After the turmoil that followed the Yellow Turban rebellion in northern China settled, a powerful warlord called Cao Cao brought together an army of talented advisors and strong warriors. After defeating enemies like Lü Bu, Zhang Xiu and Yuan Shu, Cao Cao directed his attention north to Yuan Shao at Hé Bei.
The fight for the central plains ended in a victory for Cao Cao, and soon his power spread to all the northern provinces. In the year AD 208, Cao Cao took northern Jingzhou and threatened the southlands.
Cao Cao’s southern expansion ended when the joint forces of Liu Bei and Sun Quan defeated his large army at Chi Bi Zi Zhan. Cao Cao retreated north and invaded the vulnerable northwest. Now, having control of the largest part of China, Cao Cao makes a move against the River lands of Shu by occupying the key city of Han Zhong.
However, Cao Cao faced another set back when Liu Bei of Shu defeated him at Han Zhong. In the year AD 219, Cao Cao retreated to Chang An and declares himself King Wei.
Soon after in AD 220, Cao Cao died from a brain tumor and his son, Cao Pi succeeded him as King. With the land now separated in three parts, Cao Pi deposes the Han Emperor Xian and proclaimed himself the first Wei Emperor. In the year AD 224, Cao Pi invades Wu but is beaten back. Two years later, Cao Pi dies of illness.
Cao Rui, the son of Cao Pi and Emperor Ming of Wei, guides the once mighty country of Wei into another set back by wasting resources and failing to heed the advice of Sima Yi. After Cao Rui’s death in AD 239, the balance of power in Wei shifted to the Sima clan, and the new Wei Emperors all served as puppets until Sima Zhao conquered Shu in AD 257.
In the year AD 265, the Sima clan established a new country called Jin while still under the legitimate reign of Wei. In the year AD 280, Sima Zhao’s son Sima Yan conquered Wu and united China once more.
Copyright © 2002 – 2003