hindu Sindhis were expected to stay in Sindh following Partition, as there were good relations between Hindu and
Muslim Sindhis. At the time of Partition there were 1,400,000 Hindu Sindhis, though most were concentrated in cities
such as Hyderabad, Karachi, Shikarpur, and Sukkur. However, because of an uncertain future in a Muslim country,
a sense of better opportunities in India, and most of all a sudden influx of Muslim refugees from Gujarat, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, Rajputana (Rajasthan) and other parts of India, many Sindhi Hindus decided to leave for India.
Problems were further aggravated when incidents of violence instigated by Muslim refugees broke out in Karachi
and Hyderabad. According to the 1951 Census of India, nearly 776,000 Sindhi Hindus fled to India. [46] Unlike
the Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs, Sindhi Hindus did not have to witness any massive scale rioting; however, their entire
province had gone to Pakistan and thus they felt like a homeless community. Despite this migration, a significant
Sindhi Hindu population still resides in Pakistan's Sindh province where they number at around 2.28 million as per
Pakistan's 1998 census; the Sindhi Hindus in India were at 2.57 million as per India's 2001 Census. Some bordering
districts in Sindh were Hindu Majority like Tharparkar District, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Sanghar and Badin, but their
population is decreasing and they consider themselves a minority in decline. In fact, only Umerkot still has a majority
of Hindus in the district.[47]

Resettlement of refugees in India: 19471957[edit]


Many Sikhs and Hindu Punjabis fled Western Punjab and settled in the Indian parts of Punjab and Delhi. Hindus
fleeing from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) settled across Eastern India and Northeastern India, many ending up
in neighboring Indian states such as West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura. Some migrants were sent to theAndaman
islands where Bengalis today form the largest linguistic group.
Delhi received the largest number of refugees for a single city the population of Delhi grew rapidly in 1947 from
under 1 million (917,939) to a little less than 2 million (1,744,072) during the period 19411951. [48] The refugees
were housed in various historical and military locations such as the Purana Qila, Red Fort, and military barracks
in Kingsway Camp (around the present Delhi University). The latter became the site of one of the largest refugee
camps in northern India with more than 35,000 refugees at any given time besides Kurukshetra camp near Panipat.
The camp sites were later converted into permanent housing through extensive building projects undertaken by the
Government of India from 1948 onwards. A number of housing colonies in Delhi came up around this period
like Lajpat Nagar, Rajinder Nagar,Nizamuddin East, Punjabi Bagh, Rehgar Pura, Jangpura and Kingsway Camp. A
number of schemes such as the provision of education, employment opportunities, and easy loans to start
businesses were provided for the refugees at the all-India level. [49]

Resettlement of refugees in Pakistan: 19471957[edit]


In the aftermath of partition, a huge population exchange occurred between the two newly formed states. About 14.5
million people crossed the borders, including 7,226,000 Muslims who came to Pakistan from India while 7,295,000
Hindus and Sikhs moved to India from Pakistan. Of the 6.5 million Muslims that came to West Pakistan (now
Pakistan), about 5.3 million settled in Punjab, Pakistan and around 1.2 million settled in Sindh. The other 0.7 million
Muslims went to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

Most of those migrants who settled in Punjab, Pakistan came from the neighbouring Indian regions of Punjab,
Haryana and Himachal Pradesh while others were fromJammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan. On the other hand,
most of those migrants who arrived in Sindh were primarily of Urdu-speaking background (termed the Muhajir
people) and came from the northern and central urban centres of India, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya
Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan via the Wahgah andMunabao borders; however a limited number of Muhajirs also
arrived by air and on ships. People who wished to go to India from all over Sindh awaited their departure to India by
ship at the Swaminarayan temple in Karachi and were visited by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.[50]
Later in 1950s, the majority of Urdu speaking refugees who migrated after the independence were settled in the port
city of Karachi in southern Sindh and in the metropolitan cities of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas.
In

addition,

some

Urdu-speakers

settled

in

the

cities

of Punjab,

mainly

in Lahore, Multan,Bahawalpur and Rawalpindi. The number of migrants in Sindh was placed at over 1,167,000 of
whom 617,000 went to Karachi alone. Karachi grew from a population of around 400,000 in 1947 into more than 1.3
million in 1953.

Rehabilitation of women[edit]
See also: Rape during the partition of India
Both sides promised each other that they would try to restore women abducted during the riots. The Indian
government claimed that 33,000 Hindu and Sikh women were abducted, and the Pakistani government claimed that
50,000 Muslim women were abducted during riots. By 1949, there were governmental claims that 12,000 women
had been recovered in India and 6,000 in Pakistan. [51] By 1954 there were 20,728 recovered Muslim women and
9,032 Hindu and Sikh women recovered from Pakistan. [52]Most of the Hindu and Sikh women refused to go back to
India fearing that they would never be accepted by their family; similarly, the families of some Muslim women
refused to take back their relatives.[53]

Perspectives[edit]

Refugees on train roof during Partition

The Partition was a highly controversial arrangement, and remains a cause of much tension on the Indian
subcontinent today. The British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma has not only been accused of rushing the
process through, but also is alleged to have influenced the Radcliffe Line in India's favour.[54][55] The commission took
longer to decide on a final boundary than on the partition itself. Thus the two nations were granted their
independence even before there was a defined boundary between them.
Some critics allege that British haste led to increased cruelties during the Partition. [56] Because independence was
declared prior to the actual Partition, it was up to the new governments of India and Pakistan to keep public order.
No large population movements were contemplated; the plan called for safeguards for minorities on both sides of

the new border. It was a task at which both states failed. There was a complete breakdown of law and order; many
died in riots, massacre, or just from the hardships of their flight to safety. What ensued was one of the largest
population movements in recorded history. According to Richard Symonds: At the lowest estimate, half a million
people perished and twelve million became homeless.[57]
However, many argue that the British were forced to expedite the Partition by events on the ground. [58] Once in office,
Mountbatten quickly became aware if Britain were to avoid involvement in a civil war, which seemed increasingly
likely, there was no alternative to partition and a hasty exit from India. [58]Law and order had broken down many times
before Partition, with much bloodshed on both sides. A massive civil war was looming by the time Mountbatten
became Viceroy. After the Second World War, Britain had limited resources, [59] perhaps insufficient to the task of
keeping order. Another viewpoint is that while Mountbatten may have been too hasty he had no real options left and
achieved the best he could under difficult circumstances. [60] The historian Lawrence James concurs that in 1947
Mountbatten was left with no option but to cut and run. The alternative seemed to be involvement in a potentially
bloody civil war from which it would be difficult to get out.[61]
Conservative elements in England consider the partition of India to be the moment that the British Empire ceased to
be a world power, following Curzon's dictum: "the loss of India would mean that Britain drop straight away to a third
rate power."[62]
A cross border student initiative, The History Project was launched in 2014 in order to explore the differences in
perception of the events during the British era which lead to the partition. The project resulted in a book, that
explains both interpretations of the shared history in Pakistan and India. [63][64]

Artistic depictions of the Partition[edit]


Main article: Artistic depictions of the partition of India
The partition of India and the associated bloody riots inspired many in India and Pakistan to create literary/cinematic
depictions of this event. [65] While some creations depicted the massacres during the refugee migration, others
concentrated on the aftermath of the partition in terms of difficulties faced by the refugees in both side of the border.
Even now, more than 60 years after the partition, works of fiction and films are made that relate to the events of
partition. The early members of the Progressive Artist's Group of Bombay cite "The Partition" of India and Pakistan
as a key reason for its founding in December 1947. They included FN Souza, MF Husain, SH Raza, SK Bakre, HA
Gade and KH Ara went on to become some of the most important and influential Indian artists of the 20th Century.[66]
Literature describing the human cost of independence and partition comprises Bal K. Gupta's memoirs Forgotten
Atrocities (2012), Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan(1956), several short stories such as Toba Tek Singh (1955)
by Saadat

