Shaanxi History

Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/5/2

Shaanxi has a long history and well-known national culture. It is one of the birthplaces of Chinese ancient people and Chinese national culture. It was also the center of politics, economy and culture in many dynasties throughout Chinese history and was at the forefront in taking Chinese national culture to the world. It is the holiest place for Chinese revolution and has made a special contribution for the survival, multiplying of Chinese people.

Around 8,000,000 years ago, Lantian man lived in this area, and started to make and use some primitive tools, collected fruit and hunted birds and animals. "Lantian man" was found in 1963 and is the earliest and most complete fossil of the brain box of an ape man in China. Around 3 or 40,000 years ago, the primitive people in Guanzhong area gradually entered into the period of the clan community. In 1953, the Banpo village cultural relics were found in Xi'an, which was a resident village of Enatic clan community 6000 or 7000 years ago.

Shaanxi province was given the short name "Qin" because it belonged to Qin country in ancient times; after the perdition of Qin, Xiang Yu divided Qin into three parts, thus it was called "Three Qins". In ancient times the Yellow Emperor and Yan Emperors lived in Shaanxi. Since the time of Zhou 13 dynasties had capitals in Shaanxi. These included: Qin, West Han, West Jin, former Zhao, former Qin, late Qin, West Wei, North Zhou, Sui and Tang, Dynasties and lasted for 1180 years in all. In addition, there were 4 peasant insurgences which had founded their kaiserdoms for 11 years. Shaanxi is the province which has hosted the capital for the longest period in Chinese history.
Shaanxi was the cradle of Chinese revolution in recent history. On Dec. 19th in 1935, the red army reached Wuqi town in northern Shaanxi during the long march and it the headquarters of Chinese Communist Party from which it fought and lived for 13 years. Yan'an also became a holy place of the revolution as it was also here that Chinese Communist Party led the anti-Japanese war and war of liberation war of China. Since the foundation of new China and especially since the eleventh plenary meeting of Chinese Communist Party, Shaanxi has seen enormous changes both economics and social development have prospered and many great advancements have been made.

Famous people

Yellow Emperor

Yellow Emperor was the title of Shanggu emperor Xuanyuan in legend. His family name was Gongsun and he was born in the Xuanyuan, thus was given the name of Xuanyuan Shi. It was said that he could speak after he was born for dozens of days. He was sharp in mind during his childhood, capable in his youth, as well as smart, firm and persistent in his adulthood. His country was founded in Youxiong, thus also called Youxiong Shi.

The Yellow Emperor was opposed by Chi You, the legendary leader of the Hmong tribe. His rule was characterized by violent suppression and people were plunged into an abyss of misery. Yellow Emperor took upon himself to take the responsibility of stabilizing the country and fought with Chi You at Zhuolu. The battle was a very furious battle, with the solders on both sides fighting bravely. Yellow Emperor caught Chi You and killed him. The Yellow Emperor unified the many war lords and reigned for quite a long time to make powerful country with stable politics and a progressive culture with many inventions and features like music, public affairs, vessels and vehicles, clothes and the compass. It is claimed that Yao, Shun, Yu and Tang were all his descendents, thus Yellow Emperor was esteemed as the common primogenitor of Chinese nations. On the Loess Plateau of the Northern Shaanxi, there is a patch of flourishing hummock, where it is claimed that Yellow Emperor is buried. His tomb was also called Yellow Emperor Tomb and the county is called Yellow Tomb County.

Qin Shi Huang/First Emperor

Qin Shi Huang (259B.C. – 210 B.C.), whose family name was Ying and given name was Zheng, was the son of Emperor Qingzhuangxiang. He was also an outstanding politician, militarist and captain in Chinese history. Qin Shi Huang was born in Handan of Zhao country in 48th year of Emperor Qinzhao, and was the son of Emperor Qinzhuangxiang and concubine Lv Buwei, so it was said that he was the son of Lv Buwei. He got the family name of Zhao after he was born. In 247 B.C., Emperor Zhuangxiang died and Ying Zheng ascended the throne when he was 13. In 238 B.C., Emperor Qin was crowned and took over the reins of government upon coming of age.

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