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Beijing History, China

Beijing: from the Warring States to its Modern State


Beijing is the capital city of the People's Republic of China. Highly cosmopolitan it is one of the largest cities in China second only to Shanghai. Beijing is also known as Peking in many parts of the world.

Beijing is very rich in history widely considered to be one of the four cradles of civilization when the remains of the Peking Man were discovered there some quarter of a million years ago.

Beijing has always been a progressive area as there have been artefacts that attest to the rise of cities in its neighboring areas as early as 1000 BC. The first metropolis in the area is said to have been Zhuolu a town west of Beijing.

Warring States Period (475-221 BC)

This is the period when regional warlords conquered states in their surrounding vicinities to expand their small kingdoms and gain more power. Because of their rising power the warlords who were officially considered dukes to the King began calling themselves kings.

This period also saw the spread of philosophy with ideologies such as Taoism Confucianism and Legalism making the Chinese man more learned and educated.

Another notable highlight of this period was the writing of the Art of War by legendary military leader Sun Tzu. His writing is considered one of the most brilliant military tactics and is still being used today by powerful nations.

Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644)

The Ming Dynasty was responsible for the structure of Beijing in the modern world. It was during this period that the Forbidden City was constructed as well as Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen which are major tourist attractions today.

In 1644 Li Zicheng a rebel leader who called himself 'The Roaming King' instigated a peasant rebellion which eventually led to the Manchus usurping the Ming Dynasty and establishing the Qing Dynasty.

Chinese Revolution (1911)

1911 saw the end of the reign of the Qing Dynasty. It began with the Xinhai Revolution where revolutionaries clashed with the imperial army in an attempt to appease public clamour to shift to a republican form of government. The revolutionaries were successful because a few short months later Emperor Puyi was forced to abdicate his seat as the emperor of China by Yuan Shikai a military autocrat. Yuan was then voted in by revolutionaries as the president of the Republic of China.

People's Republic of China

During the Chinese Civil War in 1949 communists forced their way into Beijing. Then communist leader Mao Zedong declared China to be a communist country under the new name People's Republic of China.

In 1976 the now infamous Tiananmen Square incident took place where mourners of Zhou Enlai the first Prime Minister of the People's Republic clashed with police officers. Numerous civilians were arrested and injured.


Beijing today

Communist rule in China is still prevalent but is no longer an iron-grip. This has led to the vast expansion and modernization of Beijing. Infrastructure is fast on the rise with roads being constructed in and around Beijing. It has likewise seen the rise of major shopping districts and a haven for electronic gadgets.

On August 8 2008 Beijing will open its doors to the best athletes in the world for the 2008 Beijing Olympics truly a significant milestone in Beijing's modern history.
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Beijing City Ratings

  • Rating67%
    City Rank251
  • History & Culture: rated for 65%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 70%
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 60%
  • Food: rated for 60%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 80%
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: rated for 70%
  • Must visit this place: not rated
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