The Han Dynasty
In the year 207 B.C., a new dynasty began to rule China. This dynasty was led by a peasant whose name was Liu Bang. Liu Bang had grown tired of the brutal leadership of the Qin Dynasty. Many other people also were tired of the Qin. Liu Bang proclaimed that the Qin had lost the mandate of heaven, or the right to rule the nation. He was able to overthrow them and establish himself as the new emperor of China, and the first emperor of the Han Dynasty.
The Han Dynasty would rule China for the next 400 years. During this time period they would be one of the wealthiest and most powerful nations on Earth. Their achievements would only be surpassed by the Roman Empire.
Because of its location amidst high mountains and surrounded on many sides by water, China was isolated from much of the rest of the world. As their civilization flourished and their wealth increased, they were largely unaware of what advancements were taking place in the nations around them.