Hassan

Manto, Urdu poems

such

as Subh-e-Azadi (Freedom's

Dawn,

1947)

by Faiz

Ahmad

Faiz,Bhisham Sahni's Tamas (1974), Manohar Malgonkar's A Bend in the Ganges (1965), and Bapsi Sidhwa's IceCandy Man (1988), among others.[67][68] Salman Rushdie's novel Midnight's Children (1980), which won the Booker
Prize and the Booker of Bookers, weaved its narrative based on the children born with magical abilities on midnight
of 14 August 1947.[68] Freedom at Midnight (1975) is a non-fiction work by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre that
chronicled the events surrounding the first Independence Day celebrations in 1947.
There is a paucity of films related to the independence and partition. [69][70][71] Early films relating to the circumstances of
the
[69]

independence,

Dharmputra (1961)

partition
[72]

and

the

aftermath

include Nemai

Ghosh's Chinnamul (Bengali)

(1950),

Lahore (1948), Chhalia (1956), Nastik (1953). Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara (Bengali)

(1960), Komal Gandhar (Bengali) (1961), Subarnarekha (Bengali) (1962);[69][73] later films include Garm Hava (1973)

and Tamas (1987).[72] From the late 1990s onwards, more films on this theme were made, including several
mainstream ones, such as Earth (1998), Train to Pakistan (1998) (based on the aforementined book), Hey
Ram(2000), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Pinjar (2003), Partition (2007) and Madrasapattinam (2010).[72] The
biographical films Gandhi (1982), Jinnah (1998) and Sardar(1993) also feature independence and partition as
significant events in their screenplay. A Pakistani drama Daastan, based on the novel Bano, tells the tale of Muslim
girls during partition.
The novel Lost Generations (2013) by Manjit Sachdeva describes March 1947 massacre in rural areas of
Rawalpindi by Muslim League, followed by massacres on both sides of the new border in August 1947 seen through
the eyes of an escaping Sikh family, their settlement and partial rehabilitation in Delhi, and ending in ruin (including
death), for the second time in 1984, at the hands of mobs after a Sikh assassinated the prime minister.
The 2013 Google India advertisement Reunion (about the Partition of India) has had a strong impact
in India and Pakistan, leading to hope for the easing of travel restrictions between the two countries. [74][75][76] It went
viral[77][78] and was viewed more than 1.6 million times before officially debuting on television on 15 November 2013. [79]

History of China
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Empire of China" redirects here. For other uses, see Empire of China (191516).

Approximate territories occupied by the various dynasties and states throughout the history of China
This

article

contains Chinese text.W


ithout
support,

proper rendering
you

may

see question marks, boxes,


or other symbols instead
ofChinese characters.

History of China
ANCIENT

Neolithic c. 8500 c. 2100 BC


Xia dynasty c. 2100 c. 1600 BC
Shang dynasty c. 1600 c. 1046 BC
Zhou dynasty c. 1045 256 BC
Western Zhou
Eastern Zhou
Spring and Autumn
Warring States
IMPERIAL

Qin dynasty 221206 BC


Han dynasty 206 BC 220 AD
Western Han
Xin dynasty
Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220280
Wei, Shu and Wu
Jin dynasty 265420
Western Jin
Eastern Jin

Sixteen Kingdoms

Southern
420589

and

Northern

Dynasties

Sui dynasty 581618


Tang dynasty 618907
(Second Zhou 690705)
Five
Ten
907960

Dynasties

Song
9601279

and
Liao
Kingdoms
9071125
dynasty

Northern Song
Southern Song

dynasty

W. Xia
Jin

Yuan dynasty 12711368


Ming dynasty 13681644
Qing dynasty 16441911
MODERN

Republic of China 19121949


People's
of
1949present

Republic Republic
China China
1949present

on

of
Taiwan

Related articles [show]


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edit

Written records of the history of China can be found from as early as 1200 BC under the Shang dynasty (c. 1700
1046 BC).[1] Ancient historical texts such as the Records of the Grand Historian (ca. 100 BC) and the Bamboo
Annals describe a Xia dynasty (c. 21001700 BC), which had no system of writing on a durable medium, before the
Shang.[1][2] The Yellow River is said to be the cradle of Chinese civilization, although cultures originated at various
regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys millennia ago in the Neolithic era. With
thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations.[3]
Much of Chinese culture, literature and philosophy further developed during the Zhou dynasty (1045256 BC). The
Zhou dynasty began to bow to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC, and the kingdom eventually
broke apart into smaller states, beginning in the Spring and Autumn period and reaching full expression in
the Warring States period. This is one of multiple periods of failed statehood in Chinese history, the most recent
being the Chinese Civil War that started in 1927.
Between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China; in some
eras control stretched as far as Xinjiang and Tibet, as at present. In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang united the
various warring kingdoms and created for himself the title of "emperor" (huangdi) of the Qin dynasty, marking the
beginning of imperial China. Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to
control vast territories directly. China's last dynasty was the Qing (16441912), which was replaced by the Republic
of China in 1912, and in the mainland by the People's Republic of China in 1949.
The conventional view of Chinese history is that of alternating periods of political unity and disunity, with China
occasionally being dominated by steppe peoples, most of whom were in turn assimilated into the Han
Chinese population. Cultural and political influences from other parts of Asia and the Western world, carried by
successive waves of immigration, expansion, foreign contact, and cultural assimilation are part of the modern
culture of China.

Paleolithic
See also: List of Paleolithic sites in China
What is now China was inhabited by Homo erectus more than a million years ago. [4] Recent study shows that the
stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site aremagnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago. [5] The
archaeological site of Xihoudu in Shanxi Province is the earliest recorded use of fire by Homo erectus, which is
dated 1.27 million years ago.[4] The excavations at Yuanmou and later Lantian show early habitation. Perhaps the
most famous specimen of Homo erectus found in China is the so-called Peking Man discovered in 192327.

Neolithic
See also: List of Neolithic cultures of China

The Neolithic age in China can be traced back to about 10,000 BC.[6]
Early evidence for proto-Chinese millet agriculture is radiocarbon-dated to about 7000 BC.[7] Farming gave rise to
the Jiahu culture (7000 to 5800 BC). At Damaidi in Ningxia, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 60005000 BC have been
discovered, "featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or
grazing." These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. [8]
[9]

Excavation of a Peiligang culture site inXinzheng county, Henan, found a community that flourished in 5,500

4,900 BC, with evidence of agriculture, constructed buildings, pottery, and burial of the dead. [10] With agriculture
came increased population, the ability to store and redistribute crops, and the potential to support specialist
craftsmen and administrators.[11] In late Neolithictimes, the Yellow River valley began to establish itself as a center
of Yangshao culture (5000 BC to 3000 BC), and the first villages were founded; the most archaeologically significant
of these was found at Banpo, Xi'an.[12] Later, Yangshao culture was superseded by the Longshan culture, which was
also centered on the Yellow River from about 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
The early history of China is obscured by the lack of written documents from this period, coupled with the existence
of later accounts that attempted to describe events that had occurred several centuries previously. In a sense, the
problem stems from centuries of introspection on the part of the Chinese people, which has blurred the distinction
between fact and fiction in regards to this early history.[citation needed]

Ancient China

Xia dynasty (c. 2100 c. 1600 BC)


Main article: Xia dynasty
The Xia dynasty of China (from c. 2100 to c. 1600 BC) is the first dynasty to be described in ancient historical
records such as Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historianand Bamboo Annals.[1][2]
Although there is disagreement as to whether the dynasty actually existed, there is some archaeological evidence
pointing to its possible existence. Sima Qian, writing in the late 2nd century BC, dated the founding of the Xia
dynasty to around 2200 BC, but this date has not been corroborated. Most archaeologists now connect the Xia to
excavations at Erlitou in central Henan province,[13] where a bronze smelter from around 2000 BC was unearthed.
Early markings from this period found on pottery and shells are thought to be ancestral to modern Chinese
characters.[14] With few clear records matching the Shang oracle bones or the Zhou bronze vessel writings, the Xia
era remains poorly understood.
According to mythology, the dynasty ended around 1600 BC as a consequence of the Battle of Mingtiao.

