Three Kingdoms China 220–280 CE


Map Code: Ax01820

Following the demise of the Han dynasty, a period called the Three Kingdoms followed, during which three warring states eventually fell to the Jin dynasty. In 220 CE, the last Dong Han emperor ceded his throne to Cao Pi, the son of his regional leader Cao Cao and a new kingdom, Cao Wei, was founded. Two other Han generals also founded new kingdoms: in 221 CE Lui Bei formed Shu Han and, in 229 CE Sun Quan founded Dong Wu. Wei benefitted from the largest territory and population but collapsed in 266 CE when a Wei general, Sima Yan, forced the king to abdicate and proclaimed the Jin dynasty. Shu suffered after some of its best generals were killed in battles with Sun Quan of Wu and resources were weakened after further attacks on Wei. In 263 CE, Wei invaded Shu and the king surrendered. Wu prospered, with population and agricultural growth, but after Sun Quan’s death his ten year-old son ascended the throne. Wu declined and fell to the Jin kingdom in 280 CE.

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