Friday, December 3, 2021

Three Kingdoms (220–280)

The Three Kingdoma began in AD 220 after the Eastern Han Dynasty and ended in AD 280 with unification under the Western Jin Dynasty. The Three Kingdoms are Wèi (founded by the son of Cáo Cāo), Wú (ruled by Sūn Quán), and Shǔ (founded by Liú Bèi).

Wei occupies the area north of the Yangtze (Chángjiāng) River, while Wu occupies the area to the southeast of the Yangtze. Shu, in turn, occupies the southwest (largely modern-day Sichuan Province).

Before the Three Kingdoms era started, the Han dynasty was stricken with a bout of civil wars. Its last emperor had become a mere puppet, and finally in 220 he ceded the throne to Cao Pi, the son of his generalissimo and protector, Cao Cao.

Thus began the Wei kingdom (220–265/266), but its effective influence was confined to northern China. Two other Han generals shortly installed themselves as emperors and took over regions of western and southern China.

These three kingdoms (Wèi, Wú, Shǔ) fought over the land and power. Each of the leaders sought to claim the imperial title for themselves. There were a series of internal conflicts within each kingdom, so they were all fighting wars, both externally and internally.

The state of Shu (220–266 CE) of the Three Kingdoms is regarded as the true heir of the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 CE). The state of Shu was the weakest of the rivals, far smaller than the empire of Wei (220–266)), which dominated the north, and inferior also to the warlord state of Wu (220–280).

In 265 CE, the Sima family took over the Northern region of China, eventually conquering the three kingdoms by 280 CE. This Western Jin Empire lasted until 314 CE, when they were overrun by foreign peoples for the North and infighting within Sima family.

The Western and Eastern Jin Dynasties together with the Southern Dynasties are referred to as the Six Dynasties.
Three Kingdoms (220–280)

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