Chongqing is a renowned cultural city with a long history. Far more than 20,000 years ago, in the Paleolithic Age, human activity began on this land. Until the Neolithic Age, there were primitive villages inhabited by eight nationalities, such as the Yi, Pu and Ju people. These early Chongqing residents created the most ancient history and civilization of Chongqing.

During the period of the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties (about 3,000-4,000 years ago), the slave-owning tribal alliances generally called the "Ba" nation had strongly developed widely in the core areas of Chongqing. References to them have been found in ancient Chinese characters carved on tortoise shells or animal bones.

The name of Chongqing, originally called Ba, has been changed many times in history.

In the 5th year of the Emperor Shenjing of the Zhou Dynasty (316 BC), Qin overthrew the original Ba nation and set up a new administration, which retained the Ba name. In the 26th year of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC), the country was subdivided into 36 counties, and Ba County, one of the 36 counties, was established. In the Han Dynasty, Ba County was called Jiangzhou. And in Wei, Jin and Southern & Northern Dynasties, it was renamed as Jingzhou, Yizhou, Bazhou and Chuzhou.

In the 1st year of the Emperor Wendi of the Sui Dynasty (581), since the city was surrounded by Yushui (old name of the Jialing River), its name was changed from Chuzhou to Yuzhou. That's why the Chinese sometimes refer to Chongqing as "Yu".

With the Song Dynasty, the prefecture (Yuzhou) got the new name of Gongzhou. In the 16th year of the Emperor Xiaozong (Chunxi) of the Song Dynasty (1,189), Zhao Chun became Prince Gong, and administered the prefecture, later succeeding to the throne as Emperor Guangzong of the Southern Song Dynasty. To celebrate his double fortune, the emperor changed Gongzhou to Chongqing Fu ("prefecture of double celebration"). So far Chongqing has kept the name for over 800 years.

From the Qin Dynasty on, Chongqing has been organized into different administrative bodies, such as a county, a state, a city, and a province. After the Xinhai Revolution in 1921, Chongqing became a commercial port supervision office. In 1929, Chongqing was established as a city. On May 5, 1935, ordered by the Kuomintang (KMT) government, Chongqing became a municipality directly under the central government. After the Anti-Japanese War broke out, the KMT government moved westward to Chongqing, and Chongqing became the wartime capital in November 1937. In 1940, Chongqing officially became the temporary capital of China.

After its liberation on November 30, 1949, Chongqing became the station of the Southwest Military Political Commission and a municipality directly under the central government. It was put under the administration of Sichuan Province in July 1954 and became a city directly under the province level. In 1983, Chongqing became the first city in China which enjoys provincial-level economic management authority. On March 14, 1997, the Chinese National People's Congress examined and approved the proposal to set Chongqing as a municipality directly under the central government. On June 18, 1997, Chongqing formally became a municipality. With a population of 30.97 million, Chongqing has become China's largest and most populous city. Although there are over 40 ethnic minorities, like the Tujia and Miao, the Han nationality is still the main people of Chongqing.


Editor:Liu Kan