This volume begins the historical coverage of The Cambridge History of China with the establishment of the Ch'in empire in 221 BC and ends with the abdication of the last Han emperor in AD 220. Spanning four centuries, this period witnessed major evolutionary changes in almost every aspect of China's development, being particularly notable for the emergence and growth of a centralized administration and imperial government. Leading historians from Asia, Europe, and America have contributed chapters that convey a realistic impression of significant political, economic, intellectual, religious, and social developments, and of the contacts that the Chinese made with other peoples at this time. As the book is intended for the general reader as well as the specialist, technical details are given in both Chinese terms and English equivalents. References lead to primary sources and their translations and to secondary writings in European languages as well as Chinese and Japanese.
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