Huai’an China >About Huai’an >History
Historical Evolution
Huai’an China
Historical Evolution
Huai’an is located at eastern side of Hongze Lake, ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and young Beijing-Shanghai Expressway join here, and bright history and splendid civilization of Huai’an shine here together. Territory of Huai’an covers both banks of the ancient Huai River, legend goes that Dayu once harnessed water in this area and offered the favorable condition that “Huai River will remain safe and quite forever”, name of the city “Huai’an” means Huai River’s tranquility. Just like remote Huai River water, the history of Huai’an is centuries-old.
As early as five thousand to six thousand years, the city territory has found the trace of the ancestors, which has been recorded in annals as “Qinglian’gang Culture”.
Reigns of Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties
Huai’an has won a certain extent of development, and its transportation network has extended far to the whole country. It not only has Han Gou (namely Huaiyang Canal) communicating with Yangtze River and Huai River, but also boasts the continent artery—good road that connects the North and South of China. Therefore it has become a key area contested by big powers in Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, and later it falls under control by the Wu, Yue and Chu States successively.
Qing and Han Dynasties
After Kingdom Qin unites the six states, it implemented system of prefectures and counties. The county capitals in the city for the first time are Huaiyin (current Matou town in Huaiyin district), Xuyi (current North Xuyi County) and Dongyang (current Maba Town in Xuyi county). In the great farmer insurgency at the last years of the Qin Dynasty, Huai’an people rose in swarms. Renowned militarist Han Xin from Huai’an, joined the army and distinguished himself in the battle. During West Han Dynasty, Huai’an had several more counties including Huaipu (current west Lianshui County), Sheyang (current southeast of Chuzhou district) and Fuling (current mid of Hongze Lake), etc. In Qin and Han dynasties, agricultural, particularly irrigation conditions in Huai’an got substantial improvement. During last years of East Han Dynasty, Guangling Procurator Cheng Deng constructed 30 li (Chinese unit of length) of Gaojia Weir (current Hongze Lake Weirs) to hold back Huai River flood, protect farmlands and renovate Futangtang to irrigate farmlands. Iron dead stock and cattle-plough were promoted, though they have to face the chaos caused by war, agricultural production still developed well. At the same time, transportation was as well. Royal roads constructed by Emperor Qinshihuang went through Huai’an territory and Han Gao West Road built by Chen Deng facilitated transportation in Yangtze River and Huai River areas. Therefore, during Chengping years, handicraft industry and business industry were fairly prosperous and Huai’an culture also developed to a higher level. In Han Dynasty, paternal teaching and private schools appeared and a large group of literary masters emerged, such as Han Fu (a kind of poetry in Han Dynasty) masters Mei Sheng and Mei Gao, and Chen Lin, one of “Jian’an Seven Scholars”.
Wei, Jin and Southern and Northern Dynasties
During that period, Huai’an was always in the frontline of wars and confrontation. Many years’ chaos brought miserable visions of “bare land extends thousands of miles in Yangtze and Huai Rivers Area” and Huai’an economy and culture suffered serious damage. What’s worth mentioning is that in 489 AD, the 7th Year of Yongming Reign of South Qi State, 100 households under the jurisdiction of Huaiyin Town settled in Huai’an County, which was the original name of “Huai’an”.