Shang dynasty (c. 16001046 BC)

Remnants of advanced, stratifiedsocieties dating back to the Shang found primarily in the Yellow River Valley

Main article: Shang dynasty


Capital: Yin, near Anyang
Archaeological findings providing evidence for the existence of the Shang dynasty, c. 16001046 BC, are
divided into two sets. The first set from the earlier Shang period comes from sources
at Erligang, Zhengzhou, and Shangcheng. The second set from the later Shang or Yin ( ) period is
at Anyang, in modern-day Henan, which has been confirmed as the last of the Shang's nine capitals (c. 1300
1046 BC).[citation needed] The findings at Anyang include the earliest written record of Chinese past so far discovered:
inscriptions of divination records in ancient Chinese writing on the bones or shells of animals the so-called
"oracle bones", dating from around 1200 BC.[15]
31 Kings reined over the Shang dynasty. During their rein, according to the Records of the Grand Historian, the
capital city was moved six times.[citation needed] The final (and most important) move was to Yin in 1350 BC which led
to the dynasty's golden age. [citation needed] The term Yin dynasty has been synonymous with the Shang dynasty in
history, although it has lately been used to specifically refer to the latter half of the Shang dynasty.[citation needed]
Chinese historians living in later periods were accustomed to the notion of one dynasty succeeding another, but
the actual political situation in early China is known to have been much more complicated. Hence, as some
scholars of China suggest, the Xia and the Shang can possibly refer to political entities that existed concurrently,
just as the early Zhou is known to have existed at the same time as the Shang. [citation needed]
Although written records found at Anyang confirm the existence of the Shang dynasty, [citation needed] Western scholars
are often hesitant to associate settlements that are contemporaneous with the Anyang settlement with the
Shang dynasty. For example, archaeological findings at Sanxingduisuggest a technologically advanced
civilization culturally unlike Anyang. The evidence is inconclusive in proving how far the Shang realm extended
from Anyang. The leading hypothesis is that Anyang, ruled by the same Shang in the official history, coexisted
and traded with numerous other culturally diverse settlements in the area that is now referred to as China
proper.[citation needed]

Zhou dynasty (1046256 BC)

Bronze ritual vessel (You), Western Zhou dynasty

Main articles: Zhou dynasty and Iron Age China


Capitals: Xi'an, Luoyang
The Zhou dynasty was the longest-lasting dynasty in Chinese history, from 1066 BC to approximately 256
BC. By the end of the 2nd millennium BC, the Zhou dynasty began to emerge in the Yellow River valley,
overrunning the territory of the Shang. The Zhou appeared to have begun their rule under a semifeudal system. The Zhou lived west of the Shang, and the Zhou leader had been appointed "Western
Protector" by the Shang. The ruler of the Zhou, King Wu, with the assistance of his brother, the Duke of
Zhou, as regent, managed to defeat the Shang at the Battle of Muye.
The king of Zhou at this time invoked the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to legitimize his rule, a concept
that would be influential for almost every succeeding dynasty. Like Shangdi, Heaven (tian) ruled over all the
other gods, and it decided who would rule China. It was believed that a ruler had lost the Mandate of
Heaven when natural disasters occurred in great number, and when, more realistically, the sovereign had
apparently lost his concern for the people. In response, the royal house would be overthrown, and a new
house would rule, having been granted the Mandate of Heaven.
The Zhou initially moved their capital west to an area near modern Xi'an, on the Wei River, a tributary of the
Yellow River, but they would preside over a series of expansions into the Yangtze River valley. This would
be the first of many population migrations from north to south in Chinese history.

Spring and Autumn period (722476 BC)

Chinese pu vessel with interlaceddragon design, Spring and Autumn period

Main article: Spring and Autumn period


Capitals: Beijing (State of Yan); Xi'an (State of Qin)
In the 8th century BC, power became decentralized during the Spring and Autumn period, named after
the influential Spring and Autumn Annals. In this period, local military leaders used by the Zhou began
to assert their power and vie for hegemony. The situation was aggravated by the invasion of other
peoples from the northwest, such as the Qin, forcing the Zhou to move their capital east to Luoyang.
This marks the second major phase of the Zhou dynasty: the Eastern Zhou. The Spring and Autumn
period is marked by a falling apart of the central Zhou power. In each of the hundreds of states that
eventually arose, local strongmen held most of the political power and continued their subservience to
the Zhou kings in name only. Some local leaders even started using royal titles for themselves. China
now consisted of hundreds of states, some of them only as large as a village with a fort.
The Hundred Schools of Thought of Chinese philosophy blossomed during this period, and such
influential intellectual movements as Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism and Mohism were founded, partly
in response to the changing political world.

Warring States period (476221 BC)


Main article: Warring States period
Capitals: several (multiple states)
After further political consolidation, seven prominent states remained by the end of 5th century BC,
and the years in which these few states battled each other are known as the Warring States period.
Though there remained a nominal Zhou king until 256 BC, he was largely a figurehead and held
little real power.

As neighboring territories of these warring states, including areas of modern Sichuan and Liaoning,
were

annexed,

they

were

governed

under

the

new

local

administrative

system

of commandery and prefecture ( / ). This system had been in use since the Spring and
Autumn period, and parts can still be seen in the modern system ofSheng & Xian (province and
county, /).
The final expansion in this period began during the reign of Ying Zheng, the king of Qin. His
unification of the other six powers, and further annexations in the modern regions of Zhejiang,
Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi in 214 BC, enabled him to proclaim himself the First Emperor (Qin
Shi Huang).

Imperial China

Qin dynasty (221206 BC)

Qin Shi Huang

Main article: Qin dynasty


Capital: Xianyang
Historians often refer to the period from Qin dynasty to the end of Qing dynasty as Imperial
China. Though the unified reign of theFirst Qin Emperor lasted only 12 years, he managed to
subdue great parts of what constitutes the core of the Han Chinesehomeland and to unite them
under a tightly centralized Legalist government seated at Xianyang (close to modern Xi'an).
The doctrine of Legalism that guided the Qin emphasized strict adherence to a legal code and
the absolute power of the emperor. This philosophy, while effective for expanding the empire in
a military fashion, proved unworkable for governing it in peacetime. The Qin Emperor [when defined
as?]

presided over the brutal silencing of political opposition, including the event known as

the burning of books and burying of scholars. This would be the impetus behind the later Han
synthesis incorporating the more moderate schools of political governance.

