History of Jiangxi
Jiangxi is centered on the Gan River valley, which historically provided the main north-south transport route of south China. The corridor along the Gan River is one of the few easily traveled routes through the otherwise mountainous and rugged terrain of the south-eastern mountains. This open corridor was the primary route for trade and communication between the North China Plain and the Yangtze River valley in the north and the territory of modern Guangdong province in the south. As a result Jiangxi has been strategically important throughout much of China's history.
Jiangxi was outside the sphere of influence of early Chinese civilization during the Shang Dynasty (16th to 11th centuries BC). It is likely that peoples collectively known as the Yue inhabited the region. During the Spring and Autumn Period, the northern part of modern Jiangxi formed the western frontier of the state of Wu. After Wu was conquered by the state of Yue (a power based in modern northern Zhejiang) in 473 BC, the state of Chu (based in modern Hubei) took over northern Jiangxi and there may have been some Yue influence in the south. Chu subjugated Yue in 333 BC, and was in turn subjugated by the state of Qin in 221 BC. Qin established the Qin Dynasty in that same year, the first unified Chinese state.
The unification of China by the Qin Dynasty saw the incorporation of Jiangxi into the Qin empire. The Qin Dynasty established a two-tier administration system in China, with commanderies on top and counties below. Seven counties were established in what is now Jiangxi, all of them administered from Jiujiang commandery, located north of the Yangzi in modern Anhui, not the modern city of Jiujiang in Jiangxi. Qin colonisation formed the earliest settlement structure in Jiangxi and which for the most part, has survived to the present day.
Yuzhang commandery (豫章) was established in northern Jiangxi at the beginning of the Han Dynasty, possibly before the death of Xiang Yu in 202 BC. It was named after the Yuzhang River (豫章江), the original name of Gan River (贛江). "Gan" has become the abbreviation of the province. In 201, eight counties were added to the original seven of Qin, and three more were established in later years. Throughout most of the Han Dynasty the commandery's eighteen counties covered most of the modern province of Jiangxi. The county seats of Nanchang, Gan, Yudu, Luling among others were located at the sites of modern major cities. Other counties, however, have been moved or abolished in later centuries.
Under the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, Yuzhang Commandery was assigned to Yangzhou Province, as part of a trend to establish provinces (zhou) all across China. In 291 AD, during the Western Jin Dynasty, Jiangxi became its own Zhou called Jiangzhou (江州). During the Northern and Southern Dynasties, Jiangxi was under the control of the southern dynasties, and the number of zhou slowly grew.
During the Sui Dynasty, there were seven commanderies and twenty-four counties in Jiangxi. During the Tang Dynasty, another commandery and fourteen counties were added. Commanderies were then abolished, becoming zhou (henceforth translated as "prefectures" rather than "provinces").
Circuits were established during the Tang Dynasty as a new top-level administrative division. At first Jiangxi was part of the Jiangnan Circuit (lit. "Circuit south of the Yangtze"). In 733, this circuit was divided into western and eastern halves. Jiangxi was found in the western half, which was called Jiangnanxi Circuit (lit. "Western circuits south of the Yangtze"). This is the source of the modern name "Jiangxi".
The Tang Dynasty collapsed in 907, heralding the division of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Jiangxi first belonged to Wu (吳), then to Southern Tang (南唐). Both states were based in modern-day Nanjing, further down the Yangtze River.
During the Song Dynasty, Jiangnanxi Circuit was reestablished with nine prefectures and four army districts (with sixty-eight districts).
During the Yuan Dynasty, the circuit was divided into thirteen different circuits, and Jiangxi Province was established for the first time. This province also included the majority of modern Guangdong. Jiangxi acquired (more or less) its modern borders during the Ming Dynasty after Guangdong was separated out. There has been little change to the borders of Jiangxi since.
After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, Jiangxi became one of the earliest bases for the Communists and many peasants were recruited to join the growing people's revolution. The Nanchang Uprising took place in Jiangxi on August 1, 1927, during the Chinese Civil War. Later the Communist leadership hid in the mountains of southern and western Jiangxi, hiding from the Kuomindang's attempts to eradicate them. In 1931, the Chinese Soviet Republic's government was established in Ruijin (瑞金), which is sometimes called the "Former Red Capital" (红色故都), or just the "Red Capital". In 1935, after complete encirclement by the Nationalist forces, the Communists broke through and began the Long March to Yan'an.
Culture of Jiangxi
The population of Jiangxi is approximately 39.66 million. 99% of that is Han Chinese. Minorities include Hui and Zhuang. The Hakka, a Han Chinese people with their own distinctive identity, inhabit the southern parts of the province.
Jiangxi is the main area of concentration of the Gan varieties of Chinese, spoken over most of the northern two-thirds of the province. Examples include the Nanchang dialect, Yichun dialect and Ji'an dialect. The southern one-third of the province speaks Hakka. There are also Mandarin, Huizhou, and Wu dialects spoken along the northern border.
Ganju (Jiangxi opera) is the type of Chinese opera performed in Jiangxi.
Although little known outside of the province, Jiangxi cuisine is rich and distinctive. Flavors are some of the strongest in China, with heavy use of chile peppers and especially pickled and fermented products.
Jingdezhen is widely regarded as the producer of the best porcelain in China.
Jiangxi also was a historical center of Chan Buddhism.
Prominent examples of Hakka architecture can be found in Jiangxi.
Industry of Jiangxi
Rice is the dominant crop in Jiangxi. Cash crops commonly grown include cotton and rapeseed.
Jiangxi is rich in mineral resources, leading the provinces of China in deposits of copper, tungsten, gold, silver, uranium, thorium, tantalum, niobium, among others. Noted centers of mining include Dexing (copper) and Dayu County (tungsten).
Jiangxi is a rather poor province when compared to its neighboring provinces. It is located in extreme proximity to some of the richest provinces of China (Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian), which are sometimes blamed for taking away talent and capital from Jiangxi.
Jiangxi's nominal GDP for 2008 was 648 billion yuan (93.3 billion USD) and a per capita of 15,033 RMB (2,164 USD).