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Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period

Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period

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Encyclopedia
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms was between 907–960/979 AD and an era of political upheaval in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, between the fall of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 and the founding of the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

. During this period, five dynasties quickly succeeded one another in the north, and more than 12 independent states were established, mainly in the south. However, only ten are traditionally listed, hence the era's name, "Ten Kingdoms." Some historians, such as Bo Yang
Bo Yang
This article is about the Chinese writer. His name in Western languages is homonymic with Bó Yáng .Boyang , also sometimes called Baiyang, was a Chinese language writer based in Taiwan...

, count 11, including Yan
Yan (Ten Kingdoms)
Yan was a very short lived kingdom in the vicinity of present-day Beijing at the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, which is traditionally dated as being from 907 to 960...

 and Qi
Qi (Five Dynasties)
Qi was a Chinese kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. The kingdom, at its prime, covered parts of modern-day Gansu, Shaanxi, and Sichuan provinces, but eventually shrank to only the immediate area around its capital Fengxiang in Shaanxi. Its only ruler was Li...

, but not Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

, viewing it as simply a continuation of Later Han. This era also led to the founding of the Liao Dynasty
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

.


The Five Dynasties:
  • Later Liang Dynasty
    Later Liang Dynasty
    The Later Liang was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Zhu Wen, posthumously known as Taizu of Later Liang, after he forced the last emperor of the Tang dynasty to abdicate in his favour...

     (June 1, 907–923)
  • Later Tang Dynasty
    Later Tang Dynasty
    The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

     (923–936)
  • Later Jin Dynasty
    Later Jin Dynasty (Five Dynasties)
    Note that there are four periods of Chinese history using the name "Jin" The Later Jìn was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Shi Jingtang, posthumously known as Gaozu of Later Jin...

     (936–947)
  • Later Han Dynasty
    Later Han Dynasty (Five Dynasties)
    The Later Han Dynasty was founded in 947. It was the fourth of the Five Dynasties and the third consecutive Shatuo Turk dynasty...

     (947–951 or 979, depending on whether Northern Han is considered part of the dynasty)
  • Later Zhou Dynasty
    Later Zhou Dynasty
    The Later Zhou Dynasty was the last a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty.-Founding of the Dynasty:Guo Wei, a Han...

     (951–960)


The Ten Kingdoms: Wu
Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

 (907-937), Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 (907-978), Min
Min (Ten Kingdoms)
Min was one of the Ten Kingdoms which was in existence between the years of 909 and 945. It existed in a mountainous region of modern day Fujian province of China and had a history of quasi-independent rule. Its capital was Fuzhou 福州. It was founded by Wang Shenzhi .-Founding:Wang Shenzhi’s older...

 (909-945), Chu
Chu (Ten Kingdoms)
Chǔ was a kingdom in southern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period . It existed from 907 to 951.-Founding:Ma Yin was named regional governor by the Tang court in 896 after fighting against a rebel named Yang Xingmi. He declared himself as the Prince of Chu with the fall of the...

 (907-951), Southern Han
Southern Han
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

 (917-971), Former Shu
Former Shu
Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty...

 (907-925), Later Shu
Later Shu
Later Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China from 907 to 960. It was located in present-day Sichuan with its capital in Chengdu.-Founding:...

 (934-965), Jingnan
Jingnan
Jingnan was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period Jingnan (荆南) (also called Nanping (南平)) was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and...

 (924-963), Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 (937-975), Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

 (951-979).

Other regimes: Yan, Qi
Qi (Five Dynasties)
Qi was a Chinese kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. The kingdom, at its prime, covered parts of modern-day Gansu, Shaanxi, and Sichuan provinces, but eventually shrank to only the immediate area around its capital Fengxiang in Shaanxi. Its only ruler was Li...

, Zhao
Zhao (Five Dynasties)
Zhao was a state early in the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, located in modern central Hebei. The ancestors of its only prince, Wang Rong, had long, during the Tang Dynasty, governed the region as military governors of Tang's Chengde Circuit , and after Tang's end in 907, the...

, Yiwu Jiedushi, Dingnan Jiedushi
Dingnan Jiedushi
The "Jiedushi of Dingnan" was Li Jiqian of 10th and 11th century China. He was awarded the position of military governor of Dingnan, and King of Xiping by Emperor Zhenzong of Song China...

