History of Beijing

Last Updated: February 22,2020

The first caveman born in China was nicknamed the “Peking Man.” He lived in Zhoukoudian, in the southwestern suburbs of Beijing.

A small town was formed southwest of present day Beijing. It was named JI, but later was renamed YAN. It became a major city in northern China. The recorded history of Beijing as a city can date back to more than 3,000 years ago.

Qidan people founded the Liao Dynasty. They occupied and established Beijing, which was renamed as “Jiuzhou,”

Jin Dynasty, which controlled North China, chose Beijing as the official capital, naming it “Jin Zhong Du”.

Jin Zhong Du fell to Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan during the Mongolian campaign to build a vast empire. After a seven- year siege, the city was destroyed. Genghis Khan's grandson Kublai Khan rebuilt the city in 1267 to replace Jin Zhong Du and named it Dadu. By 1279, Kublai had conquered all of China, becoming the ruler of largest country in history. This era is known as the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).

Zhu Yuanzhang led an uprising against the Mongol Empire and seized Khan's great city. This began the Ming Dynasty. Under Zhu,s control, the city changed name to Beiping-meaning “Northern Peace.”

The Manchu ended the Ming Dynasty, establishing the new Qing Dynasty. Under the new rulers, Beijing was modernized with the construction of the Yuanmingyuan Park (Old Summer Place) and the Summer Place.

The Qing Dynasty finally collapsed in 1911. In 1928, the Nanjing-based nationalist government of the Republic of China designated Beijing as the Beiping Special Municipality. In 1930, the municipality was renamed as Beiping City.

In September 27, 1949, the Chinese People's Political consultative Conference decided that the newborn People' s Republic of China would base its capital in Beiping and renamed the city as Beijing.

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