travelgrove Travel Guides

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.
Ask our travel experts a question about Beijing

Things about Beijing you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about Beijing

  • ChinaWholesaleNew Arrival 10 Inch Android 3.0 Tablet PC
    review by ChinaWholesale posted more then 30 days ago
    This is a news about new arrival Tablet PC. It is said that, HTC is developing a 10 inch Tablet PC and will introduce to 4G LTE of AT & T’s network later this year. Now it is not clear about the details of the tablet PC. The news show that the tablet is likely called...
  • cctsAbout Bird's Nest Stadion, Beijing
    review by ccts posted more then 30 days ago
    Bird’s Nest, which is also known as the National Stadium, is one of the finest Olympics architecture. Located at the southern part of the Olympic Green in Beijing, the Bird’s Nest is the largest steel structure architecture in the world with using 110,000tons of steel which were all...
  • cctsWhat you should see in Guilin Yangshuo
    review by ccts posted more then 30 days ago
    China Travel Yangshuo Yang shuo is located at the bank of Li River, 60 kilometers away from Guilin city. The unique karsts physiognomy breeds the special landscape of Yangshuo. There are more than 20thousand strange peaks dotted, 16rivers winding through, over 110scene sites scattered. It...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about Beijing

  • welt-raiserThe Great Wall of China
    travel tip by welt-raiser posted more then 30 days ago
    One of the 7 wonders of the world and a man-made architectural sight that is visible from space, the Great Wall of China is a MUST-SEE if you travel to Beijing, or for that matter, to China. The wall has various stopping points where...
  • itachanThe Lama Temple in Beijing
    travel tip by itachan posted more then 30 days ago
    Dating back to the Qing dynasty, the Lama Temple is the most magnificent Buddhist temple in China. Built similarly to other great imperial buildings, with golden-tiled rooftops, red walls, multi-colored glaze tiles, the temple's...
  • SophiaLiulichang Culture Street in Beijing
    travel tip by Sophia posted more then 30 days ago
    To feel and experience a little bit of historical China and explore a part of Beijing that is full of folklore and Chinese culture, than you must visit Liulichang Street in Xuanwu District, juts south of the Peace Gate. This street is...
view all


Members Who Have Been to Beijing

Community Galleries About Beijing

Browse our members' Beijing galleries to get a better impression of the place
show alladd gallery
the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$1094Korean Air flightKorean Air
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)  Beijing, CN (PEK)
    04/02/2024 12:40 pm
    Beijing, CN (PEK)  San Francisco, CA (SFO)
    04/09/2024 09:40 pm
  •$1185China Air flightChina Air
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)  Beijing, CN (PEK)
    04/04/2024 12:05 am
    Beijing, CN (PEK)  Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    04/17/2024 12:30 pm
  •$1273Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    Calgary, AB (YYC)  Beijing, CN (PEK)
    05/07/2024 08:00 pm
    Beijing, CN (PEK)  Calgary, AB (YYC)
    05/22/2024 02:25 am

Beijing City Ratings

  • Rating67%
    City Rank248
  • 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
ToolsBookmark and Share

Popular destinations

   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it