, Wuping Jiedushi, Qingyuan Jiedushi
Qingyuan Jiedushi
Qingyuan Jiedushi was the official title of Chen Hong , the military commissioner of the Pinghai military prefecture...

, Yin
Yin (Ten Kingdoms)
The Yin was a short-lived kingdom during China’s Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the time between the fall of the Tang Dynasty and the foundation of the Song Dynasty.-Rebellion from Min:...

, Ganzhou
Zhangye
-Administration:Zhangye has 1 urban district, 4 counties, 1 autonomous county, 97 towns, and 977 villages.-Demographics:Zhangye has a total population of 1,260,000, only 260,000 being urban residents...

, Shazhou
Dunhuang
Dunhuang is a city in northwestern Gansu province, Western China. It was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road. It was also known at times as Shāzhōu , or 'City of Sands', a name still used today...

, Liangzhou.

Background


Towards the end of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, the imperial government granted increased powers to the jiedushi
Jiedushi
The Jiedushi were regional military governors in China during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given enormous power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes, and pass their...

, the regional military governors. The Huang Chao Rebellion
Huang Chao
Huang Chao was the leader of the Huang Chao Rebellion , known in mainland China as the Huang Chao Revolution in China that seriously weakened the once mighty Tang Dynasty of China...

 weakened the imperial government's authority, and by the early 10th century the jiedushi, who commanded de facto independence, were not subject to the authority of the imperial government. Thus, the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms ensued.

The following were important jiedushi:

North China
  • Zhu Wen at Bianzhou (modern Kaifeng
    Kaifeng
    Kaifeng , known previously by several names , is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, Central China. Nearly 5 million people live in the metropolitan area...

    , Henan
    Henan
    Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

     province), precursor to Later Liang Dynasty
    Later Liang Dynasty
    The Later Liang was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Zhu Wen, posthumously known as Taizu of Later Liang, after he forced the last emperor of the Tang dynasty to abdicate in his favour...

  • Li Keyong
    Li Keyong
    Li Keyong was a Shatuo military governor during the late Tang Dynasty and was key to developing a base of power for the Shatuo in what is today Shanxi Province in China...

     and Li Cunxu
    Li Cunxu
    Emperor Zhuangzong of Later Tang , personal name Li Cunxu , nickname Yazi , was the Prince of Jin and later became Emperor of Later Tang...

     at Taiyuan
    Taiyuan
    Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

     (modern Taiyuan, Shanxi
    Shanxi
    ' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

     province), precursor to Later Tang Dynasty
    Later Tang Dynasty
    The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

  • Liu Rengong
    Liu Rengong
    Liu Rengong was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who controlled Lulong Circuit from 895 to 907...

     and Liu Shouguang at Youzhou (modern Beijing
    Beijing
    Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

    ), precursor to Yan
  • Li Maozhen
    Li Maozhen
    Li Maozhen , né Song Wentong , courtesy name Zhengchen , formally Prince Zhongjing of Qin , was the only ruler of the Chinese Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Qi...

     at Fengxiang (modern Fengxiang County
    Fengxiang County
    Fengxiang County is a county administered by Baoji City, western Shaanxi Province, People’s Republic of China. The county covers an area of and as of 2004 had a population of 510,000...

    , Shaanxi
    Shaanxi
    ' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

     province), precursor to Qi
    Qi (Five Dynasties)
    Qi was a Chinese kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. The kingdom, at its prime, covered parts of modern-day Gansu, Shaanxi, and Sichuan provinces, but eventually shrank to only the immediate area around its capital Fengxiang in Shaanxi. Its only ruler was Li...

  • Luo Shaowei at Weibo (modern Daming County
    Daming County
    Daming County is a county of Hebei, China. It is under the administration of Handan city.-Administrative Divisions:Daming County has 6 towns and 14 townships.Towns:...

