Back in ancient times, human beings have lived on the land of Jilin. The "Yushu man", "An’tu man" and "Qingshantou man" of 50,000 to 10,000 years ago are the important symbol of the formation of ancient human civilization in Jilin.
Humans who lived on the land of Jilin at early time gradually developed three tribe systems - Sushen, Yemack and Tongus, during their long-term contacts and influences. As far as in Shun and Yu times, the ancient nationalities in Jilin Province have established a tributary relationship with the Central Plains Dynasty, and gradually become an important part of the Chinese nation.
The formation of Jilin region has undergone a long history of evolution. Starting from the Qin Dynasty, Jilin has been assigned by the central governments of successive dynasties to the jurisdiction of the administrative regions. The Han Dynasty set up prefecture and county there, the Bohai Sea of the Tang Dynasty and later the Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties also set up governments, prefectures and counties there. The Ming Dynasty set up secretary and guard house. 1653 AD (Shunzhi decade in Qing Dynasty), the Qing government set up Ningguta Angbang Zhang Jing, which was the beginning of the building of Jilin Province. This had been the first time that Jilin was in possession of an embryonic form of provincial building, so it had landmark significance in the development history of Jilin. 1662 AD (1st year of the reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi), it was renamed General Ningguta. 1673 AD (12th year of the reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi), Jilin City was built at Chuanchang (present Jilin City), known as "Jilin Wula" (meaning "Yanjiang" in Manchu), and Jilin hence the name. 1676 AD, General Ningguta moved to Jilin City. 1757 AD, General Ningguta was renamed General Jilin, and since then, "Jilin" has expanded from the name of city to the title of administrative area. 1907 AD (33rd year of the reign of Qing Emperor Guangxu), Jilin Province was officially established.
Until early Qing Dynasty, Jilin had always been in an isolated state and seen slow social and economic development. In late-and-mid Qing Dynasty, it gradually got out of isolation and saw economy development to certain degree. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Northeast became a land for colonial expansion Russian and Japanese imperialists competed for. Under the influence of the "May 4th" Movement and later "May 30th" Movement, Jilin aroused the continuous anti-imperialist patriotic struggles. With the development of national industry and commerce, modern-scaled cities emerged one after another. Following the "September • 18th" Incident in 1931, Jilin became a colony of Japan.
The Puppet Manchukuo
In 1931, the Japanese imperialist launched a brutal "September • 18th" Incident, invaded and occupied Northeast China. In March 1932, it established Manchukuo, a puppet regime, selected Pu Yi as the executive, and named the reign title "Datong". Changchun was renamed "Hsinkin" and became "capital" of the puppet Manchukuo. In 1934, Japan changed "Manchukuo" into "Manchurian Empire", "executive" into "emperor", and the reign title from "Datong" to "Kangde". August 15, 1945, Japan announced its unconditional surrender; August 18, Pu Yi was abdicated in Tonghua and the puppet Manchukuo perished.
Glorious Revolutionary Tradition
Strong and brave Jilin people had the glorious revolutionary traditions for the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle. Facing barbarian invasion of Russian and Japanese colonialists and imperialists, Jilin people were compelled to resist tenaciously and fully demonstrated the unyielding and positive fighting spirit of the Chinese nation. In particular, Jilin people rose to resist Japan militantly and fought hard against enemies during the war of fighting against Japanese imperialist aggression. From the rise of anti-Japanese volunteers like Wang Delin, Tang Juwu and Wang Fengge at the early stage of occupation to the bloodshed fierce battle of the First Route Anti-Japanese Amalgamated Army under the leadership of Yang Jingyu, Wei Zhengmin and Wang Detai, Jilin people composed numerous grand patriotism canticles with their blood and lives.
During the struggle for Northeast liberation, the Northeast Democratic United Army (later called the Northeast People's Liberation Army) unleashed battles that astounded both China and foreign countries under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, including "Four Battles for Siping", "Safeguarding Linjiang for Four Times" and "Going down to the South of Songhua Jiang for Three Time", which became the key to reverse the complexion of the war for Northeast China. Liaohsi-Shenyang campaign started in 1948 and the Northeast People's Liberation Army laid siege to Changchun. Under political offensives and military pressure, Kuomintang's troops in Changchun surrendered to the People's Liberation Army. Till then, the entire territory of Jilin was liberated.
In the early years after the founding of the PRC, only 2 cities, 2 prefectures, 1 banner, 22 counties and 1 industrial zone were under the jurisdiction of in Jilin Province. In 1954, with the adjustment in the Northeast administrative division, 7 counties previously governed by Heilongjiang Province were put under the administration of Jilin Province, and formed Baicheng Prefecture together with Jilin’s Qian’an Coutny; 1 city and 9 counties previously governed by Liaodong Province were put under the administration of Jilin Province, to establish Tonghua Prefecture; Liaoyuan City, Xian County and Dongfeng County previously governed by Liaodong Province and Siping City, Shuangliao County and Lishu County previously governed by Liaoxi Province were put under the administration of Jilin Province. In the same year, the seat of the People's Government of Jilin Province was changed from Jilin City to Changchun City. In 1969, 1 county and 1 banner of Jilimu League and Hulunbeir League previously governed by Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were put under the administration of Jilin Province, and then put back under the administration of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1979. Since then, the administrative division of Jilin Province continues up to now.
(Updated to July 20, 2015)