The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang

Construction of the Great Wall of China, still extant and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
started during the Qin dynasty; it was later augmented and improved during the Ming dynasty.
The other major contributions of the Qin include the concept of a centralized government, the
unification of the legal code, development of the written language, measurement, and currency
of China after the tribulations of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods. Even
something as basic as the length of axles for cartswhich need to match ruts in the roads
had to be made uniform to ensure a viable trading system throughout the empire.

Han dynasty (202 BCAD 220)


Main article: Han dynasty
Further information: History of the Han dynasty
Capitals: Chang'an, Luoyang, Liyang, Xuchang
Western Han

A Han dynasty oil lamp, with sliding shutter, in the shape of a kneeling female servant (2nd century BC)

The Han dynasty was founded by Liu Bang, who emerged victorious in the civil war that
followed the collapse of the unified but short-lived Qin dynasty. A golden age in Chinese
history, the Han dynasty's long period of stability and prosperity consolidated the foundation
of China as a unified state under a central imperial bureaucracy, which was to last
intermittently for most of the next two millennium. During the Han dynasty, territory of China
was extended to most of the China proper and to areas far west.Confucianism was officially
elevated to orthodox status and was to shape the subsequent Chinese Civilization. Art,
culture and science all advanced to unprecedented heights. With the profound and lasting
impacts of this period of Chinese history, the dynasty name "Han" had been taken as the
name of the Chinese people, now the dominant ethnic group in modern China, and had
been commonly used to refer to Chinese language and written characters.
After the initial Laissez-faire policies of Emperors Wen and Jing, the ambitious Emperor
Wu brought the empire to its zenith. To consolidate his power, Confucianism, which
emphasizes stability and order in a well-structured society, was given exclusive patronage
to be the guiding philosophical thoughts and moral principles of the empire. Imperial
Universities were established to support its study and further development, while
other schools of thoughts were discouraged.
Major military campaigns were launched to weaken the nomadic Xiongnu Empire, limiting
their influence north of the Great Wall. Along with the diplomatic efforts led by Zhang Qian,
the sphere of influence of the Han Empire extended to the states in the Tarim Basin,
opened up the Silk Road that connected China to the west, stimulating bilateral trade and
cultural exchange. To the south, various small kingdoms far beyond the Yangtze
River Valley were formally incorporated into the empire.
Emperor Wu also dispatched a series of military campaigns against the Baiyue tribes. The
Han annexed Minyue in 135 BC and 111 BC, Nanyue in 111 BC, and Dian in 109 BC.
[16]

Migration and military expeditions led to the cultural assimilation of the south. [17] It also

brought the Han into contact with kingdoms in Southeast Asia, introducing diplomacy and
trade.[18]
After Emperor Wu, the empire slipped into gradual stagnation and decline. Economically,
the state treasury was strained by excessive campaigns and projects, while land
acquisitions by elite families gradually drained the tax base. Various consort clans exerted
increasing control over strings of incompetent emperors and eventually the dynasty was
briefly interrupted by the usurpation of Wang Mang.
Xin dynasty
In AD 9, the usurper Wang Mang claimed that the Mandate of Heaven called for the end of
the Han dynasty and the rise of his own, and he founded the short-lived Xin ("New")
dynasty. Wang Mang started an extensive program of land and other economic reforms,
including the outlawing of slavery and land nationalization and redistribution. These

programs, however, were never supported by the landholding families, because they
favored the peasants. The instability of power brought about chaos, uprisings, and loss of
territories. This was compounded by mass flooding of the Yellow River; silt buildup caused
it to split into two channels and displaced large numbers of farmers. Wang Mang was
eventually killed in Weiyang Palace by an enraged peasant mob in AD 23.
Eastern Han
Emperor Guangwu reinstated the Han dynasty with the support of landholding and
merchant families at Luoyang, east of the former capital Xi'an. Thus, this new era is termed
the Eastern Han dynasty. With the capable administrations of Emperors Ming and Zhang,
former glories of the dynasty was reclaimed, with brilliant military and cultural
achievements.

The Xiongnu

Empire was decisively

defeated.

The

diplomat

and

general Ban Chao further expanded the conquests across the Pamirs to the shores of
the Caspian Sea,[19] thus reopening the Silk Road, and bringing trade, foreign cultures,
along with the arrival of Buddhism. With extensive connections with the west, the first of
several Roman embassies to China were recorded in Chinese sources, coming from the
sea route in AD 166, and a second one in AD 284.
The Eastern Han dynasty was one of the most prolific era of science and technology in
ancient China, notably the historic invention of papermaking by Cai Lun, and the numerous
contributions by the polymath Zhang Heng.

Three Kingdoms and Western Jin (AD 265316)


Main articles: Cao Wei and Jin dynasty (265420)
Capitals: Luoyang (Cao Wei and Western Jin); Chengdu (Shu Han); Jiankang (Eastern Wu and Eastern
Jin); Chang'an (Western Jin)
By the 2nd century, the empire declined amidst land acquisitions, invasions, and
feuding between consort clans and eunuchs. The Yellow Turban Rebellion broke out in
AD 184, ushering in an era of warlords. In the ensuing turmoil, three states tried to gain
predominance in the period of the Three Kingdoms. This time period has been greatly
romanticized in works such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
After Cao Cao reunified the north in 208, his son proclaimed the Wei dynasty in 220.
Soon, Wei's rivals Shu and Wu proclaimed their independence, leading China into
theThree

Kingdoms period.

This

period

was

characterized

by

gradual

decentralization of the state that had existed during the Qin and Han dynasties, and an
increase in the power of great families.
In 280, the Jin dynasty reunified the country, but this union was short-lived.

Sixteen Kingdoms and Eastern Jin (AD 304439)

Main article: Sixteen Kingdoms


Capitals: several (multiple states)
The Jin Dynasty was severely weakened by interceine fighting among imperial
princes and

lost

control

of

northern

China

after non-Han

Chinese

settlers rebelled and captured Luoyang and Changan. In 317, a Jin prince in
modern-day Nanjing became emperor and continued the dynasty, now known as
the Eastern Jin, which held southern China for another century. Prior to this move,
historians refer to the Jin dynasty as the Western Jin.
Northern China fragmented into a series of independent kingdoms, most of which
were

founded

by Xiongnu, Xianbei, Jie, Di and Qiang rulers.

These

non-Han

peoples were ancestors of the Turks, Mongols, and Tibetans. Many had, to some
extent, been "sinicized" long before their ascent to power. In fact, some of them,
notably the Qiang and the Xiongnu, had already been allowed to live in the frontier
regions within the Great Wall since late Han times. During the period of the Sixteen
Kingdoms, warfare ravaged the north and prompted large-scale Han Chinese
migration south to the Yangtze Basin and Delta.

A limestone statue of theBodhisattva, from the Northern Qi dynasty, AD 570, made in what is
now modern Henanprovince.

Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420589)


Main article: Southern and Northern Dynasties
Capitals: Ye, Chang'an (Northern Dynasties); Jiankang (Southern Dynasties)
In the early 5th century, China entered a period known as the Southern and
Northern Dynasties, in which parallel regimes ruled the northern and southern
halves of the country. In the south, the Eastern Jin gave way to the Liu
Song, Southern Qi, Liang and finally Chen. Each of these Southen Dynasties
were led by Han Chinese ruling families and used Jiankang (modern Nanjing)
as the capital. They held off attacks from the north and preserved many
aspects of Chinese civilization, while northern barbarian regimes began to
sinify.
In the north, the last of the Sixteen Kingdoms was extinguished in 439 by
the Northern Wei, a kingdom founded by the Xianbei, a nomadic people who
unified

northern

China.

the Eastern and Western

The
Wei,

Northern
which

Wei
then

eventually
became

split

into

the Northern

Qi and Northern Zhou. These regimes were dominated by Xianbei or Han


Chinese who had married into Xianbei families.
Despite the division of the country, Buddhism spread throughout the land. In
southern China, fierce debates about whether Buddhismshould be allowed
were held frequently by the royal court and nobles. Finally, towards the end of
the Southern and Northern Dynasties era, Buddhists and Taoists reached a
compromise and became more tolerant of each other.
In 589, the Sui dynasty united China once again, ending a prolonged period of
division in Chinese history. In the nearly four centuries between the Han and
Sui dynasties, the country was united for only 24 years during the Western Jin.

