A provincial town roughly on the site of modern Beijing becomes the southern capital of the Khitan Mongol liao dynasty,thousands of kilometers from the ancient centers of early han Chinese empires.
The city is taken over by the Jurchen Tartar Jin dynasty,first as southern Capital,then Central Capital,as its empire expands
The Mongol Yuan dynasty,having conquered most of Asia and eastern Europe,rebuilds the city on the mordern site as the capital Khanbalik,Dadu (great capital)in Mandarin, Cambulac in Marco Polo’s account of the city
Marco Polo,his father,and his uncle are in Chian,much of the time in Khanbalik,Polo’s ghostwritten account of the capital captures the imagination of European readers for several centuries afterward.
The Ming dynasty,having driven out the Mongols,establishes its capital at Nanjing,Da du becomes Beiping
Ming emperor Yongle moves capital back to Beijing from Nanjing,and completes work on the Forbidden City.he becomes the first Chinese emperor to reign from Beijing,and the first to give it that name” northern capital” Ming dynasty Beijing overlaid on the yuan foundations.Temple of heaven at the same time are constructed
Mongol horsemen fire a massage-bearing arrow into a Chinese general’s camp saying that they will attack Bejing the following year.Despite this advance announcement,they duly make their way up to the city walls as promised.So much for the Great wall
In reponse to Mongol attacks,a lower southern extension to the city wall is begun,eventually enclosing the commerical district,the important ceremonial sites of the Temple of Heaven and Altar of Agriculture,and a broad swath of countryside.The whole system of walls is clad in brick.Beijing remains largely the same for the next 400 years,when casual and orgainzed destruction begiins with the Republic and is hastened under the People’s republic.
After years of campaigning,Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci finally receives permission to reside in Beijing and stays until his death,founding and influential Jesuit presence that survives well into the Qing dynasty
As peasant rebels overrun the capital,the last Ming emperor is driven to suicide by hanging himself frm a tree in Jinshanpark behind the Forbidden City,shortly afterward ,the rebels are driven out by invading Manchu forces,whose Qing dynasty transfers its capital from Manchuria to Beijing
George III’s emissary to the Qianlong emperor visits China and passes through Beijing,staying outside the city at a vast area of parks and palaces.his requests for increased trade and for a permanent trade representative in Beijing are turned down in a patronizing edict written even before hisarrived.
The Second Opium War sees the Qing and their Chiense subjects capitulating in the face of the superior military technology of “ barbarians” Principally the British) for the second time in 16 years.Under the terms of the Treaty of Nanjing,China is forced to permit the permanent residence of foreign diplomats and trade representatives in the capital
British and French rescue forces occupy Beijing and destroy a vast area of parks and palaces to the northwest,some of the remnants of which form the modern Summer palace,
Foreign powers begin to construct diplomatic legation buildings just inside the Tartar city’s wall east of the Qianmen
The Harmonious Fists,nicknamed the Boxers,a superstitious anti-foreign peasants movement,besieges the foreign residents of the legation Quarter,with the initially covert and finally open assistance of imperial troops.The siege begins on June 10 and is only lifted,after extensive destruction and many deaths, by the forces of Eight Aliied Powers on August 14,Boxers,imperial troops,Chiense,foreign survivors,and allied soldiers take to looting the city.Payments on a vast indemnity take the Qing a further 39 years to pay in full,
The Qing dynasty’s downfall is brought about by an almost accidental revolution,and betrayal by Yuan shikai,the man the Qing trusted to crush it.He negotiates with both sides and extracts an abdication agreement from the infant emperor’s regent and an agreement from the rebels that he will become the first president of the new republic
Yuanshikai revives annual ceremonies at the Temple of Heaven,and prepares to install himself as first emperor of a new dynasty,but widespread demonstrations and the fomenting ofa new rebellion in the south lead him to cancel his plans,he died the following year
In July a promonarchist warlord puts Puyi back on the throne,but he is driven out by another who drops three bombs on the Forbidden City,only one of which actually explodes on target.The imperial restoration lasts exactly 12 days
Students and citizens gather on May 4 in Tian’anmen square to protest the government’s agreement that Chinese territory formerly under German control be handed to the Japanese
The “Articles providing for the Favourable Treatment of the great Qing Emperor after his Abdication provide for the emperor to continue to live in the Frobidden city pending an eventual move to the Summer Palace.But in November he is removed by a hostile warlord and put under house arrest,later escaping to the Lagation Quarter with the help of his Scottish former tutor
With Japanese armies seemingly poised to occupy Beiping,the most important pieces of the imperial collection of antiquities in the Forbidden City are packed into 19,557 crates and moved to Shanghai.They move again when the Japanese take Shanghai in 1937,and after an incredible journey around the country in the thick of civil war,13,484 crates end up with the Nationalist government in Taiwan in 1949
Japanese forces,long in occupation of Manchuria and patrolling far beyond what the treaty permits them,prtend to have come under attack near the Marco Polo bridge,occupy Beiping,ad stay until the end of World War Ii
Maozedong proclaims People’s Republic of China from the Gate of of heavenly Peace.
In a series of major projects to mark 10 years of Communist rule,the old ministries lining what will be Tian’anmen Square and its surrounding walls are all flattened for the construction of the Great Wall of the people and the vast museums opposite.These and Beijing Railway station are built with Soviet help,which shows in the design.The city walls,which have survived for 400 years,are pulled down by” volunteers” to be replaces with a metro line and a ring road for an almost completely carless society,the stone from the Walls goes to line a system of tunnels into which the entire city pupulation can supposedly be evacuated in case of attack
The destruction of old things reaches its peak as bands of Red Guardsfanatically loyal to Mao,roam around fighting each other,ransacking ancient buildigns,burning books,and smashing art.Even the tree from which the last Ming emperor supposedly hanged himself is cut down.Intellectuals are bullied,imprisoned,tortured,and murdered,as is anyone with a history f links to foreigners,Scores are settled,and millions die.The education system largely comes to a halt.Many antiquities impounded from their owners are sold to foreign dealers by weight to provide funds for the government,which later decries foreign theft of Chinese antiquities
The death of Zhou Enlai,who is credited with mitigating some of the worst excesses of the cultural Revolution,leads to over 100,000 demonstrating against the government in Tian’anmen square, The demonstrations are labeled counterrevolutionary,and hundreds are arrested.
Beijing is chosen in July as the site of the 2008 Olympic Games
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS)hits the city;Dozens of people die and tens of thousands are quarantined
A direct rail link opens between beijing and Lhasa in Tibet costing $4.2 billion,The journey takes around 48 hours
Beijing host the Olympic Games.The openning ceremony orchestrated by Zhangyimou.