|Kǎi Dynasty of China|
The Kai Dynasty by 320 B.C.
|•||501 - 496 B.C.||Sun Shi Huangdi|
|•||336 - 316 B.C.||Sun Bin|
|Historical Era||Classical Era|
|•||Victory of Sun Wu in the Warring States Period.||501 B.C. 501 B.C.|
|•||Assassination of Emperor Sun Bin||316 B.C. 316 B.C.|
The Kǎi Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty to arise in China after famed strategist and statesman Sun Shi Huangdi, better known as Sun Tzu, defeated his rivals in the Warring States period that arose during the late Zhou Dynasty. Following his victory Sun Tzu declared himself Emperor of China, renamed the capital of Chengzhou to Tianjing, and established the Kǎi Dynasty. His successors continued his rule and while they were not as generous as Sun Tzu was they still expanded Chinese power and prosperity.
Under Kǎi rule the various regional distinctions that had developed under the Zhou Dynasty disappeared while much of the Zhou's previous institutions, such as the Mandate of Heaven, were expanded upon. Chinese prosperity grew with the construction of sophisticated infrastructure like grand roads and canals along with standardized currency and regulations. Technologies like better metallurgy and crossbows were developed and became a mainstay of Chinese society.
Chinese political power, as expected, greatly increased under the Kǎi Dynasty. The Kǎi Emperors used their divine mandate to both improve and centralize China under their rule but also expand their dominion over other lands. Chinese expansion south accelerated and towards the end of the dynasty the Yue dominated lands of the south were largely pacified and their wealth helped to fuel the luxury of Tianjing. To the north earthen fortifications that would eventually develop into the Great Wall of China were built.
Eventually, while the Kǎi Emperors were competent generals, they gradually lost their ability to preempt political intrigue. The last emperor, Sun Bin, was assassinated by his general Pang Juan in 316 BC, who attempted to seize the throne for himself. When he failed to do so, China was plunged back into a period of civil war that would eventually be ended by the succeeding Ying family and their Xin Dynasty by 301 BC.