Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
Five Dynasties Ten Kingdoms 923 CE.png
The Later Liang (yellow) and contemporary kingdoms
Traditional Chinese五代十國
Simplified Chinese五代十国
History of China
History of China
Neolithic c. 8500 – c. 2070 BC
Xia c. 2070 – c. 1600 BC
Shang c. 1600 – c. 1046 BC
Zhou c. 1046 – 256 BC
 Western Zhou
 Eastern Zhou
   Spring and Autumn
   Warring States
Qin 221–207 BC
Han 202 BC – 220 AD
  Western Han
  Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220–280
  Wei, Shu and Wu
Jin 266–420
  Western Jin
  Eastern JinSixteen Kingdoms
Northern and Southern dynasties
Sui 581–618
Tang 618–907
  (Wu Zhou 690–705)
Five Dynasties and
Ten Kingdoms

Liao 916–1125
Song 960–1279
  Northern SongWestern Xia
  Southern SongJin
Yuan 1271–1368
Ming 1368–1644
Qing 1636–1912
Republic of China 1912–1949
People's Republic of China 1949–present

The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–979) was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concurrent states were established elsewhere, mainly in South China. It was the last prolonged period of multiple political division in Chinese imperial history.[1]

Traditionally, the era started with the fall of the Tang dynasty in 907 AD and reached its climax with the founding of the dominant Song dynasty in 960. In the remaining 19 years Song gradually subdued all the remaining states.

Many states had been de facto independent kingdoms long before 907, as Tang dynasty's ability to control its vassals gradually waned, but have now been recognized as such by foreign powers. After the Tang had collapsed, the kings who controlled the Central Plain crowned themselves as emperors. During the 70-year-long period, there was near constant warfare between all the emerged kingdoms and alliances they formed. All of them had the control of the Central Plain as their ultimate goal as that would have granted them the legitimacy over all their territories and rest of China as the legitimate successor to Tang.

The last of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms states, the Northern Han, held out until 979, when Song had officially conquered it, thereby reclaiming all of the territory of the former Tang dynasty.