For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty.Since then, China has expanded, fractured, and re-unified numerous times.At its end, Wei was swiftly overthrown by the Jin dynasty.The Jin fell to civil war upon the ascension of a developmentally-disabled emperor; the Five Barbarians then invaded and ruled northern China as the Sixteen States.Despite the Han's initial decentralization and the official abandonment of the Qin philosophy of Legalism in favor of Confucianism, Qin's legalist institutions and policies continued to be employed by the Han government and its successors.whose central figures were later immortalized in one of the Four Classics of Chinese literature.The Song Dynasty ended the separatist situation in 960, leading to a balance of power between the Song and Khitan Liao.The Song was the first government in world history to issue paper money and the first Chinese polity to establish a permanent standing navy which was supported by the developed shipbuilding industry along with the sea trade.
The Communist Party established the People's Republic of China in Beijing on 21 September 1949, while the ROC government retreated to Taiwan with its present de facto capital in Taipei.
King Zheng of Qin proclaimed himself the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty.
He enacted Qin's legalist reforms throughout China, notably the forced standardization of Chinese characters, measurements, road widths (i.e., cart axles' length), and currency.
Many independent states eventually emerged from the weakened Zhou state and continually waged war with each other in the 300-year Spring and Autumn period, only occasionally deferring to the Zhou king.
By the time of the Warring States period of the 5th–3rd centuries after the state of Qin conquered the other six kingdoms and established the first unified Chinese state.