Changsha(redirected from Cháng sha)
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a city in China, on the Hsiang Chiang; capital of Hunan Province. Population, 825,000 (1970). Ch’angsha is a transportation junction. Industry includes food processing, nonferrous metallurgy, the production of textiles (mainly cotton), and machine building (the manufacture of machine tools, instruments, and agricultural equipment). The city is the center of a rice-growing region.
Settlements existed at what is now Ch’angsha as early as the fifth century B.C. The area was a center for the formation of the ancient Chinese Ch’u kingdom, which played an important political role during the Chan Kuo period (fifth to third centuries B.C). Wood and bronze objects excavated at burials of the period have helped scholars establish the major features of the Ch’u culture, and discoveries of painted human figures have helped in determining the physical type of the people. Ancient Chinese texts inscribed on bamboo tablets have been found near the city. During the rule of the Han Dynasty (third century B.C. to third century AD), the production of lacquer ware and bronze mirrors developed in Ch’angsha.
Under the Ch’in Dynasty (221–207 B.C.), Ch’angsha became the seat of a district. Later it was at various times the seat of a district, region, and prefecture. Under the Ch’ing Dynasty (1644–1911) and after the establishment of a republic it was the capital of Hunan Province.
In 1904 one of the first bourgeois revolutionary organizations in China, the Hua-hsing Hui, was established in Ch’angsha. In 1910 a popular uprising known as the rice revolt took place in the city, and in 1920 one of China’s first Marxist circles arose in Ch’angsha. In 1941 and in 1944 and 1945 the city was occupied by Japanese troops. In August 1949, Ch’angsha was liberated from the rule of the Kuomintang by the People’s Liberation Army of China.