Ch'ang-chou

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ch'ang-chou

city, southern Jiangsu sheng (province), China. It was a part of the commandery (jun; a military district) of Kuaiji under the Qin (221-206 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-220 CE) dynasties and, after 129 CE, a part of Wu Commandery. It first became an independent administrative unit under the Xi (Western) Jin in 280-290 CE, when it became the seat of Biling Commandery, renamed Jinling Commandery in 304. It was given the name Chang prefecture (zhou) under the Sui dynasty (581-618) in 589. After 609, with the completion of the southern section of the Grand Canal, it became a canal port and transshipment point for grain produced in the area. At the end of the Sui it was the centre of a rebel regime led by Li Zitong, suppressed in 621. During the Five Dynasties (907-960) it formed part first of the Wu kingdom and then of the Nan (Southern) Tang, and it continued to prosper. In Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) times it was a rich and flourishing centre of commerce. After 1368 it was for a while renamed Changchun prefecture (fu), but it then became the superior prefecture of Changzhou, subordinated to the government of Nanjing. In 1912 the prefecture was reduced to a county (xian) for some years and took the name Wujin, but it continued to be known colloquially as Changzhou. The city has thus retained the name for 14 centuries.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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