A “money tree” sculpture from the Warring States period of the late Zhou dynasty, Chu Culture, Sichuan Provincial Museum. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.

475–221 BCE

The tumultuous Warring States period led to the unification of China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE. The period also was the foundational era of Chinese philosophy.

The Warring States (Zhanguo) period (475–221 BCE) was a period of Chinese history that ended with the unification of China under the first

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