Tianjin/Origin and definition of the city
Tianjin is known as a major economic center in China. However, she should be recognized of her historical side that laid the foundation of her significant influence in China.
Tianjin’s establishment dates back to the 14th century when it was the Ming dynasty. The initial establishment of the city was primarily for military defense, so the prime step was basically the construction of the city wall (fig. 1.1), which defines the first boundary of Tianjin. During the Qing dynasty (around the 17th century), Tianjin started to declare itself as an important a prefecture ( ‘Zhou’) due to her close proximity to Beijing, known as Chinese capital. Her economic activity followed the uprising status and became more dynamic. After the third Qing emperor came to the throne, she was promoted to an urban prefecture (‘Fu’), and this indicates her prominent status in Chinese history.
Fig 1.1 City wall maps, Tianjin
In the 1800s, Tianjin was also opened up to foreign countries as the base of foreign affairs. However, she was prevailed by the British and French, and later, forced to function as a foreign trade port under the Treaties of Tianjin. The city wall was torn down in 1901 since the Eight-Nation Alliance had taken over Tianjin. Different concession territories were founded in Tianjin after the incident. These concessions lasted for around 40 years when the Sino-Japanese war broke out, and the nations relinquished their concessions in China at the end of the war.
The main urban piece of Tianjin lies along Hai River (‘Haihe’) which connects to both the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. This contributes to a significant part of Tianjin development due to the fact that these waters provide a great path for shipping goods. Today, they still declare the boundary of Tianjin and support her regardless of the rapid replacement of water transport with air express.