    , Hebei
    Hebei
    ' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

     province)
  • Wang Rong
    Wang Rong
    Wang Rong , style name Junchong , was a politician of the Jin Dynasty period of Chinese history.Wang Rong served under Jin as the 3rd East General. Wang Rong participated during the final conquest of Eastern Wu, where he led his army as far as to that of Wuchang...

     at Zhenzhou (modern Zhengding County, Hebei
    Hebei
    ' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

     province)
  • Wang Chuzhi at Dingzhou (modern Ding County, Hebei
    Hebei
    ' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

     province)

South China
  • Yang Xingmi
    Yang Xingmi
    Yang Xingmi , né Yang Xingmin , courtesy name Huayuan , formally Prince Wuzhong of Wu , later posthumously honored King Xiaowu of Wu then Emperor Wu of Wu with the temple name of Taizu , was a military governor of...

     at Yangzhou
    Yangzhou
    Yangzhou is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the northeast, Taizhou to the east, and Zhenjiang across...

     (modern Yangzhou
    Yangzhou
    Yangzhou is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the northeast, Taizhou to the east, and Zhenjiang across...

    , Jiangsu
    Jiangsu
    ' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

     province), precursor to Wu
    Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
    Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

  • Qian Liu
    Qian Liu
    Qian Liu , courtesy name Jumei , nickname Poliu , formally King Wusu of Wuyue with the temple name of Taizu , was founder and first king of the Kingdom of Wuyue during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, ruling over roughly modern Zhejiang on the east coast of China.- Background :Qian...

     at Hangzhou
    Hangzhou
    Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

     (modern Hangzhou
    Hangzhou
    Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

    , Zhejiang
    Zhejiang
    Zhejiang is an eastern coastal province of the People's Republic of China. The word Zhejiang was the old name of the Qiantang River, which passes through Hangzhou, the provincial capital...

     province), precursor to Wuyue
    Wuyue
    Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

  • Ma Yin
    Ma Yin
    Ma Yin , courtesy name Batu , formally King Wumu of Chu , was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who became the first ruler of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Chu and the only one who carried the title of "king." He initially took control of the Changsha region in...

     at Tanzhou (modern Changsha, Hunan
    Hunan
    ' is a province of South-Central China, located to the south of the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting...

     province), precursor to Chu
    Chu (Ten Kingdoms)
    Chǔ was a kingdom in southern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period . It existed from 907 to 951.-Founding:Ma Yin was named regional governor by the Tang court in 896 after fighting against a rebel named Yang Xingmi. He declared himself as the Prince of Chu with the fall of the...

  • Wang Shenzhi
    Wang Shenzhi
    Wang Shenzhi , courtesy name Xintong or Xiangqing , formally Prince Zhongyi of Min and later further posthumously honored as Emperor Taizu of Min , was the founder of Min on the southeast coast of China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period of Chinese history...

     at Fuzhou
    Fuzhou
    Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area....

     (modern Fuzhou, Fujian
    Fujian
    ' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

     province), precursor to Min
    Min (Ten Kingdoms)
    Min was one of the Ten Kingdoms which was in existence between the years of 909 and 945. It existed in a mountainous region of modern day Fujian province of China and had a history of quasi-independent rule. Its capital was Fuzhou 福州. It was founded by Wang Shenzhi .-Founding:Wang Shenzhi’s older...

  • Liu Yin
    Liu Yin (Southern Han)
    Liu Yin , formally Prince Xiang of Nanhai , later further posthumously honored Emperor Xiang with the temple name of Liezong by his younger brother Liu Yan, was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Tang's succeeding dynasty Later Liang Dynasty of the Five Dynasties and Ten...

     at Guangzhou
    Guangzhou
    Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

     (modern Guangzhou, Guangdong
    Guangdong
    Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

     province), precursor to Southern Han
    Southern Han
    Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

  • Wang Jian at Chengdu
    Chengdu
    Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

     (modern Chengdu, Sichuan
    Sichuan
    ' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

     province), precursor to Former Shu
    Former Shu
    Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty...





Later Liang Dynasty


During the Liang Dynasty, the warlord Zhu Wen held the most power in northern China. Although he was originally a member of Huang Chao
Huang Chao
Huang Chao was the leader of the Huang Chao Rebellion , known in mainland China as the Huang Chao Revolution in China that seriously weakened the once mighty Tang Dynasty of China...

's rebel army, he took on a crucial role in suppressing the Huang Chao Rebellion. For this function, he was awarded the Xuanwu Jiedushi title. Within a few years, he had consolidated his power by destroying neighbours and forcing the move of the imperial capital to Luoyang
Luoyang
Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.Situated on the central plain of...