Sui dynasty (AD 589618)


Main article: Sui dynasty
Capital: Daxing (official); Dongdu (secondary)
The Sui dynasty, which lasted 29 years, played a role more important than
its length of existence would suggest. The Sui brought China together
again and set up many institutions that were to be adopted by their
successors, the Tang. These included the government system of Three
Departments and Six Ministries, standard coinage, improved defense and
expansion of the Great Wall, and official support for Buddhism. Like the
Qin, however, the Sui overused their resources and collapsed.

Tang dynasty (AD 618907)

A Chinese Tang dynasty tricoloredglaze porcelain horse (c. AD 700)

Main article: Tang dynasty


Capitals: Chang'an, Luoyang
The Tang dynasty was founded by Emperor Gaozu on 18 June 618. It
was a golden age of Chinese civilization with significant developments
in art, literature, particularly poetry, and technology. Buddhism became
the predominant religion for common people.Chang'an (modern Xi'an),
the national capital, was the largest city in the world of its time.
The second emperor, Taizong, started military campaigns to eliminate
threats from nomadic tribes, extend the border, and submit
neighboring states into a tributary system. Military victories in
the Tarim Basin kept the Silk Road open, connecting Chang'an to
Central Asia and areas far to the west. In the south, lucrative maritime
trade routes began from port cities such as Guangzhou. There was
extensive trade with distant foreign countries, and many foreign
merchants settled in China, encouraging a cosmopolitan culture. The
Tang culture and social systems were observed and imitated by
neighboring countries such as Japan. Internally theGrand Canal linked
the political heartland in Chang'an to the economic and agricultural
centers in the eastern and southern parts of the empire.
Underlying the prosperity of the early Tang dynasty was a strong
centralized bureaucracy with efficient policies. The government was
organized as "Three Departments and Six Ministries" to separately
draft, review, and implement policies. These departments were run by
royal family members as well as scholar officials who were selected
by imperial examinations. These practices, which matured in the Tang
dynasty, were
modifications.

continued by

the

later dynasties, with some

Under the Tang "equal-field system" all land was owned by the
Emperor and granted to people according to household size. Men
granted land were conscripted for military service for a fixed period
each year, a military policy known as the "Fubing system". These
policies stimulated a rapid growth in productivity and a significant army
without much burden on the state treasury. By the dynasty's midpoint,
however, standing armies had replaced conscription, and land was
continuously falling into the hands of private owners.
The dynasty continued to flourish under Empress Wu Zetian, the
only empress regnant in Chinese history, and reached its zenith during
the reign of Emperor Xuanzong, who oversaw an empire that
stretched from the Pacific to the Aral Sea with at least 50 million
people.
At the zenith of prosperity of the empire, the An Lushan Rebellion from
755 to 763 was a watershed event that devastated the population and
drastically weakened the central imperial government. Regional
military

governors,

known

as Jiedushi,

gained

increasingly

autonomous status while formerly submissive states raided the


empire. Nevertheless, after the An Lushan Rebellion, the Tang civil
society recovered and thrived amidst the weakened imperial
bureaucracy.
From about 860, the Tang dynasty declined due to a series of
rebellions within China itself and in the former subject Kingdom of
Nanzhao to

the

south.

One

warlord, Huang

Chao,

captured

Guangzhou in 879, killing most of the 200,000 inhabitants, including


most of the large colony of foreign merchant families there. [20][21] In late
880, Luoyangsurrendered to Huang Chao, and on 5 January 881 he
conquered Chang'an. The

emperor Xizong fled

to Chengdu, and

Huang established a new temporary regime which was eventually


destroyed by Tang forces. Another time of political chaos followed.

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (AD 907960)


Main article: Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period
Capitals: various
The period of political disunity between the Tang and the Song,
known as the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, lasted
from 907 to 960. During this half-century, when China was in all
respects a multi-state system, five regimes rapidly succeeded one
another in control of the old Imperial heartland in northern China.

During this same time, sections of southern and western China


were occupied by ten, more stable, regimes so the period is also
referred to as the Ten Kingdoms.

Song, Liao, Jin, and Western Xia dynasties (AD


9601234)

Homeward Oxherds in Wind and Rain by Li Di (12th century)

Main articles: Song dynasty, Liao dynasty, Western Xia and Jin
dynasty (11151234)
Further information: History of the Song dynasty
Capitals: Kaifeng and Lin'an (Song
dynasty); Shangjing, Nanjing, Tokmok (Liao
dynasty); Shangjing, Zhongdu, Kaifeng (Jin dynasty); Yinchuan (Western Xia dynasty)
In 960, the Song dynasty gained power over most of China
and

established

its

capital

in Kaifeng (later

known

as Bianjing), starting a period of economic prosperity, while


the Khitan Liao
day Mongolia,

dynasty ruled
and

parts

over Manchuria,

of Northern

China.

presentIn

1115,

the Jurchen Jin dynasty emerged to prominence, annihilating


the Liao dynasty in 10 years. Meanwhile, in what are now the
northwestern

Chinese

provinces

of Gansu,

Shaanxi,

and Ningxia, a Western Xia dynasty emerged from 1032 to


1227, established by Tangut tribes.
The Jin dynasty took power and conquered northern China in
the JinSong Wars, capturing Kaifeng from the Song dynasty,
which moved its capital to Hangzhou ( ). The Southern
Song dynasty had to acknowledge the Jin dynasty as formal
overlords. In the ensuing years, China was divided between

the Song dynasty, the Jin dynasty and the Tangut Western
Xia.

Southern

Song

experienced

period

of

great

technological development which can be explained in part by


the military pressure that it felt from the north. This included
the use of gunpowder weapons, which played a large role in
the Song dynasty naval victories against the Jin in the Battle
of Tangdao and Battle of Caishi on the Yangtze River in 1161.
China's first permanent standing navy was assembled and
provided an admiral's office at Dinghai in 1132, under the
reign of Emperor Renzong of Song.
The Song dynasty is considered by many to be classical
China's high point in science and technology, with innovative
scholar-officials such as Su Song (10201101) andShen
Kuo (10311095). There was court intrigue between the
political rivals of the Reformers and Conservatives, led by the
chancellors Wang Anshi and Sima Guang, respectively. By the
mid-to-late 13th century, the Chinese had adopted the dogma
of Neo-Confucian philosophy formulated by Zhu Xi. Enormous
literary works were compiled during the Song dynasty, such as
the historical work of the Zizhi Tongjian ("Comprehensive
Mirror to Aid in Government"). Culture and the arts flourished,
with grandiose artworks such as Along the River During the
Qingming Festival and Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute,
along with great Buddhist painters such as the prolific Lin
Tinggui.

