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History of Chongqing
Ba People – Going Beyond Mountains
In medieval times, an ethnic group known as the Ba inhabited in ground amidst mighty mountains.
They were tribes, dwelling along the rivers and in the mountains, and mainly inhabited the area around today’s Daba Mountain and Wushan Mountain.
They gradually moved out of the mountains, and different branches, including Longshe, Yufu, Bieling and Baihu, came into being. Following the early Ba civilization, they established some tribe-based slavery kingdoms and created rich folk cultures. It was from then on this area started to allow more advanced civilization to develop.
An Anthropological Discovery
In 1980s, a discovery in Chongqing astonished the archaeological community.
Archaeologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered the fossil of one lower jaw and two teeth in Longping Village,MiaoyuTown,WushanCounty. The lower jaw and teeth were later proved to be 2.01 to 2.04 million years old. They belonged to a hominid who lived 300,000 years earlier than the Yuanmou Man, who was previously believed to be the earliest hominid in China. Wushan Man is one of the oldest hominids discovered by archaeologists.
In addition, evidence of a pictorial language used by the Ba was discovered on bronze articles such as weapons, musical instruments, and seals unearthed in Fuling,KaiCounty, Qijiang and the Three Gorges area.This indicates the Ba People created their own pictorial characters as early as 6,000 years ago, 2,000 years earlier than the appearance of oracle-bone characters.
A Time-Honored City
The Ba-Yu civilization dates back to thousands of years ago when the Baihu Ba People founded the Ba Kingdom, with the capital located in Jiangzhou. This city boasts a long-standing yet innovative course of development.
In 316 BC at the end of the Warring States Period,the State of Qin conquered the Ba Kingdom and established Ba County.The county seat was built in Jiangzhou (today’s Chongqing).
During the Three Kingdom Period (221-263),the local military chief’s office was set up in Jiangzhou and the county seat was expanded.
In 583,during the Sui Dynasty,Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty changed the name “County” to “Prefecture” and Chongqing received the name Yuzhou owing to the Yushui River (today’s Jialing River).
In 1189, during the Song Dynasty,Yuzhou was renamed Gongzhou. Then, Zhao Chun, a son of the ruling emperor, was made the prince and later ascended to the throne of the Song Dynasty. To commemorate, he renamed the city Chongqing Fu, meaning “double celebrations”.
In 1289, during the Song Dynasty,the court of the Southern Song Dynasty upgraded Chongqing to house the office for Vice Military Commander-in-Chief of Sichuan, and Chongqing was expanded again.
In 1371, during the Ming Dynasty,Chongqing was expanded again. A total number of 17 gates were built according to the “Ba Gua” Diagram, with 9 gates staying open and 8 staying closed. Such a structural plan is still used to this day.
In 1890, during the late Qing Dynasty,the Yantai Treaty was made by the Court of the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire, according to which Chongqing was defined as a trading gateway. A Custom Office was established in 1891 to manage the city's status as a trading gateway.In 1929, Chongqing was made a city.
During the Second World War, in response to invasion of mainland China by Imperial Japan between 1937 and 1946,the Kuomintang Government moved the capital to Chongqing. As the wartime capital of China, Chongqing became the political, economic and cultural center of the nation.
From 1950 to 1954, after the founding of the People's Republic of China,Chongqing housed the Southwestern Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee and Southwestern Military and Political Committee and became the political, economic and cultural center of China’s southwest as well as a municipality directly under the Central Government.
In 1954,Chongqing was made a city under the jurisdiction of Sichuan Province.
In 1983,Chongqing was made the pilot city for integrated economic system reform and granted provincial-level authority in terms of economic administration.
In 1992,Chongqing was made one of the "cities along rivers" to carry out the opening up reform scheme.
In 1997,Chongqing was made the fourth municipality directly under the central government, which opened up a new era of rapid growth for Chongqing.