Guangxi History

Guangxi is a province in the south of China, which has a full name as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and an abbreviated name as Gui. The name of Guangxi  has two origins and has went through several modifications. In 862, the government of the Tang Dynasty set an administrative unit in the south named Lingnan Dao which was divided into two parts, the east and the west Dao. In the Song Dynasty, an administrative unit was set, named the west Lu of Guangnan, which was abbreviated into Guangxi Lu. In the Yuan Dynasty, the government set Guangxi province, which is an independent administrative unit of first tier.(notes: Xi in Chinese has the meaning of west. Dao and Lu was once used as the name of administrative unit). Gui comes from the Guilin prefecture, an administrative unit set in the Qin dynasty.

According to findings in archaeology, Guangxi has its local residents 700 thousand years ago. But it is first stated in historical records at the name of Baiyue, some historic and cultural materials are unearthed. Baiyue was conquered by the army of the Qin Dynasty in 214 BC and became a part of China. In order to conquer Baiyue, the commander Tu Sui led an army of 500 thousand soldiers from five directions to enter into the Baiyue region. During the war between the Qin army and the Baiyue people, Lingqu canal was excavated for the convenience of the carriage of food for army use, and a castle was built for army garrison, and ruins of it could be found in the nowadays Xing’an county. After the war, the government of the Qin Dynasty set three prefectures, south sea prefecture, Guillin prefecture, and Xiangjun prefecture, and the latter two almost covered Guangxi. The residents from the north came to this region and lived together with the Baiyue people, and agriculture technology and culture knowledge was also brought to here.

ancient guangxi map

In 204 BC,  the ruling of the Qin Dynasty was overthrew, and there were wars in the whole country. In such a chaotic period, Zhaotuo governing Nanhai prefecture attacked Guilin prefecture and Xiangjun prefecture, and established a country, calle Nanyue, with a capital of Fanyu, which became a country affiliated to the Han Dynasty in 196 BC, and was destroyed by the Han Dynasty in 111 BC. Then the government of the Han Dynasty set up nine prefectures in the Lingnan region.

zhao tuo

After the united ruling of the Han Dynasty collapsed, China was separately ruled by several countries. At that time, Guangxi was first a part of Wu, then it belonged to the Jin Dynasty at 208 AD. And  government of the Jin Dynasty established 10 prefectures in Guangxi. In the Tang Dynasty, the west Dao of Lingnan Dao was the administrative unit ruling Guangxi. Since then, Guangxi was all the way divided as an independent administrative unit. In the Song Dynasty, Guangxi was ruled by the east Lu of Guangnan. In the Yuan Dynasty, Guangxi was called Guangxi branch secretariat. In the Ming Dynasty, Guangxi , as a province of first tier, had eleven prefectures and three sub-prefectures.

In the Qing Dynasty, Guangxi  was set as a province with a capital of Guilin. In 1851, Taiping Rebellion broke with the Jintian Uprising in Guangxi as the beginning, leading by Hong Xiuqiu, and it failed in 1864. In the Republic of China, the capital of Guangxi province was in Guilin, but it was moved to Nanning from 1912 to 1936. From 1927 to 1949, Guangxi province was under the ruling of the Gui warlord. In 1949, Guangxi was liberated by the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and took over by the People’s  Republic of China, having a capital in Nanning. In 1965, the name of Guangxi was officially changed to Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

In the past long history, Guangxi has developed its economy and culture, and lots of historic and cutural materials or tools are unearthed, which reflect the living situation of at that time, and witness the development of Guangxi. in the Baiyue periond, Guangxi occurs Baiyue culture which is the source of the Zhuang culture, and some tales and stories evolve into festivals and beliefs. Baiyue people create a history of the Zhuang, which has great importance to study Guangxi history.

More Articles