 (in modern Henan
Henan
Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

 province), which was within his region of influence. In 904, he executed Emperor Zhaozong and made his 13-year-old son a subordinate ruler. Three years later, he induced the boy emperor to abdicate in his favour. He then proclaimed himself emperor, thus beginning the Later Liang Dynasty
Later Liang Dynasty
The Later Liang was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Zhu Wen, posthumously known as Taizu of Later Liang, after he forced the last emperor of the Tang dynasty to abdicate in his favour...

.


Later Tang Dynasty


During the Tang Dynasty, rival warlords declared independence in their governing provinces — not all of whom recognized the emperor's authority. Li Cunxu
Li Cunxu
Emperor Zhuangzong of Later Tang , personal name Li Cunxu , nickname Yazi , was the Prince of Jin and later became Emperor of Later Tang...

 and Liu Shouguang (劉守光) fiercely fought the regime forces to conquer northern China; Li Cunxu
Li Cunxu
Emperor Zhuangzong of Later Tang , personal name Li Cunxu , nickname Yazi , was the Prince of Jin and later became Emperor of Later Tang...

 succeeded. He defeated Liu Shouguang (who had proclaimed a Yan Empire in 911) in 915, and declared himself emperor in 923; within a few months, he brought down the Later Liang regime. Thus began the Later Tang Dynasty
Later Tang Dynasty
The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

 — the first in a long line of conquest dynasties. After reuniting much of northern China, Cunxu conquered Former Shu
Former Shu
Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty...

 in 925, a regime that had been set up in Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

. Like in Golden flower

Later Jin Dynasty


The Later Tang Dynasty had a few years of relative calm, followed by unrest. In 934, Sichuan again asserted independence. In 936, Shi Jingtang
Gaozu of Later Jin
Shi Jingtang was the founder of the Later Jin Dynasty , the third of the Five Dynasties that controlled much of northern China from 907 to 960. The Later Jin Dynasty was the second of three successive Shatuo Turk dynasties that made up the middle three of the Five Dynasties.-Background and early...

, a Shatuo Turk jiedushi
Jiedushi
The Jiedushi were regional military governors in China during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given enormous power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes, and pass their...

 from Taiyuan
Taiyuan
Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

, was aided by the Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

n Khitan Empire in a rebellion against the dynasty. In return for their aid, Shi Jingtang promised annual tribute and 16 prefectures in the Youyun area (modern northern Hebei
Hebei
' is a province of the People's Republic of China in the North China region. Its one-character abbreviation is "" , named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province that included what is now southern Hebei...

 province and Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

) to the Khitans. The rebellion succeeded; Shi Jingtang became emperor in this same year.

Not long after the Jin Dynasty's founding, the Khitans regarded the emperor as a proxy ruler for China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

. In 943, they declared war on this kingdom, and within three years seized the capital, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Kaifeng , known previously by several names , is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan province, Central China. Nearly 5 million people live in the metropolitan area...

—thus marking the end of Later Jin Dynasty. But, although they had conquered vast regions of China, they were unable or unwilling to control those regions and retreated from them early in the next year.

Later Han Dynasty




To fill the power vacuum, the jiedushi
Jiedushi
The Jiedushi were regional military governors in China during the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Originally set up to counter external threats, the jiedushi were given enormous power, including the ability to maintain their own armies, collect taxes, and pass their...

Liu Zhiyuan entered the imperial capital in 947, and proclaimed the advent of the Later Han Dynasty
Later Han Dynasty (Five Dynasties)
The Later Han Dynasty was founded in 947. It was the fourth of the Five Dynasties and the third consecutive Shatuo Turk dynasty...

, establishing a third successive Shatuo Turk dynasty. This was the shortest of the five dynasties; following a coup in 951, General Guo Wei
Emperor Taizu of Later Zhou
Emperor Taizu of the Later Zhou Dynasty 後周太祖 was born as Guo Wei 郭威. He was a well-educated Chinese who served the Later Han Dynasty as Assistant Military Commissioner. He founded the Later Zhou Dynasty in 951.-Service under the Later Han:...

, a Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

, was enthroned, thus beginning the Later Zhou Dynasty
Later Zhou Dynasty
The Later Zhou Dynasty was the last a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty.-Founding of the Dynasty:Guo Wei, a Han...

