- from Ancient China
China is very old. Its written history goes back 3,500 years.
In 221 B.C., when European kingdoms and states were still fighting among themselves, one of China’s first great rulers united warring states to form a great empire. For over 2,000 years—from 221 B.C. until A.D. 1912—the empire developed under the watchful eyes of more than a dozen ruling families, called dynasties. In 1912, the long-lasting empire collapsed as the last emperor stepped down.
During the time of the empire, the people of China accomplished a great deal. They invented printing, gunpowder, fireworks, the compass, and kites. Chinese workers built the world’s longest wall and its longest canal. From studying the eating habits of tiny caterpillars, the Chinese discovered the secrets of silk-making. From a soggy mixture of old rags, bark, and bamboo, they created paper. The list of Chinese achievements is long.
Let’s find out more about these people and their empire.