History of Chongqing

Ba People – Going Beyond Mountains

In the medieval times, a group of Ba People inhabited in level grounds amidst mighty mountains.

At the beginning, they were tribes, dwelling along the rivers and in the mountains. They mainly inhabited around today’s Daba Mountain and Wushan Mountain.

Later, they gradually moved out of the mountains and settled along the east-west axis. 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 ethnic folk cultures. It was from then on that human dwelling on this piece of land started to grow from ignorance to civilization.

First Ancestors of Orientals

In 1980s, an archaeological discovery in Chongqing astonished the world.

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 an ape man who lived 300,000 years earlier than the Yuanmou Man, who used to be believed the earliest man inChina. Wushan Man is, till now, one of the world’s most primitive men discovered by archaeologists.

Therefore there is no doubt that Chongqingis home to the first ancestors of oriental people.

In addition, pictorial language of the Ba People was discovered from the bronze articles such as weapons, musical instruments, and seals unearthed in Fuling,KaiCounty, Qijiang and the Three Gorges area.

That indicates the Ba People created their own hieroglyphic characters as early as 6,000 years ago, 2,000 years earlier than the appearance of oracles.

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 the Ba County. For the first time, 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, the Sui Dynasty

Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty converted the name “County” to “Prefecture” and Chongqing got the name Yuzhou thanks to the Yushui River (today’s Jialing River).

In 1189, the Song Dynasty

Yuzhou was renamed as Gongzhou. Then, Zhao Chun was made the prince and later the Emperor of the Song Dynasty. He changed Gongzhou to Chongqing Fu, meaning “double celebrations”.

In 1289, 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, 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 structure plan is still used to this day.

In 1890, the Qing Dynasty

The Yantai Treaty was entered into between the Court of the Qing Dynasty and the Britain, according to which Chongqing was defined as a trading gateway. Custom Office was established in 1891 to officially launch the functions of trading gateway.In 1929, Chongqing was made a city.

During the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression between 1937 and 1946

The Kuomintang Government moved to Chongqing. As the wartime capital of China, Chongqing was then the political, economic and cultural center of the nation.

From 1950 to 1954 after the founding of PR China

Chongqing housed the Southwestern Bureau of CPC 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 changed to be 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 opening up scheme.

In 1997

Chongqing was made the fourth municipality under the central government, which opened up a new era of rapid growth for Chongqing.