Yuan dynasty (AD 12711368)


Main article: Yuan dynasty

Yang Guifei Mounting a Horse byQian Xuan (12351305 AD)

Capitals: Xanadu, Dadu


The Jurchen-founded Jin dynasty was defeated by the
Mongols, who then proceeded to defeat the Southern
Song in a long and bloody war, the first war in

which firearms played an important role. During the era


after the war, later called the Pax Mongolica, adventurous
Westerners such as Marco Polo travelled all the way to
China and brought the first reports of its wonders to
Europe. In the Yuan dynasty, the Mongols were divided
between those who wanted to remain based in the
steppes and those who wished to adopt the customs of
the Chinese.
Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, wanting to adopt
the customs of China, established the Yuan dynasty. This
was the first dynasty to rule the whole of China from
Beijing as the capital. Beijing had been ceded to Liao in
AD 938 with the Sixteen Prefectures of Yan Yun. Before
that, it had been the capital of the Jin, who did not rule all
of China.
Before the Mongol invasion, Chinese dynasties reported
approximately 120 million inhabitants; after the conquest
had been completed in 1279, the 1300 census reported
roughly 60 million people.[22] This major decline is not
necessarily due only to Mongol killings. Scholars such as
Frederick W. Mote argue that the wide drop in numbers
reflects an administrative failure to record rather than an
actual decrease; others such as Timothy Brook argue that
the Mongols created a system of enserfment among a
huge portion of the Chinese populace, causing many to
disappear from the census altogether; other historians
including William McNeill and David Morgan consider
thatplague was the main factor behind the demographic
decline during this period.
In the 14th century China suffered additional depredations
from epidemics of plague, estimated to have killed 25
million people, 30% of the population of China.[23]

Ming dynasty (AD 13681644)

Court Ladies of the Former Shu by Tang Yin (14701523)

Main article: Ming dynasty


Further information: History of the Ming dynasty
Capitals: Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou, Zhaoqing

Hongwu Emperor, founder of the Ming dynasty

Throughout the Yuan dynasty, which lasted less than


a century, there was relatively strong sentiment
among the populace against Mongol rule. The
frequent natural disasters since the 1340s finally led
to peasant revolts. The Yuan dynasty was eventually
overthrown by the Ming dynasty in 1368.
Urbanization increased as the population grew and as
the division of labor grew more complex. Large urban
centers, such as Nanjing and Beijing, also contributed

to the growth of private industry. In particular, smallscale industries grew up, often specializing in paper,
silk, cotton, and porcelain goods. For the most part,
however, relatively small urban centers with markets
proliferated around the country. Town markets mainly
traded food, with some necessary manufactures such
as pins or oil.
Despite the xenophobia and intellectual introspection
characteristic of the increasingly popular new school
of neo-Confucianism, China under the early Ming
dynasty was not isolated. Foreign trade and other
contacts with the outside world, particularly Japan,
increased considerably. Chinese merchants explored
all of the Indian Ocean, reaching East Africa with
the voyages of Zheng He.
The Hong-wu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder
of the dynasty, laid the foundations for a state
interested less in commerce and more in extracting
revenues from the agricultural sector. Perhaps
because of the Emperor's background as a peasant,
the Ming economic system emphasized agriculture,
unlike that of the Song and the Mongolian dynasties,
which relied on traders and merchants for revenue.
Neo-feudal landholdings of the Song and Mongol
periods were expropriated by the Ming rulers. Land
estates

were

confiscated

by

the

government,

fragmented, and rented out. Private slavery was


forbidden. Consequently, after the death of Emperor
Yong-le,

independent

peasant

landholders

predominated in Chinese agriculture. These laws


might have paved the way to removing the worst of
the poverty during the previous regimes.

Ming China under the reign of theYongle Emperor

The dynasty had a strong and complex central


government that unified and controlled the empire.
The emperor's role became more autocratic, although
Zhu Yuanzhang necessarily continued to use what he
called the "Grand Secretaries" ( ) to assist with
the

immense

paperwork

of

the

bureaucracy,

including memorials (petitions and recommendations


to the throne), imperial edicts in reply, reports of
various kinds, and tax records. It was this same
bureaucracy

that

later

prevented

the

Ming

government from being able to adapt to changes in


society, and eventually led to its decline.
The Yong-le Emperor strenuously tried to extend
China's influence beyond its borders by demanding
other rulers send ambassadors to China to present
tribute. A large navy was built, including four-masted
ships displacing 1,500 tons. A standing army of 1
million troops (some estimate as many as 1.9
million[who?])

was

created.

The

Chinese

armies conquered Vietnam for around 20 years, while


the Chinese fleet sailed the China seas and the Indian
Ocean, cruising as far as the east coast of Africa. The
Chinese gained influence in eastern Moghulistan.
Several maritime Asian nations sent envoys with
tribute for the Chinese emperor. Domestically, the
Grand Canal was expanded and became a stimulus
to domestic trade. Over 100,000 tons of iron per year

were produced. Many books were printed using


movable

type.

The

imperial

palace

in

Beijing's Forbidden City reached its current splendor.


It was also during these centuries that the potential of
south China came to be fully exploited. New crops
were widely cultivated and industries such as those
producing porcelain and textiles flourished.
In 1449 Esen Tayisi led an Oirat Mongol invasion of
northern China which culminated in the capture of
the Zhengtong Emperor atTumu.
In 1521, Ming dynasty naval forces fought and
repulsed

Portuguese

ships at Tuen

Mun and

again fought off the Portuguese in 1522.


In 1542 the Mongol leader, Altan Khan, began to
harass China along the northern border, reaching the
outskirts of Beijing in 1550. The empire also had to
deal withJapanese pirates attacking the southeastern
coastline;[24] General Qi Jiguang was instrumental in
their defeat. In 1556, during the rule of the
Ming Jiajing Emperor, theShaanxi earthquake killed
about 830,000 people, the deadliest earthquake of all
time.
During the Ming dynasty the last construction on the
Great Wall was undertaken to protect China from
foreign invasions. Most of what remains of the Wall in
modern times was either built or repaired by the Ming.
The brick and granite work was enlarged, the watch
towers were redesigned, and cannons were placed
along its length.
China

defeated

the

Dutch

in

the SinoDutch

conflicts in 16221624 over the Penghu islands and


again defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Liaoluo
Bay in 1633. The Ming loyalist Koxinga defeated the
Dutch in the Siege of Fort Zeelandia in Taiwan in
1662.

Qing dynasty (AD 16441911)

The reception of the Diplomatique (Macartney) and his suite,


at the Court of Pekin, drawn and engraved byJames Gillray
(published September 1792).

Territory of Qing China in 1892

Main article: Qing dynasty


Capitals: Shenyang, Beijing
The Qing dynasty (16441911) was
imperial

dynasty

the Manchus,

it

in

China.

was

the

the last

Founded

second

by

non-Han

Chinese dynasty to rule all over Chinese territory.


The Manchus were formerly known as Jurchen,
residing in the northeastern part of the Ming
territory outside the Great Wall. They emerged as
the major threat to the late Ming dynasty
after Nurhaci united

all

Jurchen

tribes

and

established an independent state. However,


the Ming dynasty would be overthrown by Li
Zicheng's

peasants

captured

in

1644

rebellion,
and

the

Emperor Chongzhen committing

with
last
suicide.

Beijing
Ming
The

Manchu allied with the Ming dynasty general Wu


Sangui to seize Beijing, which was made the
capital of the Qing dynasty, and then proceeded
to subdue the remaining Ming's resistance in the
south.

