221 BC to 220
ChinaMajor events in the Early sub-period include the Qin unification of China and their replacement by the Han, the First Split followed by the Jin unification, and the loss of north China.
The Warring States period ended in 221 BCE after the state of Qin conquered the other six kingdoms, reunited China, and established the dominant order of autocracy. King Zheng of Qin proclaimed himself the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty.
Gaozu fled a banquet after it became clear that Xiang had invited him there to be killed. Xiang Yu or Hegemon-King of Western Chu during the Chu–Han Contention period (206–202 BC) of China. A noble of the Chu state, Xiang Yu rebelled against the Qin dynasty and became a prominent warlord. He was granted the title of "Duke of Lu" (魯公) by King Huai II of the restoring Chu state in 208 BC. The following year, he led the Chu forces to victory at the Battle of Julu against the Qin armies led by Zhang Han. After the fall of Qin, Xiang Yu was enthroned as the "Hegemon-King of Western Chu" (西楚霸王) and ruled a vast area covering modern-day central and eastern China, with Pengcheng as his capital. He engaged Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han dynasty, in a long struggle for power, known as the Chu–Han Contention, which concluded with his eventual defeat at the Battle of Gaixia and his suicide. Xiang Yu is depicted in the Wu Shuang Pu (無雙譜, Table of Peerless Heroes) by Jin Guliang.