I have used Chinese and Western sources to compile the following table of Chinese dynasties and governments, covering the legendary Xia to the end of the Manchu period (Qing) in 1911. More information in English may be sought in Jacques Gernet
's History of Chinese Civilization
Note that I have grouped dynasties and governments in the large into six large periods. Dynasties appearing in boldface are of particular importance in literature.
The "Pre-Han" (Chinese: "Pre-Qin") or "Three Dynasties"
State of Song
State of Yue
State of Wu
State of Lu
State of Zheng
State of Cao
State of Chen
State of Cai
- 221 - 206 B.C.E. Qin
capital: Xianyang (near Xi'an)
- B.C.E. 206 - 221 C.E. Han
- Western Han B.C.E. 206 - 8 C.E.
capital: Chang'an (modern Xi'an)
- Xin (interregnum of Wang Mang) 8 - 25 C.E.
- Eastern Han 25 - 221
(Disunion) The "Six Dynasties period"
North China: 16 Kingdoms of the 5 Barbarians
420 - 581 Northern and Southern Dynasties period
- 221 - 265 Three Kingdoms period
- 265 - 420 Jin period
- 581 - 618 Sui
capital: Chang'an, later Luoyang, later jointly Yangzhou
- 618 - 907 Tang
capital: Chang'an, later Luoyang
- 1279 - 1368 Yuan (Mongol)
capital: modern Beijing
- 1368 - 1644 Ming
capital: modern Nanjing, later Beijing
- 1644 - 1911 Qing (Manchu)