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Three Kingdoms Period

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In the last period of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 220 AD), the renowned Huangjin Peasants' Uprising broke out. After the government's quelling of the uprising, local warlords teemed all over the country, struggling for predominant power over the country. Two military groups under the local warlords Cao Cao and Yuan Shao in the middle reaches of the Yellow River stood out as the mightiest. After Guandu (in present Henan Province) Battle in 200AD between the two warlords, Cao Cao unified the region north of the Yellow River. Thereafter, Cao Cao began an assault of the southern regimes.

On southern land, two local warlords, Sun Quan and Liu Bei, took possession of the eastern and western areas respectively to the south of the Yangtze River. The strengths of the two warlords were comparatively weaker than that of Cao Cao in the north. Under the advice of Zhuge Liang, the military counselor of Liu Bei, the military forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan united as a firm front against Cao Cao. They overwhelmingly won victory in the Chibi Battle(Chibi: near present Puyin City of Hubei Province), after which Cao Cao was beaten back to the north.

Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms Period
Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms Period
Wuhouci Temple in Hanzhong, Shaanxi
Wuhouci Temple in Hanzhong, Shaanxi

Taking advantage of this opportunity, Liu Bei occupied present Chengdu City (the ancient 'Shu'), ruling the Kingdom of Shu (221 - 263); Sun Quan seized the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, ruling the Kingdom of Wu (229 - 280), whose capital was at Jianye (the present Nanjing City). In the north, Cao Cao's son Cao Pi abandoned the last emperor of the Eastern Han Dynasty and crowned himself the emperor of the Kingdom of Wei (220 - 265), making Xuchang (in present Henan Province) his capital. As a consequence, confrontation between the three kingdoms commenced, and China's golden age of chivalry in history began.

The kingdom of Shu lasted 43 years, while the Kingdom of Wei lasted for 46 years. Finally, in 263, Wei conquered Shu. In 265, Sima Yan, a top official of the kingdom of Wei, usurped the power and established his regime-Jin Dynasty (265 - 420). Thereafter, Jin overthrew the last surviving kingdom, Wu Kingdom, in 280 and at last brought an end to the Three Kingdoms Period.

 Great Achievements 
Because of the chaos caused by war, economic development during the Three Kingdoms Period deteriorated. Luckily, there were several remarkable technological advances as the appendants of the war, such as the invention of gunpowder (used in fireworks and later as a weapon for attack by fire). Catering to the needs of war, technologies for metal-smelting and shipbuilding were greatly improved. Advances in other social aspects also could be noted: the improved mill wheel was used in agricultural irrigation, and irrigation projects were built during the reign of Cao Cao (220 - 265). During the same period, there were many special silk developments in Luoyang and Xiangyi (the present Sui County in Henan Province), and the Wu's silk products and the Shu's Shu Brocade sold well.

 Go to the Jin Dynasty

Questions & Answers on Three Kingdoms Period
  • i want the map including towns,province,regions of china in The Three Kingdoms age
    i want to know how far xuchang and chan'an are,where is dong wu,where is xia pi and many many... so on..
    so in other words i want a exact,correct map.
    i cant find anywhere
    please guide a site or link for me

    Asked By shawn (myanmar) | Jul. 31, 2014 18:21
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