History of Zhengzhou

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Historical Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is an old city. As early as 3500 years ago, it had become a major capital city of the Shang Dynasty. With a long history, Zhengzhou boasts one of the origins of the Chinese nation, giving birth to a brilliant culture of the Chinese nation. Zhengzhou had been a capital city for five times, respectively of the dynasties of Xia and Shang and of the states of Guan, Zheng and Han; and a prefecture in the eight dynasties of Sui, Tang, the Five Dynasties, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing.

In Zhengzhou area, the archeological findings made up to now include the ruins of the 8000-year-old Peiligang Culture, 5000-year-old Dahe Village, and the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture of various types such as Qinwangzhai. According to the historical records, the Yellow Emperor (Emperor Huangdi), the earliest ancestor of the Chinese nation, was born at the Xuanyuan Hill, which is located in Xinzheng City under Zhengzhou Municipality; the first slavery dynasty in the Chinese history Xia used to build its capital in Yangcheng (today's Dengfeng City under Zhengzhou Municipality), the king of the Shang Dynasty Zhongding used to move the capital to Ao (within the proper of today's Zhengzhou City); and King of Wu of the Zhou Dynasty conferred the land of Guan (part of today's Zhengzhou city proper) to Shuxian - All such historical facts indicate that Zhengzhou had been for a long period of time in the central area of the national politics.

During the Spring and Warring States Period, both the states of Zheng and Han had successively built their capitals in Xinzheng for more than 500 years. During the dynasties of Qin and Han, the Zhengzhou area started to have the establishment of the counties of Xingyang, Gong, Jing, Xinzheng, etc., and Xingyang used to gain a nationwide reputation with its wealth ranking first in the whole country. The following dynasties established in succession the Xingyang County, North Yuzhou Prefecture, Xingzhou Prefecture and so on in the Zhengzhou area.

In the Third Year (A.D. 583) of Kaihuang of the Sui Dynasty, Xingzhou Prefecture was changed to Zhengzhou Prefecture. In the Sixteenth Year of Kaihuang (A.D. 596), Guanzhouzhi was set up, Guancheng as the seat of the authority having jurisdiction over Zhengzhou and Guanzhou became the political and economical center of the Zhengzhou area. After Emperor Yang of Sui opened the Grand Canal and Tongji Channel to traffic, Zhengzhou once evolved into an important hub of land and waterway communications with numerous business people and boats and ships coming and going in the area. After the Northern Song Dynasty built its capital in Bianjing, Zhengzhou was put under Jingjilu; in the Fourth Year of Chongning (A.D. 1105) it became Xifu, one of the four prefectures attached to the capital of Song. In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhengzhou was brought under Kaifengfu. During the Qing Dynasty, Zhengzhou became a prefecture directly under the central government twice.
In the early 20th century, thanks to the crossing of the railways of Pinghan and Longhai in Zhengzhou, the local industry, handicraft industry and commerce had been growing quite fast. In 1923, it was in Zhengzhou that the world-shocking February 7 Great Strike broke out, the event wrote a glorious chapter in the history of China's worker movement. From 1929 to 1931, Zhengzhou was changed from a county to a city. On October 22, 1948, Zhengzhou City was officially established. In 1954, it became the provincial capital of Henan.

In 1983, Zhengzhou introduced the administrative system of municipality having jurisdiction over counties (and county-level cities), and now has the 6 districts of Jinshui, Erqi, Zhongyuan, Guancheng, Mangshan and Shangjie, the 5 cities of Gongyi, Dengfeng, Xingyang, Xinmi and Xinzheng, and 1 county, i.e. Zhongmu.