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History Profile
   People started to live in Nanchang in the middle and late period of the Paleolithic Age about 50 thousand years ago, while human activity became more frequent in the Neolithic Age, when the population increased and the productivity was well developed. About in the 21st Century BC, Yu established the first unified slavery society in Chinese history, namely the Xia Dynasty. At that time, the aborigines in Nanchang were called “Three Miao”, who were actually the descendants of Yan Di (Emperor Yan, also known as Shen Nong) and then became the later Old Yue Nationality. In the remote ancient times of Tang Yao, Yu Shun, Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, Nanchang belonged to the ancient Yangzhou City. In the Spring and Autumn and Warring Period, Nanchang belonged to Wu, Yue and Chu kingdoms in succession. In the Warring Period, Nanchang ancestors already knew and used the advanced techniques such as molten iron, cast iron and refractory materials application, etc.. In the Qin Dynasty, Nanchang belonged to Jiujiang County. The Qin Emperor ordered to build network of roads in the convenient for conquering lands of North Yue Kingdom in the Southern China. One of the roads started from the capital city Xianyang, went across Nanchang, and then directly ended in the Lingnan areas (South of the Five Ridges in Southern China), for which Nanchang played an important role linking the Northern and Southern China together.
   The first emperor of the Han Dynasty Liu Bang set up Yuzhang Shire in the area of Nanchang, which covered an area of about 160,000 sq. km. equaling to the whoa area of present Nanchang City. The total population was 35, 1965, with 2.2 people per sq. km. on average. In the year 202 BC, Liu Bang defeated Xiang Yu in Gaixia, and ordered General Guan Ying to suppress respellings happed in the three shires Wu, Yuzhang and Guiji. After Guan Ying put down Yuzhang, he set up a county with officials there instantly and made Nanchang as an affiliated county of Yuzhang Shire. Nan means southern territory while Chang means prosperous and thriving, so the name of the county reflected General Guan’s wish of “Prosperous Southern Territory”. Nanchang had been governed by Yuzhang Shire for more than 500 years from the Western Han Dynasty to the Three Kingdoms Period to the Jin Dynasty. In the Three Kingdoms Period, Nanchang belonged to the Wu Kingdom, whose kings Sun Ce and Sun Quan set up in succession Luling, Poyang, Ancheng and Linchuan shires within the area of Yuzhang Shire. Nanchang had been well developed since the Han Dynasty, when the economy was thriving and traffic on land and water was also quite developed. In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Nanchang was not only governed by Jiangzhou State, but governed by Yuzhang Shire. With the economy development, a new city was set up in northwest of Nanchang, namely the present Old City Town. Yuzhang Shire was changed to Hongzhou Prefecture in the Sui and Tang Dynasty, and then to Commander Government and Jiangnanxidao in the middle and late period of the Tang Dynasty. Hongzhou actually became a metropolitan in Jiangnan area (area to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River), where manufacture industry was quite developed especially ship building, paper making, printing, textile, weapon making and gold, silver, bronze wares manufacturing. As one of the six most famous kilns in Chinese history, the Hongzhou Kiln was the cradle of Chinese celadon, producing high quality celadon sold worldwide and contributed as royal tributes.
   In the Five Dynasties Period, the king Li Jing of the Southern Tang Dynasty promoted Hongzhou to be Nanchang Government in the first year of Jiaotai Era (959), and changed its capital city from Jiankang to Nanchang named as “Nan Du” in the second year (961) of  emperor in the Song Dynasty. After Li Jing dead, the capital was moved back to Jiankang. In the Northern Song Dynasty, Nanchang was still called Hongzhou, as one of the five ship building bases in China at that time. Covering an area of 14 to 16 sq. km with 16 gates, Nanchang old city reached to its peak time of largest area in history. During Emperor Huizong’s regime in the Song Dynasty, the administrative area of Nanchang reached to 25,000 sq. km., and the population reached to 561,730 with 21 people per sq. km on average. Hongzhou was changed to Longxing Prefecture in Emperor Xiaozong’s regime in the Southern Song Dynasty, and was then called Longxing Lu and later Longxing Lu in the Yuan Dynasty serving as the Jiangxi Zhongshu Provincial Administrative Region and the Chief Secretary Office. In the Ming Dynasty, Nanchang was changed into Hongdu Prefecture and Nanchang Prefecture in succession. In the early Republic era of China, Yuzhang Dao was set up and then changed to Nanchang City in 1926. The ancient city wall was pulled down to construct the city ring road in 1928.
   Nanchang occupies quite important geographic location contested by all strategic point. A literate called Lei Cizong in the Southern Dynasty once wrote in his book “Yuzhang Records” that Yuzhang, with convenient traffic and particularly beautiful mountains and rivers, was a crucial throat position to control Jing and Chu kingdoms and could protect Wu and Yue kingdoms like wings of a bird. In this case, Wu, Yue and Chu kingdoms once fought against each other to strike for this land. The Han Dynasty general Guan Ying settled down in Yuzhang to keep away from the attack of Southern Cantonese leader Zhao Tuo, providing a stable base for the Han Dynasty governor to administer the southern and eastern Canton areas. In the Three Kingdoms Period, the Wu King Sun Ce settled down in Yuzhang forming the Three Kingdoms Tripartite Confrontation. In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, the prefectural governor He Wuji of Jiangzhou State fought a fierce war here against the rebellion lead by Xu Daofu and sacrificed himself in the war. In the Northern and Southern Dynasties, more frequent wars happened here, including Hu Danshi Uprising, Liu Zixun (Jin’an Prince) Uprising and Chen Bozhi’s Attack on Yuzhang, etc. Yuzhang have been attacked for occupation for many times, such as the wars caused by Lin Shihong and Cao Shiqi Uprising at the end of the Sui Dynasty and the Yang Wu Uprising in the Five Dynasties Period. At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, farmer rebellions were surging forward and Nanchang was the important military base. At that time, Zhu Yuanzhang and Chen Youliang organized a farmer rebellion taking Nanchang and Poyang Lake as the battlefield. They fought wars against the Yuan Dynasty government for 85 days and finally set up their own Ming Dynasty. At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the Taiping rebels kept attacking Nanchang for 93 days but in vain due to the strong city wall.
   In 1927, the “August 1 Nanchang Uprising” shocked the world and started the war against the Kuomintang reactionaries and gave birth to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In 1939, when the Japanese invaders attacked Nanchang along the Yangtze River and Zhegan Railway, the national revolutionary army, together with the local Nanchang citizens, started the anti-Japanese wars. After the Anti-Japanese War succeeded in 1945, workers and students in Nanchang kept on their incessant struggles against civil war, hunger and persecution. On the eve of Nanchang’s liberation, workers and students organized struggles to protect factories and schools and welcomed the liberation. Rich in heroes and talents in history, Nanchang is the hometown of a lot of historic celebrities such as Xu Xun, Mei Fu, Zhang Wei, Yan Shu, Qiu Yuexiu and Cheng Yucai, etc.. Nanchang has cultivated a large number of outstanding personnel once influencing or even controlling Chinese political situation, living abundant cultural relics to the following generations. In modern times, many anti-imperialist and anti-imperialist revolutionary forerunners such as Fang Zhimin and Yuan Yubing, etc. sacrificed themselves in the revolutionary wars to protect and serve Chinese people. Their brilliant revolutionary deeds and noble qualities have become immortal monuments standing forever in Chinese people’s hearts.
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