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China, a History


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Bee Cha
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« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2007, 01:01:27 am »

Shang Yang's reforms in Qin

Around 359 BC, Shang Yang (商鞅), a minister of the State of Qin, initiated a series of reforms that transformed Qin from a backward state into one that surpasses the other six states. It is generally regarded that this is the point where Qin started to become the most dominant state in China.


Ascension of the Kingdoms

In 334 BC, the rulers of Wei and Qi agreed to recognize each other as Kings (王), formalizing the independence of the states and the powerlessness of the Zhou throne since the beginning of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. The King of Wei and the King of Qi joined the ranks of the King of Chu, whose predecessors had been Kings since the Spring and Autumn Period. From this point on, all the other states eventually declare their Kingship, signifying the beginning of the end of the Zhou Dynasty.

In 325 BC, the ruler of Qin declared himself as King.

In 323 BC, the rulers of Han and Yan declared themselves as King.

In 318 BC, the ruler of Song, a relatively minor state, declared himself as King.

The ruler of Zhao held out until around 299 BC, and was the last to declare himself as King.

Chu expansion and defeats

Early in the Warring States Period, Chu was one of the strongest states in China. The state rose to a new level of power around 389 BC when the King of Chu named the famous reformer Wu Qi (吳起) to be his prime minister.

Chu rose to its peak in 334 BC when it gained vast amounts of territory. The series of events leading up to this began when Yue (越) prepared to attack Qi. The King of Qi sent an emissary who persuaded the King of Yue to attack Chu instead. Yue initiated a large scale attack at Chu, but was devastatingly defeated by Chu's counter-attack. Chu then proceeded to conquer the State of Yue. This campaign expanded the Chu's borders to the coasts of the Pacific Ocean.

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