History of China

As you can see, this is a very ambitious project, and I'm not sure how far I will get, but here goes nothing.

I must admit I haven't thought of undertaking such an ambitious project until I came across the Army Area Handbook on China converted into electronic form and made publicly accessible at the following gopher site in the University of Missouri at St. Louis:
gopher://gopher.umsl.edu:70/11/library/govdocs/armyahbs/aahb9. You can also find a copy at the Library of Congress website at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cntoc.html.

After contacting the Department of Commerce, Economics & Statistic's Division (they are responsible for converting the text into electronic form) and getting the green light to freely republish materials in the handbook, I decided to put the information in a more pleasing hypertext format with extra added bells and whistles (maps, pictures, mini bios, etc. ... O.K., still under construction :) ).

The core of the following history pages is based on the history portion of the Army Area Handbook on China. Specifically, the history section was written by Rinn-Sup Shinn and Robert L. Worden.

If you are interested in what possessed me to do this, please read my motivations. Feel free to make comments or suggestions by leaving me a note.

For an overview of Chinese History in terms of chronology, check out:

History Timeline

For the table of contents to the history pages, please visit:

The History Pages

NOTE: At the bottom of each history page is a link to a map of China, so you will have a frame of reference whenever you are in unfamiliar territory. Be forewarned though, it's big.

Some notes about the web pages. As you will notice, I have tried to add Chinese characters in the text wherever I feel is appropriate. It has always annoyed me that sometimes I couldn't figure out the characters from just reading the phonetic English translation. In addition, there are always some Chinese phrases that do not lend themselves to translation.

The sections from the Army Area Handbook are great, but there are always information about certain people or event that I would like to add. Since I don't want you to get confused about which parts are from the handbook and which parts are my contribution, I have elected to place comments like <!-- Added by Leon --> before and after my additions. I put these notes in the comments so they won't be distracting, yet people who are interested in which parts are original handbook text and which parts are my handiwork can find out with "view source".

It's amazing the amount of material that is available on internet with regards to sources of Chinese classics. Unfortunately, you often need browsers or applications that are able to view encoded Chinese text. Converting everything to Gif files would not be the optimal solution! Thus, to distinguish links to original Chinese text or English translations of it, I have opted for the following solution: if the hypertext that has a link appears in English, then clicking on the text would go to the English version, and if the link appears in Chinese, then be prepared to pull out your Chinese capable browsers! For more information, please check out Reading Chinese on the Net.

Please check out these SITES for more things related to Chinese culture.

OK, enough notes and warning, Go Browse Away!

This magnificent web page is another crackpot idea of
Leon Poon whom you can email at lpoon@chaos.umd.edu or