Chinese Imperial Wars (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Spread of Han Chinese culture. Result: China emerged as the principal power in eastern Asia, and Chinese culture was spread throughout the entire region.
The Chinese Empire has waxed and waned throughout its long history, and China’s ruling dynasties both gained and lost power through military actions. In 221 b.c.e., King Zheng (later Qin Shihuangdi) established the Qin Dynasty. His tomb is notable for the seven thousand life-size terra-cotta soldiers that were discovered buried outside the mound in 1974.
Rebellions quickly overtook the Qin Empire, and in 206 b.c.e., Lu Bang (later Gaozu), a one-time peasant, became the first emperor of the Former, or Western, Han Dynasty. Threatened in the north by the Xiongnu, a steppe people from Mongolia, Gaozu, after suffering military defeat, resorted to diplomacy by marrying a Chinese princess to the Xiongnu ruler, a tactic adopted by later emperors. Military action resumed against the Xiongnu under Han Wudi (r. 141-87 b.c.e.), and Chinese armies also pushed into the Korean peninsula.
After a brief interval, in 25 c.e., the Eastern, or Later, Han Dynasty gained power. The first of the Eastern Han emperors, Guang Wudi, defeated his rivals, and Chinese armies also invaded Vietnam. However, attacks by steppe nomads as well as peasant uprisings, such as the Yellow Turbans and Five Pecks of...
(The entire section is 1134 words.)
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