. However, Liu Chong, a member of the Later Han imperial family, established a rival Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

 regime in Taiyuan
Taiyuan
Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

, and requested Khitan aid to defeat Later Han.

Later Zhou Dynasty



After the death of Guo Wei
Emperor Taizu of Later Zhou
Emperor Taizu of the Later Zhou Dynasty 後周太祖 was born as Guo Wei 郭威. He was a well-educated Chinese who served the Later Han Dynasty as Assistant Military Commissioner. He founded the Later Zhou Dynasty in 951.-Service under the Later Han:...

 in 951, his adopted son Chai Rong succeeded the throne and began a policy of expansion and reunification. In 954, his army defeated combined Khitan and Northern Han forces, ending their ambition of toppling the Later Zhou dynasty. Between 956 and 958, forces of Later Zhou conquered much of Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

, the most powerful regime in southern China, which ceded all the territory north of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

 in defeat. In 959, Chai Rong attacked the Khitan Empire in an attempt to recover territories ceded during the Later Jin Dynasty. After many victories, he succumbed to illness.

In 960, the general Zhao Kuangyin staged a coup and took the throne for himself, founding the Northern Song Dynasty. This is the official end of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. During the next two decades, Zhao Kuangyin and his successor Zhao Kuangyi defeated the other remaining regimes in China proper
China proper
China proper or Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Western writers on the Qing Dynasty to express a distinction between the core and frontier regions of China. There is no fixed extent for China proper, as many administrative, cultural, and linguistic shifts have occurred in Chinese history...

, conquering Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

 in 979, and reunifying China completely in 982.

Northern Han



Though considered one of the ten kingdoms, the Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

 was based in the traditional Shatuo Turk stronghold of Shanxi
Shanxi
' is a province in Northern China. Its one-character abbreviation is "晋" , after the state of Jin that existed here during the Spring and Autumn Period....

. It was created after the last of three dynasties created by Shatuo Turks fell to the Han-governed Later Zhou Dynasty
Later Zhou Dynasty
The Later Zhou Dynasty was the last a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty.-Founding of the Dynasty:Guo Wei, a Han...

 in 951. With the protection of the powerful Khitan
Khitan people
thumb|250px|Khitans [[Eagle hunting|using eagles to hunt]], painted during the Chinese [[Song Dynasty]].The Khitan people , or Khitai, Kitan, or Kidan, were a nomadic Mongolic people, originally located at Mongolia and Manchuria from the 4th century...

 Liao empire
Liao Dynasty
The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

, the Northern Han maintained nominal independence until the Song Dynasty wrested it from the Khitan in 979.

Southern China: The Ten Kingdoms


Unlike the dynasties of northern China, which succeeded one other in rapid succession, the regimes of southern China were generally concurrent, each controlling a specific geographical area. These were known as "The Ten Kingdoms".

Wu


The Kingdom of Wu
Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

 (902–937) was established in modern-day Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

, Anhui
Anhui
Anhui is a province in the People's Republic of China. Located in eastern China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny...

, and Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

 provinces. It was founded by Yang Xingmi
Yang Xingmi
Yang Xingmi , né Yang Xingmin , courtesy name Huayuan , formally Prince Wuzhong of Wu , later posthumously honored King Xiaowu of Wu then Emperor Wu of Wu with the temple name of Taizu , was a military governor of...

, who became a Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 military governor in 892. The capital was initially at Guangling (present-day Yangzhou
Yangzhou
Yangzhou is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the northeast, Taizhou to the east, and Zhenjiang across...

) and later moved to Jinling (present-day Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

). The kingdom fell in 937 when it was taken from within by the founder of the Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

.

Wuyue


The Kingdom of Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 was the longest-lived (907–978) and among the most powerful of the southern states. Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 was known for its learning and culture. It was founded by Qian Liu
Qian Liu
Qian Liu , courtesy name Jumei , nickname Poliu , formally King Wusu of Wuyue with the temple name of Taizu , was founder and first king of the Kingdom of Wuyue during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, ruling over roughly modern Zhejiang on the east coast of China.- Background :Qian...

, who set up his capital at Xifu (modern-day Hangzhou
Hangzhou
Hangzhou , formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Governed as a sub-provincial city, and as of 2010, its entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people...

