Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Abbreviation: 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng)|
|Origin of Name|| 湖 hú - lake|
南 nán - south
"south of Lake Dongting"
| Capital and|
|CPC Hunan Committee Secretary||Yang Zhengwu|
|Area||211,800 km² (10th)|
| Population (2002) |
| 66,290,000 (7th) |
| GDP (2002)|
- per capita
| 434.1 billion ¥ (12th) |
6548 ¥ (17th)
|Major Nationalities (2000)|| Han - 90%|
Tujia - 4%
Miao - 3%
Dong - 1%
Yao - 1%
Hunan () is a province of China, located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and south of Lake Dongting (hence the name Hunan, meaning "south of the lake"). Hunan is sometimes called 湘 (pinyin: Xiāng) for short, after the Xiang River which runs through the province.
Hunan entered the written history of China around 350 BC, when under the emperors of the Zhou dynasty it became part of the (State of Chu). Until then Hunan was a land of primeval forests, occupied by the ancestors of the modern Miao, Tujia, Dong and Yao peoples, but starting at this time and for hundreds of years thereafter it was a magnet for migration of Han Chinese from the north, who cleared most of the forests and began farming rice in the valleys and plains. To this day, many of the small villages in Hunan are named after the Han families which originally settled there. Migration from the north was especially prevalent during the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the Southern and Northern Dynasties Periods, when nomadic invaders overran the north.
During the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Hunan was home to its own independent regime, Ma Chu .
Hunan became an important communications center from its position on the Yangzi River (Changjiang) and on the Imperial Highway constructed between northern and southern China. Its land produced grain so abundantly that it fed many parts of China with its surpluses. The population continued to climb until, by the 19th century, Hunan was overcrowded and prone to peasant uprisings.
The Taiping Rebellion (Taiping Tianguo Peasants Uprising or Peaceful Heaven Peasants Uprising) which began to the south in Guangxi Province in 1850 spread into Hunan and then further eastward along the Yangzi River valley, but ultimately it was a Hunanese army under Zeng Guofan which marched to Nanjing and put down the uprising in 1864. Hunan was relatively quiet until 1910 when there were uprisings against the crumbling Qing dynasty, which were followed by the Communist's Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927 led by Hunanese native Mao Zedong. The Communists maintained a guerilla army in the mountains along the Hunan-Jiangxi border until 1934, when under pressure from the Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) forces they began the famous Long March to bases in Shaanxi Province. After the departure of the Communists, the KMT army fought against the Japanese in the second Sino-Japanese war, defending the capital Changsha until it fell in 1944, when Japan launched Operation Ichigo to control the railroad from Wuchang to Guangzhou (Guanghan Railway ). Hunan was relatively unscathed by the civil war that followed the defeat of the Japanese in 1945, and in 1949 the Communists returned once more as the Nationalists retreated southward.
Being Mao Zedong's home province, Hunan supported the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, and was slower than most provinces in adopting the reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in the years that followed Mao's death in 1976.
Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is also Hunanese.
Hunan is situated between 109°-114° east longitude and 20°-30° north latitude. The east, south and west sides of the province are surrounded by mountains and hills, such as the Wuling Mountains to the northwest, the Xuefeng Mountains to the west, the Nanling Mountains to the south, and the Luoxiao Mountains to the east. The mountains and hills occupy more than 80% of the area and the plain comprises less than 20% of the whole province.
The Xiangjiang, the Zijiang, the Yuanjiang and the Lishui Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting (Dongting Hu, 洞庭湖) in the north of Hunan. The center and northern parts are somewhat low and a U-shaped basin, open in the north and with Lake Dongting as its center. Most of Hunan Province lies in the basins of four major tributaries of the Yangtze River.
Lake Dongting is the largest lake in the province and the second largest freshwater lake of China. Due to the reclamation of land for agriculture, Lake Dongting has been subdivided into many smaller lakes, though there is now a trend to reverse some of the reclamation, which had damaged wetland habitats surrounding the lake.
Hunan's climate is subtropical, with mild winters and plenty of precipitation. January temperatures average at 3-8 °C while July temperatures average at 27-30 °C. Average annual precipitation is 1200 - 1700 mm.
The prefecture-level cities:
- Changsha (Simplified Chinese: 长沙市 Hanyu pinyin: Changshā Shì)
- Zhangjiajie (张家界市 Zhāngjiājiè Shì)
- Changde (常德市 Chángdé Shì)
- Yiyang (益阳市 Yìyáng Shì)
- Yueyang (岳阳市 Yuèyáng Shì)
- Zhuzhou (株洲市 Zhūzhōu Shì)
- Xiangtan (湘潭市 Xiāngtán Shì)
- Hengyang (衡阳市 Héngyáng Shì)
- Chenzhou (郴州市 Chénzhōu Shì)
- Yongzhou (永州市 Yǒngzhōu Shì)
- Shaoyang (邵阳市 Shàoyáng Shì)
- Huaihua (怀化市 Huáihuà Shì)
- Loudi (娄底市 Lóudǐ Shì)
The autonomous prefecture:
- Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (湘西土家族苗族自治州 Xiāngxī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu)
The 14 prefecture-level divisions of Hunan are subdivided into 122 county-level divisions (34 districts, 16 county-level cities, 65 counties, 7 autonomous counties). Those are in turn divided into 2587 township-level divisions (1098 towns, 1158 townships, 98 ethnic townships , 225 subdistricts, and 8 district public offices).
As of the 2000 census, the population of Hunan is 64,400,700 consisting of 41 ethnic groups. Its population grew 6.17% (3,742,700) from its 1990 levels. According to the census, 89.79% (57,825,400) identified themselves as Han people, 10.21% (6,575,300) as minority groups. The minority groups are Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, Hui, Bai, Zhuang, Uighurs and so on.
Nü shu is a writing system that was used exclusively among women in Jiangyong County .
- Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (World Heritage Site)
- Yueyang Pagoda in Yueyang
- Shaoshan, the village where Mao Zedong was born
Professional sports teams in Hunan include:
Colleges and universities
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