The end of the Han dynasty was marked by the separation of the large families of that dynasty. The
families took advantage of the weakened state of the government and started to establish their own
private armies. Many dynasties were established during this time.
These three kingdoms constantly fought one another during this time. But, in 265 Yen Ssu-ma, a
general in the Wei dynasty overthrew the throne and created the Western Tsin or Chin dynasty
(265 AD - 317 AD) in Northern China. Yen had reunited North and South China, but it fell
apart when he died.
- Wei Dynasty (220 AD - 265 AD)
- Shu Dynasty (221 AD - 263 AD)
- Wu Dynasty (222 AD - 280 AD)
The Han Dyansty had fought non-Chinese tribes to the north to standstill. This warring brought the invasion
of these northern tribes when the Later Han Dynasty collapsed. The non-Chinese invasions began in 304,
and, by 317, the tribes had taken the control of the Tsin Dynasty. But, even though the Northern
Tribes had wrested control of one dynasty, they could never take all of China. The non-Chinese rule
lasted for about three centuries. This was the first time the non-Chinese controlled China. Their rule lasted until the
Northern Wei Dynasty (386 AD - 534 AD) reclaimed China in 420 AD.
During the second half of the 5th century, the Northern Wei adopted a policy of Sinification. The
agricultural part of Northern China was administered bureaucratically as it was in earlier chinese
dynasties. Even though the Chinese were conquered by foreign tribes, they still had influence on
their new rulers. Chinese clothing, customs, and language were adopted by the foreign invaders. After
tribal cheiftains had been overexerted by the official policies of SInification, they rebelled and
in 534 the dynasty fell. For the next 50 years, Northern China was ruled by non-Chinese.
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