). It was based mostly in modern Zhejiang province but also held parts of southern Jiangsu
Jiangsu
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located along the east coast of the country. The name comes from jiang, short for the city of Jiangning , and su, for the city of Suzhou. The abbreviation for this province is "苏" , the second character of its name...

. Qian Liu
Qian Liu
Qian Liu , courtesy name Jumei , nickname Poliu , formally King Wusu of Wuyue with the temple name of Taizu , was founder and first king of the Kingdom of Wuyue during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, ruling over roughly modern Zhejiang on the east coast of China.- Background :Qian...

 was named the Prince of Yue by the Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 emperor in 902; the Prince of Wu was added in 904. After the fall of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 in 907, he declared himself king of Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

. Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 survived until the eighteenth year of the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

, when Qian Shu surrendered to the expanding dynasty.

Min


The Kingdom of Min
Min
Min may refer to:*Min , an Egyptian fertility god*Min , a modern working copy of an Ancient Egyptian ship of Hatshepsut's time*Min , a South Korean celebrity most popularly known as a member of miss A*Min *Min River...

 (909–945) was founded by Wang Shenzhi, who named himself the Prince of Min with its capital at Changle (present-day Fuzhou
Fuzhou
Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area....

). One of Shenzhi’s sons proclaimed the independent state of Yin in the northeast of Min
Min
Min may refer to:*Min , an Egyptian fertility god*Min , a modern working copy of an Ancient Egyptian ship of Hatshepsut's time*Min , a South Korean celebrity most popularly known as a member of miss A*Min *Min River...

 territory. The Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 took that territory after the Min
Min
Min may refer to:*Min , an Egyptian fertility god*Min , a modern working copy of an Ancient Egyptian ship of Hatshepsut's time*Min , a South Korean celebrity most popularly known as a member of miss A*Min *Min River...

 asked for help. Despite declaring loyalty to the neighboring Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

, the Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 finished its conquest of Min in 945.

Southern Han


The Southern Han
Southern Han
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

 (917–971) was founded in Guangzhou
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 (also known as Canton) by Liu Yan
Liu Yan (Southern Han)
Liu Yan was King of Nanhan, China and later declared himself the emperor of the Southern Han Kingdom during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China.-Rise to power:...

. His brother, Liu Yin
Liu Yin (Southern Han)
Liu Yin , formally Prince Xiang of Nanhai , later further posthumously honored Emperor Xiang with the temple name of Liezong by his younger brother Liu Yan, was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Tang's succeeding dynasty Later Liang Dynasty of the Five Dynasties and Ten...

, was named regional governor by the Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 court. The kingdom included Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 and most of Guangxi
Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

.

Chu


The Chu
Chu (Ten Kingdoms)
Chǔ was a kingdom in southern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period . It existed from 907 to 951.-Founding:Ma Yin was named regional governor by the Tang court in 896 after fighting against a rebel named Yang Xingmi. He declared himself as the Prince of Chu with the fall of the...

 (927–951) was founded by Ma Yin
Ma Yin
Ma Yin , courtesy name Batu , formally King Wumu of Chu , was a warlord late in the Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty who became the first ruler of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period state Chu and the only one who carried the title of "king." He initially took control of the Changsha region in...

 with the capital at Changsha. The kingdom held Hunan and northeastern Guangxi
Guangxi
Guangxi, formerly romanized Kwangsi, is a province of southern China along its border with Vietnam. In 1958, it became the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, a region with special privileges created specifically for the Zhuang people.Guangxi's location, in...

. Ma was named regional military governor by the Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 court in 896, and named himself the Prince of Chu with the fall of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 in 907. This status as the Prince of Chu was confirmed by the Later Tang Dynasty
Later Tang Dynasty
The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

 in 927. The Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 absorbed the state in 951 and moved the royal family to its capital in Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

, although Southern Tang rule of the region was temporary, as the next year former Chu military officers under the leadership of Liu Yan seized the territory. In the waning years of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, the region was ruled by Zhou Xingfeng.

Northern Han


The Northern Han
Northern Han
The Northern Han kingdom is a state of the Ten Kingdoms in the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. It was founded by Liu Min , formerly known as Liu Chong , and lasted from 951 – 979.-Founding of the Northern Han:...

 was founded by Liu Min (劉旻), formerly known as Liu Chong (劉崇), and lasted from 951 to 979.
It has the capital at Taiyuan
Taiyuan
Taiyuan is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6959 km² whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km². The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River...

