Anhui Province was set up in the sixth year of Kangxi Reign of Qing Dynasty (1667). “Anhui”, the name of the province, comes from the combination of the first character of two prefectures' names at that time: Anqing and Huizhou. Because there was a mountain called “Wan Mountain” and an ancient nation named “Wan” in Spring and Autumn period in Anhui (722 BC–481 BC), “Anhui” is also called “Wan” for short.
Anhui is one of the most important cradles of China's pre-historical civilization. It has been discovered that even 2.5 million years ago, human beings already inhabited the site in the Inverted V Cave (the shape of the Chinese character of "man") in Fanchang County.The Hexian County's Sinanthropus Site of the Paleolithic Age (300,000 or 400,000 years ago) was excavated in the Dragon Pool Cave of Hexian County. These excavations have demonstrated that many generations of people have lived in this area since ancient times. During the Neolithic Age (between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago), Anhui belonged to the cultural domains of Yangshao, Longshan, Qingnianand Veined Chinaware.
The Xuejiagang Site, excavated in Qianshan County, has a long history of about 5,000 to 6,000 years. This ancient cultural site, revealing mostly Neolithic relics, is of great importance in the research of the primitive culture in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Yu, the historical reputed founder of the Xia Dynasty, had a close relation with Anhui. According to the historical records, Yu met with local lords at Tushan and all the lords paid tributes to him.Tushan is the ancient Dangtu County in today's Horsehead Town,southeast of Huaiyuan County in Anhui. Bozhou was once the capital of the Chengtang State in the Shang Dynasty (between 1,600 to 1,100 B.C), while the ancient Shouchun (today's Shouxian County)was the capital of the late Chu State in the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C). The ancient copper tripod caldron excavated from the tombs of the Chu Dynasty is just little lighter than Simuwu Rectangle Ding, a bronze cooking vessel with two loop handles and four legs, of the Shang Dynasty. In the Qin Dynasty, according to the administrative division at that time, the area north to the Huai River belonged to Tang Prefecture and Sishui Prefecture, the area between the Huaihe River and the Yangtze River belonged to Jiujiang Prefecture, and the area south to the Yangtze River belonged to Zhang Prefecture.During the East Han and West Han dynasties, Anhui belonged to Yang, Yu, and Xu prefectures. In the period of the Three Kingdoms (A.D. 222-280), Anhui was dominated by the State of Wu andthe State of Wei, and was a battle field innumerable times. In the period of the Jin Dynasty, Southern and Northern dynasties and the Sui Dynasty, Anhui belonged respectively to Yang, Xu and Yu prefectures.In the SongDynasty, Hui merchants flourished quickly,economy and culture of Hui Prefecture created great influenceon the whole nation.
In the Yuan Dynasty,Anhui was governed by Henan Province, Jiang and Zhe administrativeprovinces. In the Ming Dynasty, Anhui was under the direct administrationof the Capital of Nanjing, and the province was subdividedinto seven prefectures and four counties: Anqing, Huizhou,Ningguo, Chizhou, Taiping, Luzhou and Fengyang prefectures, andChu, He, Xu and Guangde counties. In the Qing Dynasty, Anhui wasset up as a province with eight prefectures and five counties: Huizhou, Ningguo, Chizhou Taiping Anqing, Luyang, Fengyang, Yingzhouprefectures, and Guangde, Chu, He, Lu'an counties. At the beginningof the Republic of China (1912-1949), Anhui was divided intoWuhu, Anqing, and Huaisi prefectures. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Anhui was divided into the two prefectures of Northern Anhui and Southern Anhui, with Hefei as the capitalof Northern Anhui and Wuhu the capital of Southern Anhui. In1952, North Anhui and Southern Anhui were merged to form AnhuiProvince, and Hefei was selected as the provincial capital city.
Gushouchun (now called Shou county) was once the capital of the Chu kingdom in the Spring and Autumn period (BC770-476). Daze village in Suzhou witnessed the first peasant uprising in Chinese feudal history. The Feishui battle (AD383) also happened in Bagong mountain in the Huainan region in the Eastern Tsin dynasty. Great poets during the Tang and Song dynasties, such as Libai, Dumu, Liu Yuxi and Ou Yangxiu,visited this region, leaving many unforgettable poems. Guo Zixing, Zhu Yuanzhang (later became the first emperor in Ming dynasty) revolted the Yuan dynasty in Haozhou (near Fengyang and Dingyuan city at present) and finally overthrown it by Ming dynasty(AC1364). Before the 1911 revolution, Anhui witnessed heroic movements against government oppressors, such as the assassination of Anhui governor Enming by Xu Xilin and the Mapaoying uprising by Xiong Chengji. In January 1941, there saw the Wannan event (At that period, the two parties united together to fight against Japanese invaders but Kuomingtang assassinated many communists in Wannan, violating the coalition) in Jin county (the headquarters of the New Fourth Army of Communist).
Source: Anhui Official Website