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The History of Xian (1)


About 11 century BC Western Zhou Wen Emperor (周文王) built the capital Fengjing (丰京) for his state in southwest Xi'an and he ordered his subjects to migrate here from Qishan (岐山) area. Later another Zhou emperor set up the second capital, called Gaojing (镐京) in the east of Fengjing, which it was religious and cultural capital while Gaojing was the political capital of the Zhou Dynasty. This is the beginning of the history of Xian.

The hilly land and green plain were confiscated by the imperial authority of Western Zhou Li Emperor (周厉王). This land policy had triggered tremendous anger from the general public. But the authority noticed the situation so that they managed to invite some "heavenly beings" to monitor the people. Still, the people's discontent was strong enough to burst out an uprising that eventually overthrew the government. The emperor fled to Shanxi Province. In 841 BC, a republican government had been established instead.

In 383 BC, the Qin Dynasty's capital had been moved to Shuoyang (栎阳, now in Xian's Yanliang (阎良) District) from Baoji (宝鸡) area. In 349 BC the capital had been moved again, this time to Xianyang (咸阳) in northwest of Xian.

After the unification of China by Qinshihuang Emperor in 221 BC, many imperial palaces had to be built throughout the country. An oversized palace had begun to build in 212 BC. It was located along the south bank of Weihe River (渭河), which is the largest branch of Yellow River. However the gigantic project had not been completed even till the time of Qinshihuang's death, his son's staff continued to build the palace. The Qin Dynasty did not see the palace's completion at the end of its inning. After the Chinese general Xiang Yu (项羽, 232 – 202 BC) defeated the Qin forces in 206 BC, he ordered to burn down the unfinished palace.

While Xiang Yu was in Xian, Liu Bang, the founder of the Western Han Dynasty, had already been staying in Shaanxi area of western China and had accepted the surrender of the Qin forces. By considering the arrogance and the power of Xiang Yu, Liu Bang had to visit him courteously. Xiang was being advised that he should kill Liu Bang, but he did not take this. His staff managed to assassinate Liu but failed. Liu's forces defeated Xiang's army eventually.

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