Enfeoffed by the Zhou Dynasty kings as dukes (gong 公), marquesses (hou 侯) and counts (bo 伯, see ranks of nobility) of different territories, the feudal lords (zhuhou 諸侯) of the Zhou period gradually became independent from their liege lord. During the Warring States period 戰國 (5th cent.-221 BCE), Dukes started to call themselves kings, and marquesses rose to the rank of duke or king.
For the Western Zhou 西周 (11th cent.-770 BCE) and Spring and Autumn 春秋 (770-5th cent. BCE) periods, traditional Chinese historians provide the annals and ruler lists of 13 feudal states (incl. the semi-barbarian state of Wu 吳), for the Warring States period 7 (including Qin 秦). Information about lesser states is scarce. For the statelet of Qi 杞, for instance, just a list of its dukes has survived.
|ZHOU 周||Cai 蔡||Cao 曹||Chen 陳||Chu 楚|
|Jin 晉||Lu 魯||Qi 齊||Qi 杞||Qin 秦|
|Song 宋||Wei 衛||Wu 吳||Yan 燕||(Yue 越)|
|Zheng 鄭||[Han 韓]||[Fan 范]||[Wei 魏]||[Zhao 趙]|
|[Zhi 知 (智)]||[Zhonghang 中行]||[Ba 巴 and Shu 蜀]|
|ZHOU 周||Han 韓||Chu 楚||Yan 燕|
|Qin 秦||(Zheng 鄭)||Yue 越||Qi 齊|
|Wei 魏||Cai 蔡)||Song 宋|
|Wei 衛||Zhongshan 中山||Lu 魯||[Ba 巴 and Shu 蜀]|
Apart from these larger states, there was a abundant number of statelets that was by and by conquered by larger states. The most important ones might be: Bei 邶, Bin 豳, Cheng 成/郕, Chui 垂, Guan 管, Gui 檜, Guo 虢, Hua 滑, Huo 霍, Ji 薊, Jiao 焦, Ju 莒, Kang 康, Kuai 鄶, Kui 夔, Liu 六, Long 龍, Quwo 曲沃, Ran or Na 冉 (冄, 𨚗, 𨚉), Sui 隨, Tang 唐, Teng 滕, Xi 息, Xu 許, Xue 薛, Yang 陽, Yi 益, Ying 應, Ying 英, Yong 鄘, Yu 邘, Zeng 繒, Zhu 邾, Zhu 祝, Zou 騶, and Yu 虞.