The Northern dynasties of China History
At the end of the chaotic period of the Sixteen States, a nomadic, uncivilized tribe, Xianbei, gradually gained power. In 386, the Xianbei chief set up the regime of the Northern Wei. In 439, the Empire of the Northern Wei unified the region north of the Yellow River and settled its capital in present Datong, Shanxi Province, marking the birth of the Northern Dynasties.
In 471, Emperor Xiaowen of the Wei relocated his capital to Luoyang and vigorously promoted the learning of the Han culture. He ordered his men to dress like the Han people, speak their language and adopt the Han surname. He also encouraged intermarriages between the Xianbei people and the Han and employed many Han officials in the court. Moreover, in economy, Emperor Xiaowen promulgated a decree implementing the land equalization system. All of these efforts contributed to the development of the society and the amalgamation of the Chinese nationalities.
However, the reform encountered strong objection from the conservative forces among Xianbei aristocrats. After Emperor Xiaowen died, his reform was revoked, which intensified conflicts within the ruling classes. Before long, the Wei Empire was broken up into the Eastern Wei and Western Wei, which later were supplanted respectively by the Northern Qi (550-557) and Northern Zhou (557-581). Historically, the Northern Dynasties included the regimes of the Northern Wei, Eastern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou and Northern Qi.
Although the confrontations held back the development of social productivity, the amalgamation of different minorities reached an unprecedented stage. Thanks to the southern regimes -- though short-lived -- the Chinese civilization was not damaged under minority control.
In 577, the Northern Zhou conquered the Northern Qi. In 581, a distant relative of the Northern Zhou royal family seized power and established the Sui Dynasty (581-618) after the unification of the country.