Sui, Tang and the Five Dynasties
The city enjoyed long-term stable environment and its economy won sustained development and revitalization. Excavation of the Grand Canal and establishment of Huaibei Salt Field played an important role in prosperity of Huai’an. During Daye Reign of Sui Dynasty, the completion of the water transportation (royal channel) main drag from Luoyang to Yangzhou has made the city important drill way for water transportation. From the Sui Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, the court has always set the government offices in Huai’an and appointed the aga to supervise and take charge of the royal water transportation. In the early Tang Dynasty, Lianshui has become one of the four great salt fields in China. To facilitate the sales and transportation of Huai Salt, during the reign of Chuigong, the Salt River is dug and the salt transportation in Huai’an revitalizes. Chuzhou (current Chuzhou Huaicheng) and Sizhou (current Xuyi County opposite bank) have become two noted cities along the Canal and Chuzhou has been famed by Bai Juyi, the renowned poet in Tang Dynasty as “NO. 1 City in Southeast of Huai River”
Song and Yuan Dynasties
During the reign of North Song dynasty, the city enjoys rather peaceful life and the water and salt transportation have been improved further. The government encourages the cultivation and the renovation and increase of the irrigation facilities and introduces the promotion of “city coverage rice”. “The sea and land produce abundant resources and the people are happy with the wealthy lives” is the vivid portraiture of this period. However, in the South Song, Jin and Yuan confrontation period, the city has become once again the front and is forced to bear the long-term torment of the wars. After the chaos, the city appears the dreariness and the frequent water flood has made the city face one disaster after another and become more stagnant. In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, the culture develops a lot in the peaceful days, the government, state and county’s education institutions are popularly established and more and more people have the opportunities to receive the education. In these dynasties, there are several cultural celebrities, such as Zhang Lei, the famous poet and one of the “four scholars of Su School”, Wei Pu, the outstanding blind ephemeris master who edits the Feng Yuan Calendar, the renowned painter Gong Kai, who pioneers the enjoyable painting in Ming and Qing Dynasties and Tang Zhi, famous painting and calligraphy connoisseur and theorist, author of Painting Appreciation. What’s worth mention is the Song and Yuan Dynasties’ inscription of Xuyi No. 1 Mountain, in which Sushi, Huang Tingjian, Mifu, Caixiang and Zhao Mengfu all left their treasured works.
Ming and Qing Dynasty
The city sets the Huai’an government office. During the reign of Yong Le in Ming Dynasty, the water transportation in Huai’an prospers and Qingjiangpu starts the rising. However since the mid of Ming Dynasty, the Yellow Rivers captures the Huai river and the flood disaster become more and more serious. The agriculture degrades and the flourishing hometown as fish and rice no longer exists. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, the court appoints the agas to control and father the river. The cities centering on the Qingjiangpu River grip the gates for water, salt transportation, post, etc and enters the stage at the height of power and splendor and it’s renowned at four greatest metropolitans with Yangzhou, Suzhou and Hangzhou. The prosperity of the cities brings the flourishing of humanities. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Shanyang county (current Chuzhou), enjoys the reputation of over 200 passed the highest imperial examination and Hexia county has three scholars who won the No. 1, No, 2 and No. 3 in the examination. This area also engenders Wu Cheng’en, author of Record of Journey to the West, Yan Ruoju, renowned Confucian Classics Study Master, Bian Shoumin, one of the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou and Wu Jutong, the author of Epidemic Febrile Disease Differentiation, one of the four classics in Chinese Tradition Medicine.
The Republic of China
The Huai’an government office is cancelled and most of the city jurisdiction belongs to Huaiyang Dao first and to Huaiyin Administrative Supervision Zone. The salt, water, river and customs advantages in the city become further declined. The long-time war chaos become serious blow on the newly rising contemporary transportation industry and mining industry. The Communist Party was established in 1927.During the period of Japanese Resistance War and Liberation War, the city has become important base and liberation area and Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Huazhong Institution, New Force Army Headquarters, Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mid China Institution, Mid-China military area and Jiangsu-Anhui governments all settle offices here and Liu Shaoqi, Chen Yi, Huang Kecheng, Peng Xuefeng, Deng Zihui, Luo Binghui and other proletariat revolutionists and military generals all fight the battle here. Huai’an people have made great contribution to the independence and liberation of the Chinese Nation. In the December of 1948, the city has been fully liberated. In the May of 1949, the Huaiyin exclusive zone is founded.
After the liberation of the People’s Republic of China
After several adjustments to 1971, the city belongs totally to Huai Yin exclusive zone. In 1983, the exclusive zone renames as Huai Yin city. In 1987, Huai’an and Suqian have become the county level cities under the jurisdiction of Huai Yin. In the August of 196, Suqian, Siyang, Shuyang, Sihong separates out from Huai Yin and the Suqian city is founded, at the same time, Guannan County comes under the jurisdiction of Liangyungang. In February of 2001, Huai Yin is renamed as Huai’an, the original Huai’an city at county level transforms as Chuzhou District of Huai’an and Huai Yin County as Huai Yin District of Huai’an city.
    Since the establishment of the new China, the Huai’an people have given the revolution spirits and excellent traditions to full play. Particularly after the reform and opening up, they adhere to the pioneering and advancing spirits and make great achievement in socialist revolution and construction. They establish the poor Huai’an into a newly rising transportation hinge, industrial city in Jiangsu, the national important agricultural byproducts sales and production base and the key commercial ports in Jianghuai Plain.