The

decades

of

Manchu

conquest

caused enormous loss of lives and the economic


scale of China shrank drastically. In total,
the Manchu conquest of China (16181683) cost
as many as 25 million lives.[25] Nevertheless, the
Manchus

adopted the Confucian

norms

of

traditional Chinese government in their rule and


were considered a Chinese dynasty.
The Manchus enforced a 'queue order,' forcing
the Han Chinese to adopt the Manchu queue
hairstyle. Officials were required to wear Manchustyle

clothing Changshan(bannermen dress

and Tangzhuang), but ordinary Han civilians were


allowed to wear traditional Han clothing, or Hanfu.
Most Han then voluntarily shifted to wearing
Qipao anyway. The Kangxi Emperor ordered the
creation of Kangxi Dictionary, the most complete
dictionary of Chinese characters that had been
compiled. The Qing dynasty set up the "Eight
Banners"

system

that

provided

the

basic

framework for the Qing military organization.


Bannermen could not undertake trade or manual
labor; they had to petition to be removed from
banner status. They were considered a form of
nobility and were given preferential treatment in
terms of annual pensions, land and allotments of
cloth.

Late-1890s French political cartoon showing China


divided among Britain, Germany, Russia, France and
Japan

Over the next half-century, all areas previously


under the Ming dynasty were consolidated under
the Qing. Xinjiang, Tibet, andMongolia were also
formally

incorporated

into

Chinese

territory.

Between 1673 and 1681, the Emperor Kangxi


suppressed theRevolt of the Three Feudatories,
an uprising of three generals in Southern China
who had been denied hereditary rule to large
fiefdoms granted by the previous emperor. In
1683, the Qing staged an amphibious assault on
southern Taiwan,

bringing

down

the

rebel Kingdom of Tungning, which was founded


by the Ming loyalist Koxinga in 1662 after the fall
of the Southern Ming, and had served as a base
for continued Ming resistance in Southern China.
The Qing defeated the Russians at Albazin,
resulting in theTreaty of Nerchinsk.
By the end of Qianlong Emperor's long reign, the
Qing Empire was at its zenith. China ruled more
than one-third of the world's population, and had
the largest economy in the world. By area it
was one of the largest empires ever.

In the 19th century the empire was internally


stagnant and externally threatened by western
powers. The defeat by the British Empire in
the First Opium War (1840) led to the Treaty of
Nanking (1842), under which Hong Kong was
ceded

to

Britain

and

importation

of opium (produced by British Empire territories)


was

allowed.

Subsequent

military

defeats

and unequal treaties with other western powers


continued even after the fall of the Qing dynasty.
Internally the Taiping Rebellion (18511864), a
quasi-Christian religious movement led by the
"Heavenly King" Hong Xiuquan, raided roughly a
third of Chinese territory for over a decade until
they were finally crushed in the Third Battle of
Nanking in 1864. This was one of the largest wars
in the 19th century in terms of troop involvement;
there was massive loss of life, with a death toll of
about 20 million.[26] A string of civil disturbances
followed,

including

Wars, Nian

the PuntiHakka

Rebellion, Dungan

and Panthay

Rebellion.

[27]

All

Clan
Revolt,

rebellions

were

ultimately put down, but at enormous cost and


with many casualties, seriously weakening the
central imperial authority. TheBanner system that
the Manchus had relied upon for so long failed:
Banner forces were unable to suppress the
rebels, and the government called upon local
officials in the provinces, who raised "New
Armies",

which

successfully

crushed

the

challenges to Qing authority. China never rebuilt a


strong central army, and many local officials
became warlords who used military power to
effectively rule independently in their provinces.[28]

The Empress Dowager Cixi

In response to calamities within the empire and


threats from imperialism, the Self-Strengthening
Movement was an institutional reform in the
second half of the 1800s. The aim was to
modernize the empire, with prime emphasis on
strengthening the military. However, the reform
was undermined by corrupt officials, cynicism,
and quarrels within the imperial family. As a result,
the "Beiyang Fleet" were soundly defeated in
the First

Sino-Japanese

War (1894

1895). Guangxu Emperor and the reformists then


launched a more comprehensive reform effort,
the Hundred Days' Reform (1898), but it was
shortly

overturned

by

the

conservatives

under Empress Dowager Cixi in a military coup.


At the turn of the 20th century an anti-foreign
movement
influence

violently
in

revolted

Northern

against

China

in

foreign

the Boxer

Rebellion. The group attacked Chinese Christians


and missionaries. The Imperial Court ordered all
foreigners out of the capital after Boxers flooded
through the city, however, the foreigners refused
and

then

the Siege

Legations started.
Alliance launched

of

the

International

The Eight-Nation
an

invasion

of

China

in

the Seymour Expedition. Consisting of British,


Japanese, Russian, Italian, German, French, US,
and Austrian troops, the alliance were defeated
by the Boxers at the Battle of Langfang and

forced to retreat. Due to the Alliance's attack on


Dagu Forts during the Battle of Dagu Forts
(1900), the Qing court in response declared war
on the Alliance and sided with the Boxers. Fierce
fighting erupted at the Battle of Tientsin and the
Alliance made another attempt to attack Beijing in
the Gaselee

Expedition and

finally

reached

Beijing at the Battle of Peking (1900), when the


Imperial Court evacuated to Xi'an. The Boxer
Protocol was signed to end the war.

Republican China

Republic of China (19121949)


Main

articles: History

of

the

Republic

of

China and Republic of China (19121949)


Capitals: Nanjing, Beijing, Chongqing, several short-lived wartime capitals, Taipei (after 1949)

Sun Yat-sen, founder and first president of the


Republic of China

Frustrated by the Qing court's resistance to


reform and by China's weakness, young
officials, military officers, and students began
to advocate the overthrow of the Qing
dynasty and the creation of a republic. They
were inspired by the revolutionary ideas
of Sun

Yat-sen.

revolutionary

military

uprising, the Wuchang Uprising, began on 10


October

1911,

in Wuhan.

The provisional

government of the Republic of China was


formed in Nanjing on 12 March 1912. The

Xinhai Revolution ended 2,000 years of


dynastic rule in China.
After the success of the overthrow of the Qing
Dynasty, Sun

Yat-sen was

declared President, but Sun was forced to


turn

power

over

toYuan

Shikai,

who

commanded the New Army and was Prime


Minister under the Qing government, as part
of

the

agreement

to

let

the last

Qing

monarch abdicate (a decision Sun would later


regret). Over the next few years, Yuan
proceeded

to

abolish

the

national

and

provincial assemblies, and declared himself


emperor

in

late

1915.

Yuan's

imperial

ambitions were fiercely opposed by his


subordinates; faced with the prospect of
rebellion, he abdicated in March 1916, and
died in June of that year.
Yuan's death in 1916 left a power vacuum in
China; the republican government was all but
shattered. This ushered in the Warlord Era,
during which much of the country was ruled
by shifting coalitions of competing provincial
military leaders.
In 1919, the May Fourth Movement began as
a response to the terms imposed on China by
the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I,
but quickly became a nationwide protest
movement about the domestic situation in
China. The protests were a moral success as
the cabinet fell and China refused to sign the
Treaty of Versailles, which had awarded
German holdings to Japan. The New Culture
Movement stimulated by the May Fourth
Movement waxed strong throughout the
1920s and 1930s. According to Ebrey:
"Nationalism, patriotism, progress, science, democracy, and freedom were the goals; imperialism, feudalism,
warlordism, autocracy, patriarchy, and blind adherence to tradition where the enemies. Intellectuals
struggled with how to be strong and modern and yet Chinese, how to preserve China as a political entity in
the world of competing nations."[29]

The flag of the Republic of China from 1928 to now.

