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Ancient China for Kids

Overview
Timeline of Ancient China
Geography of Ancient China
Silk Road
The Great Wall
Forbidden City
Terracotta Army
The Grand Canal
Battle of Red Cliffs
Opium Wars
Inventions of Ancient China
Glossary and Terms

Dynasties
Major Dynasties
Xia Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
Han Dynasty
Period of Disunion
Sui Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
Song Dyanasty
Yuan Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
Qing Dynasty

Culture
Daily Life in Ancient China
Religion
Mythology
Numbers and Colors
Legend of Silk
Chinese Calendar
Festivals
Civil Service
Chinese Art
Clothing
Entertainment and Games
Literature

People
Confucius
Kangxi Emperor
Genghis Khan
Kublai Khan
Marco Polo
Puyi (The Last Emperor)
Emperor Qin
Emperor Taizong
Sun Tzu
Empress Wu
Zheng He
Emperors of China

Back to History for Kids

Ancient China was one of the oldest and longest lasting civilizations in the history of the world. The history of Ancient China can be traced back over 4,000 years. Located on the eastern part of the continent of Asia, today China is the largest country in the world.

Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China by Mark Grant


Dynasties

Throughout most of China's history it was ruled by powerful families called dynasties. The first dynasty was the Shang and the last was the Qing.

Empire

Ancient China also boasts the longest lasting empire in history. It began with the Qin dynasty and the first emperor Qin who united all of China under one rule in 221 BC. Emperors would continue to rule over China for more than 2000 years.

Government

In early times the lands were ruled by the feudal system where lords owned the lands and farmers tended the fields. In later years, the empire was run by civil service officials who ran the cities, collected taxes, and enforced the laws. Men had to pass exams to become officials.

Art, Culture, and Religion

Art, culture, and religion were often tied together. There were three main religions or philosophies including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. These ideas, called "the three ways" had a large impact on the way people lived as well as their art. Art focused on "the three perfections"; painting, poetry, and calligraphy.

Mongols

The great enemy of the Chinese was the Mongols who lived to the north. They even built a wall thousands of miles long to try and keep the Mongols from invading. The Mongols did conquer China for a time, however, and established their own dynasty called the Yuan Dynasty.

Fun Facts about Ancient China Take a ten question quiz about this page.

For more information:
Overview
Timeline of Ancient China
Geography of Ancient China
Silk Road
The Great Wall
Forbidden City
Terracotta Army
The Grand Canal
Battle of Red Cliffs
Opium Wars
Inventions of Ancient China
Glossary and Terms

Dynasties
Major Dynasties
Xia Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
Han Dynasty
Period of Disunion
Sui Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
Song Dyanasty
Yuan Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
Qing Dynasty

Culture
Daily Life in Ancient China
Religion
Mythology
Numbers and Colors
Legend of Silk
Chinese Calendar
Festivals
Civil Service
Chinese Art
Clothing
Entertainment and Games
Literature

People
Confucius
Kangxi Emperor
Genghis Khan
Kublai Khan
Marco Polo
Puyi (The Last Emperor)
Emperor Qin
Emperor Taizong
Sun Tzu
Empress Wu
Zheng He
Emperors of China
Go here to test your knowledge with a Ancient China crossword puzzle or word search.

Recommended books and references:

  • Ancient Civilizations: The Illustrated Guide to Belief, Mythology, and Art. Edited by Professor Greg Wolf. 2005.
  • Ancient China by C.P. Fitzgerald. 2006.
  • The Emperor's Silent Army: Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O'Connor. 2002.
  • China: Land of Dragons and Emperors by Adeline Yen Mah. 2009.
  • The Dynasties of China: A History by Bamber Gascoigne. 2003
  • Ancient China by Dale Anderson. 2005.
  • Treasures of China: The Glories of the Kingdom of the Dragon by John D. Chinnery. 2008.
  • You are in Ancient China by Ivan Minnis. 2005.
  • Exploring Ancient China by Elaine Landau. 2005.
  • Eyewitness Books: Ancient China by Arthur Cotterell. 2005.
  • Back to History for Kids


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