.

Jingnan (also known as Nanping)


The smallest of the southern states, Jingnan
Jingnan
Jingnan was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period Jingnan (荆南) (also called Nanping (南平)) was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and...

 (924–963), was founded by Gao Jichang. It was based in Jiangling and held two other districts southwest of present-day Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

 in Hubei
Hubei
' Hupeh) is a province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting...

. Gao was in the service of the Later Liang Dynasty
Later Liang Dynasty
The Later Liang was one of the Five Dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China. It was founded by Zhu Wen, posthumously known as Taizu of Later Liang, after he forced the last emperor of the Tang dynasty to abdicate in his favour...

 (the successor of the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 in northern China). Gao’s successors claimed the title of King of Nanping after the fall of the Later Liang in 924. It was a small and weak kingdom, and thus tried to maintain good relations with each of the Five Dynasties. The kingdom fell to advancing armies of the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 in 963.

Former Shu


The Kingdom of Shu
Former Shu
Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty...

 (907–925) was founded after the fall of the Tang Dynasty by Wang Jian, who held his court in Chengdu
Chengdu
Chengdu , formerly transliterated Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It holds sub-provincial administrative status...

. The kingdom held most of present-day Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

, western Hubei
Hubei
' Hupeh) is a province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting...

, and parts of southern Gansu
Gansu
' is a province located in the northwest of the People's Republic of China.It lies between the Tibetan and Huangtu plateaus, and borders Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, and Ningxia to the north, Xinjiang and Qinghai to the west, Sichuan to the south, and Shaanxi to the east...

 and Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

. Wang was named military governor of western Sichuan by the Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 court in 891. The kingdom fell when his incompetent son surrendered in the face of an advance by the Later Tang Dynasty
Later Tang Dynasty
The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

 in 925.

Later Shu


The Later Shu
Later Shu
Later Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China from 907 to 960. It was located in present-day Sichuan with its capital in Chengdu.-Founding:...

 (935–965) is essentially a resurrection of the previous Shu state that had fallen a decade earlier to the Later Tang Dynasty
Later Tang Dynasty
The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

. Because the Later Tang
Later Tang Dynasty
The Later Tang Dynasty was a short-lived dynasty that lasted from 923 to 937 one of the five dynasties during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was also the first in a series of three dynasties ruled by the Shatuo Turks...

 was in decline, Meng Zhixiang found the opportunity to reassert Shu’s independence. Like the Former Shu
Former Shu
Great Shu called in retrospect Former Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms formed during the chaotic period between the rules of the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty...

, the capital was at Chengdu and it basically controlled the same territory as its predecessor. The kingdom was ruled well until forced to succumb to Northern Song
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 armies in 965.

Southern Tang




The Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 (937–975) was the successor state of Wu
Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

 as Li Bian
Emperor Liezu of Southern Tang
Emperor Liezu of Southern Tang , also known as Xianzhu of Southern Tang , personal name Li Bian , earlier also known as Xu Zhigao , courtesy name Zhenglun , nickname Pengnu , was the founder of the Southern Tang kingdom, one of the most successful of the Ten Kingdoms of the...

 (Emperor Liezu) took the state over from within in 937. Expanding from the original domains of Wu
Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

, it eventually took over Yin, Min, and Chu, holding present-day southern Anhui, southern Jiangsu, much of Jiangxi, Hunan, and eastern Hubei at its height. The kingdom became nominally subordinate to the expanding Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

 in 961 and was invaded outright in 975, when it was formally absorbed into the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

.

