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The Three Kingdoms 220 AD - 280 AD

After the fall of the Han Dynasty, several of the large families took advantage of the lack of government and established their own private armies and struggled for control of the country.

Initially the Wei Dynasty was founded but a year later the Shu Dynasty was established in the southwest and another year on the Wu Dynasty emerged in the southeast. These three main Dynasties each vied with the others for overall power and there was almost continuous war. Despite this, there was a certain amount of stability in that each of the three concentrated on reorganisation of the government and rebuilding the economy. In Wei, in particular, the rights of big landlords were restricted and privilege amongst the ruling classes was reduced. Promotion was given to the most able whatever class they were from, even peasants. Shu worked to make the kingdom stronger and Wu became a great seafaring nation. There were also still engineering developments being made including a water pump and ships that could hold 3000 people.

Finally in 265 AD, the Wei Dynasty was victorious over the Shu and the Western Jin Dynasty emerged. Wu wasn't defeated until 280 AD when north and south were reunited and China was one country again for a few years.

One of the Multiplay scenarios, The Three Kingdoms, is set at this time. The fall of Han has resulted in a fierce struggle for power. Now three powerful kingdoms each proclaim their leader to be the rightful heir to the Han throne. In the north, encompassing the Yellow River valley, is the kingdom of Wei. South of it, containing most of the fertile Yangzi River, lies the kingdom of Wu. To the west is the land of Shu. With the strength of each of these kingdoms being roughly equal, it may take many years of strife-filled disunity before one can establish a new hegemony. It's a competitive mission fought between the three factions requiring you to conquer at least two other cities from the other factions.

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