The

discrediting

philosophy

of

liberal

Western

amongst

leftist

Chinese

intellectuals led to more radical lines of


thought

inspired

by

the

Russian

Revolution, and supported by agents of


the Comintern sent to China by Moscow.
This

created

the

seeds

for

the

irreconcilable conflict between the left


and right in China that would dominate
Chinese history for the rest of the century.
In the 1920s, Sun Yat-sen established a
revolutionary base in south China, and
set out to unite the fragmented nation.
With

assistance

from

the Soviet

Union (themselves fresh from a socialist


uprising), he entered into an alliance with
the fledglingCommunist Party of China.
After Sun's death from cancer in 1925,
one of his protgs, Chiang Kai-shek,
seized

control

of

theKuomintang (Nationalist Party or KMT)


and succeeded in bringing most of south
and central China under its rule in a
military campaign known as the Northern
Expedition (19261927). Having defeated
the warlords in south and central China
by military force, Chiang was able to
secure the nominal allegiance of the
warlords in the North. In 1927, Chiang
turned on the CPC and relentlessly
chased the CPC armies and its leaders
from their bases in southern and eastern
China.

In

1934,

driven

from

their

mountain bases such as the Chinese

Soviet

Republic,

embarked

on

the

CPC

the Long

forces

March across

China's most desolate terrain to the


northwest, where they established a
guerrilla

base

at Yan'an in

Shaanxi

Province. During the Long March, the


communists reorganized under a new
leader, Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung).

Chinese

civilians

buried

alive

during

the

1937 Nanking Massacre

The bitter struggle between the KMT and


the

CPC

continued,

openly

or

clandestinely, through the 14-year-long


Japanese occupation of various parts of
the

country

(19311945).

The

two

Chinese parties nominally formed a


united front to oppose the Japanese in
1937,

during

the Sino-Japanese

War

(19371945), which became a part of


World War II. Japanese forces committed
numerous war

atrocities against

the

civilian population, including biological


warfare (see Unit 731) and the Three Alls
Policy (Sank Sakusen), the three alls
being: "Kill All, Burn All and Loot All".[30]
Following the defeat of Japan in 1945,
the

war

between

the

forces

and

government
resumed,

after

reconciliation

failed
and

Nationalist
the
attempts

CPC
at

negotiated

settlement. By 1949, the CPC had


established control over most of the

country (seeChinese Civil War). Westad


says the Communists won the Civil War
because

they

made

fewer

military

mistakes than Chiang, and because in


his search for a powerful centralized
government, Chiang antagonized too
many

interest

groups

in

China.

Furthermore, his party was weakened in


the war against Japanese. Meanwhile the
Communists told different groups, such
as peasants, exactly what they wanted to
hear, and cloaked themselves in the
cover of Chinese Nationalism.[31] During
the civil war both the Nationalist and
Communists carried out mass atrocities
with millions of non-combatants killed by
both sides during the civil war.[32] Atrocities
include deaths from forced conscription
and massacres.[33] When the Nationalist
government forces was defeated by CPC
forces in mainland China in 1949, the
Nationalist

government

to Taiwan with

its

retreated

forces, along with

Chiang and most of the KMT leadership


and a large number of their supporters;
the Nationalist government had taken
effective control of Taiwan at the end of
WWII as part of the overall Japanese
surrender, when Japanese troops in
Taiwan surrendered to Republic of China
troops.[34]

People's Republic of China


(since 1949)
Main article: History of the People's
Republic of China
Major

combat

War ended

in

the Chinese
in

Civil
1949

with Kuomintang (KMT) pulling out of the


mainland, with the government relocating
to Taipei and maintaining control only

over a few islands. The Communist Party


of China was left in control of mainland
China.

On

October

1949, Mao

Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic


of China.[35] "Communist China" and "Red
China" were two common names for the
PRC.[36]

Chairman Mao

Zedong proclaiming

the

establishment of the People's Republic in 1949

The PRC was shaped by a series of


campaigns and five-year

plans.

The

economic and social plan known as


the Great
estimated

Leap

Forward caused

45 million

deaths.

[37]

an

Mao's

government carried out mass executions


of

landowners,

institutedcollectivisation and implemented


the Laogai camp

system.

Execution,

deaths from forced labor and other


atrocities resulted in millions of deaths
under Mao. In 1966 Mao and his allies
launched the Cultural Revolution, which
continued until Mao's death a decade
later. The Cultural Revolution, motivated
by power struggles within the Party and a
fear of the Soviet Union, led to a major
upheaval in Chinese society.
In 1972, at the peak of the Sino-Soviet
split,

Mao

and Zhou

president Richard

Enlai met

Nixon in

Beijing

US
to

establish relations with the United States.


In the same year, the PRC was admitted

to the United Nations in place of the


Republic

of

China,

with

permanent

membership of the Security Council.


A power struggle followed Mao's death in
1976. The Gang of Four were arrested
and blamed for the excesses of the
Cultural Revolution, marking the end of a
turbulent political era in China. Deng
Xiaoping outmaneuvered Mao's anointed
successor chairman Hua Guofeng, and
gradually emerged as the de facto leader
over the next few years.
Deng

Xiaoping

was

the Paramount

Leader of China from 1978 to 1992,


although he never became the head of
the party or state, and his influence within
the Party led the country to significant
economic reforms. The Communist Party
subsequently

loosened

governmental

control over citizens' personal lives and


the communes were

disbanded

with

many peasants receiving multiple land


leases,

which

greatly

increased

incentives and agricultural production.


This turn of events marked China's
transition from a planned economy to a
mixed economy with an increasingly
open market environment, a system
termed by some[38] as "market socialism",
and officially by the Communist Party of
China

as

"Socialism

with

Chinese

characteristics". The PRC adopted its


current constitution on 4 December 1982.
In 1989 the death of former general
secretary Hu Yaobang helped to spark
the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989,
during

which

campaigned

students
for

and

several

others
months,

speaking out against corruption and in


favour

of

greater

political

reform,

including democratic rights and freedom

of speech. However, they were eventually


put down on 4 June when PLA troops
and vehicles entered and forcibly cleared
the square, with many fatalities. This
event was widely reported, and brought
worldwide condemnation and sanctions
against

the

government.[39][40] A

filmed

incident involving the "tank man" was


seen worldwide.
CPC

general

President Jiang

secretary

and

PRC

Zemin and

PRC

Premier Zhu Rongji, both former mayors


of Shanghai, led post-Tiananmen PRC in
the 1990s. Under Jiang and Zhu's ten
years

of

administration,

economic

performance

the

PRC's

pulled

an

estimated 150 million peasants out of


poverty and sustained an average annual
gross domestic product growth rate of
11.2%.[41][42] The country formally joined
the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Although

the

PRC

needs

economic

growth to spur its development, the


government began to worry that rapid
economic growth was degrading the
country's resources and environment.
Another concern is that certain sectors of
society are not sufficiently benefiting from
the PRC's economic development; one
example of this is the wide gap between
urban and rural areas. As a result, under
former

CPC

President Hu

general
Jintao and

secretary

and

Premier Wen

Jiabao, the PRC initiated policies to


address issues of equitable distribution of
resources, but the outcome was not
known as of 2014.[43] More than 40 million
farmers were displaced from their land,
[44]

usually for economic development,

contributing to 87,000 demonstrations


and riots across China in 2005. [45] For

much of the PRC's population, living


standards improved very substantially
and freedom increased, but political
controls remained tight and rural areas
poor.[46]