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Taichung History, Taiwan

Literally meaning “Central Taiwan”, Taichung ranks third among the largest cities in the province of Taiwan, Republic of China. Although the city itself was established only during the so-called Qing Dynasty, Taichung began its roots as a settlement of Taiwanese aborigines in the ancient times and now has emerged as the cultural, commercial, and economic capital of Taiwan. Be prepared to get transcended in time by reading Taichung History.

Taichung History – The Beginning

The plains of the modern day city of Taichung were once haven to Taiwanese aborigines, who grew taro and millet and hunted animals, mostly deer. As early as the 12th century, trade between the aborigines in middle Taiwan and merchants from mainland China began.

Taichung History - During the Qing Dynasty

Civilization was slow in this area until Taichung became a city (named Dadun, meaning ‘large mound’) under the Changhua County. Lan Ting Chen supervised the establishment of a garrison and village in 1721, situated near the Taichung Park.

A revolt happened in 1731 opposing the enslavement of the Taiwanese aborigines. The revolt reached as far as Changhua until the rebels were forced to flee to the mountains as dictated by the Qing forces in 1732.

Another revolt ensued in 1786 in Dali, a nearby town, led this time by the Ming supporters in an endeavor to oust the Manchu rule and reinstate the Ming. But as they moved northward, the rebels resorted to looting and slaughter and were suppressed by the joint forces of the Fujian, Quanzhou, and other aboriginal tribes.

When Taiwan became one of the provinces of China under the Qing Dynasty in 1885, Emperor Guang Xu, upon the request of official Liu Ming Chuan, agreed to the development of Taichung. Both agreed to designate the city as Taiwan's provincial capital. But the development was cut short in 1889 as the capital was moved to Taipei after Liu was required to retire by the Empress Dowager Ci Xi.

Taichung History - During the Japanese Occupation

In 1895, when China lost to Japan in the first Sino-Japanese War, the Qing Dynasty was forced to hand over Taiwan through the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Japan transformed Dadun to make it Taichū and developed the city as the first ‘modern’ area in Taiwan, destroying most of the structure built under Liu (except for the tower marking the north gate of the city, which was moved to Taichung Park in 1903).

Taichū (Taichung) officially became a city in 1920. During this time, Taichung became known as the ‘Cultural City’ and center for Taiwanese nationalism. Taichung, as the rest of Taiwan, experienced a new found prosperity, but its economy broke down because of the involvement of Japan in World War II.

Taichung History - From 1945 to Present

After the war, Japan was forced to return Taiwan to China. Post-war period was chaotic as many groups fought for political control and organized crimes became common in the city. In 1949, Taichung was declared special administrative region.

Taichung History reminds us of what the place had been through dating back from its humble beginnings to what it is at present. Together with other facts such as those seen in Xiamen Travel Guide and Fuzhou Travel Guide, one will learn to appreciate the Asian continent.

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