The Five Dynasties period led from the collapse of the Tang Dynasty. During the next fifty years the empire fragmented. Five short-lived military dynasties followed each other in the Huang He valley of northern China while, at the same time, ten independent states were established, mainly in the south. Warfare and official corruption were rife, particularly in the north where the canal system disintegrated through lack of maintenance, leading to widespread floods and famine. Towards the end of the Five Dynasties some reforms were put in place. Chairong, ruler of the Later Zhou Dynasty, curtailed corrupt officials, reformed the tax system and started a reconstruction of the irrigation system.
The south fared slightly better as they were away from the conflict and the shortest lived, Former Shu, lasted for 34 years while Wuyue existed for 85 years. The stability encouraged development and many skilled workers migrated from the conflict in the north. The tea trade began to become important.
There were bright spots in this period of disunion. Printing became widespread and the manufacture of delicate porcelain was achieved and began to be exported widely. Finally reunification began under the Song Dynasty starting in 960. During the next twenty years the ten states slowly came under Song Rule and finally when Northern Han fell, China was reunited.
There is a Multiplay scenario set at this time. In the Five Dynasties competitive mission there are four factions needing to conquer two cities whilst building a beautiful city of your own.
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