Transitions between kingdoms


Although more stable than northern China as a whole, southern China was also torn apart by warfare. Wu
Wu (Ten Kingdoms)
Wu , also referred to as Huainan , Hongnong , Southern Wu , or Yang Wu , was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China which was in existence between the years of 907 and 937. Its capital was Jiangdu Municipality...

 quarrelled with its neighbours, a trend that continued as Wu was replaced with Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

. In the 940s Min
Min (Ten Kingdoms)
Min was one of the Ten Kingdoms which was in existence between the years of 909 and 945. It existed in a mountainous region of modern day Fujian province of China and had a history of quasi-independent rule. Its capital was Fuzhou 福州. It was founded by Wang Shenzhi .-Founding:Wang Shenzhi’s older...

 and Chu
Chu (Ten Kingdoms)
Chǔ was a kingdom in southern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period . It existed from 907 to 951.-Founding:Ma Yin was named regional governor by the Tang court in 896 after fighting against a rebel named Yang Xingmi. He declared himself as the Prince of Chu with the fall of the...

 underwent internal crises which Southern Tang handily took advantage of, destroying Min in 945 and Chu in 951. Remnants of Min and Chu, however, survived in the form of Qingyuan Jiedushi
Qingyuan Jiedushi
Qingyuan Jiedushi was the official title of Chen Hong , the military commissioner of the Pinghai military prefecture...

 and Wuping Jiedushi for many years after. With this, Southern Tang became the undisputedly most powerful regime in southern China. However, it was unable to defeat incursions by the Later Zhou Dynasty
Later Zhou Dynasty
The Later Zhou Dynasty was the last a succession of five dynasties that controlled most of northern China during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, which lasted from 907 to 960 and bridged the gap between the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty.-Founding of the Dynasty:Guo Wei, a Han...

 between 956 and 958, and ceded all of its land north of the Yangtze River
Yangtze River
The Yangtze, Yangzi or Cháng Jiāng is the longest river in Asia, and the third-longest in the world. It flows for from the glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the...

.

The Northern Song Dynasty, established in 960, was determined to reunify China. Jingnan
Jingnan
Jingnan was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period Jingnan (荆南) (also called Nanping (南平)) was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created in 924, marking the beginning of the Five Dynasties and...

 and Wuping were swept away in 963, Later Shu
Later Shu
Later Shu was one of the Ten Kingdoms during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period in China from 907 to 960. It was located in present-day Sichuan with its capital in Chengdu.-Founding:...

 in 965, Southern Han
Southern Han
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

 in 971, and Southern Tang
Southern Tang
Southern Tang was one of the Ten Kingdoms in south-central China created following the Tang Dynasty from 937-975. Southern Tang replaced the Wu Kingdom when Li Bian deposed the emperor Yang Pu....

 in 975. Finally, Wuyue
Wuyue
Kingdom of Wuyue , 907-978, was a small independent coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms of Chinese history. It was ruled by the Qian family, which remains widespread in the kingdom's former territory.-Founding:...

 and Qingyuan
Qingyuan Jiedushi
Qingyuan Jiedushi was the official title of Chen Hong , the military commissioner of the Pinghai military prefecture...

 gave up their land to Northern Song in 978, bringing all of southern China under the control of the central government.

See also

  • Annam (Chinese province)
    Annam (Chinese Province)
    Annam or Jiaozhi was the southernmost province of the Chinese Empire. It is now part of present-day Vietnam...

  • Book of Southern Qi
  • Chinese sovereign
    Chinese sovereign
    Chinese sovereign is the ruler of a particular period in ancient China. Several titles and naming schemes have been used throughout history.-Emperor Title:...

  • Family trees of the emperors of the Five Dynasties
  • History of Southern Dynasties
    History of Southern Dynasties
    The History of Southern Dynasties is one of the official Chinese historical works in the Twenty-Four Histories canon. It contain 80 volumes and covers the period from 420 to 589, the histories of Liu Song, Southern Qi, Liang Dynasty, and Chen Dynasty. Like the History of Northern Dynasties, the...

  • Liao Dynasty
    Liao Dynasty
    The Liao Dynasty , also known as the Khitan Empire was an empire in East Asia that ruled over the regions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and parts of northern China proper between 9071125...

  • Suppression of the Southern Tang
    Suppression of the Southern Tang
    In 975 AD the Song managed through force to subdue the state now known as Southern Tang, to distinguish it from the synonymously named Tang Dynasty, as part of a series of Song conquests to reunify China.-Battle on the Yangtze:...

  • Zizhi Tongjian
    Zizhi Tongjian
    The Zizhi Tongjian was a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084, under the form of a chronicles. In 1065 CE, Emperor Yingzong of Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang to lead with other scholars such as his chief assistants Liu Shu, Liu Ban and Fan Zuyu, the...