/kan ton", kan"ton/ for 1; /kan"tn/ for 2-5, n.
1. Also called Kwangchow, Guangzhou, Kuangchou. Older Spelling. a seaport in and the capital of Guangdong province, in SE China, on the Zhu Jiang. 3,000,000.
2. a city in NE Ohio: location of the football Hall of Fame. 94,730.
3. a city in E Massachusetts. 18,182.
4. a city in W central Illinois. 14,626.
5. a town in central Mississippi. 11,116.

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Political subdivision of Switzerland, France, and some other European countries.

Each of Switzerland's 26 cantons and half-cantons has its own constitution, legislature, executive, and judiciary. Five preserve the ancient democratic assembly, in which all citizens meet; the remaining 21 have a cantonal legislature with elective representatives and usually proportional representation. In France, the canton is a territorial and administrative subdivision of an arrondissement but not an actual unit of local government.

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Chinese (Wade-Giles)  Kuangchou , (PinyinGuangzhou 
 city, capital of Kwangtung sheng (province), southeastern China. It lies near the head of the Pearl River Estuary (Chu Chiang K'ou), more than 90 miles (145 kilometres) inland from the South China Sea. Because of its position at the meeting point of inland rivers and the sea, it has long been one of China's main commercial and trading centres. It has served as a doorway for foreign influence since the 3rd century AD and was the first Chinese port to be regularly visited by European traders. The city is also a historic centre of learning and, as a centre of political activity for the Chinese Nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen, it was the cradle of the Chinese revolution. Area 558 square miles (1,444 square km). Pop. (2003 est.) 4,653,131.

Physical and human geography

The landscape
The city site
      The city proper of Canton lies within the county (hsien) of P'an-yü, although the municipality (shih) of Kuang-chou embraces P'an-yü and several additional counties. The main part of the city is situated on the north bank of the Pearl River, which branches off the Hsi Chiang (“West River”) and forms the northern border of the immense Pearl River, or Canton, Delta (san-chiao-chou) to the south.

      Most of Canton lies to the south of Pai-yün Shan (White Cloud Mountain), which rises to 1,253 feet (382 metres) above sea level about four miles from the city centre. At the southern extension of the Pai-yün Shan are the Yüeh-hsiu Shan, on which the earliest known inhabitants of the region lived. Archaeological work has revealed that the site of the city during the Ch'in (221–206 BC) and the Han (206 BC–AD 220) dynasties was slightly north of the modern urban centre. Later, the city expanded southward as river-borne silt and sand were deposited and the Pearl gradually became narrower.

      Old Canton was a crowded city of narrow streets and winding alleys. A vigorous modernization program was carried out in the 1920s and 1930s, during which wide streets were built, modern sewers introduced, arcades constructed for sidewalk shops, and numerous parks created. New dikes built along the Pearl allowed the city to expand southward to its present waterfront. Limited by hills to the north and by numerous waterways to the west, Canton's subsequent expansion has been mainly into the low plains to the east.

      Canton has three seasons. From April through October, the summer season is wet, hot, and humid; south and southwest winds are often accompanied by typhoons, which are seldom destructive. The July mean temperature is 83° F (28° C). Winter lasts from October through early February and is mild and free of snow; the January mean temperature is 56° F (13° C). The third season, from February through mid-April, is a period of transition that is marked by muggy weather. The average annual rainfall is 64 inches (1,625 millimetres), and farmers in the surrounding country enjoy a year-round growing season.

The city layout
 Canton stretches along a waterfront, which runs east and west along the Pearl. Both the Old City (dating to the Ming dynasty and now mostly in the Yüeh-hsiu district) and the districts of Li-wan to the west and Tung-shan to the east are located on the north bank. Since the demolition of the city walls in the 1920s, these sections have become one city. On the south bank are the industrial suburbs of Hai-chu to the south and Hua-ti to the southwest. Another industrial section is located in the northwestern suburb of Hsi-ts'un.

      The Yüeh-hsiu district is the commercial centre of Canton as well as the site of provincial and municipal government offices. To the north is Yüeh-hsiu Park, the largest of the city's parks. Within the park are artificial lakes, a five-story red pagoda (built in 1380) that now houses the Canton Municipal Museum, a flower exhibition hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (1931), and sports and recreational facilities. To the west of the park is the Canton Foreign Trade Centre (formerly the Exhibition Centre), from 1956 the site of the Chinese Export Commodities Fair (also called the Canton Trade Fair). The main north–south thoroughfare of the city, Chieh-fang Lu (Liberation Avenue), is intersected in the centre of Canton by the east–west Chung-shan Lu (Sun Yat-sen Avenue). The Peasant Movement Institute, which flourished in the mid-1920s under Mao Zedong's leadership, is located near the city centre. Also in the central part of the district are the Huai-sheng Mosque (built 627), considered to be the oldest mosque in China; the Buddhist Liu-jung Ssu (“Temple of the Six Banyan Trees”), founded in the 5th century, and its nine-story Hua T'a (“Flower Pagoda”); and the Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in 1860. The district includes the city's major hotels, department stores, and cinemas; traditional Chinese buildings rarely are found except in the hills to the north. Skyscrapers line the banks of the Pearl in the downtown area and ring Hai-chu Square, a huge open space by the river.

      Li-wan district, as part of the Old City, has retained traditional-style housing alongside modern buildings. Li-wan Park is located in the southwest part of the district, while to the northeast is Liu-hua Park. To the south, Sha-mien, a tiny island in the Pearl and once an exclusive enclave of the British and French, is noted for its Western-style mansions.

      Tung-shan district, east of central Canton, is predominantly residential; many government officials and repatriated Chinese live there. Located in the district are the Martyrs Memorial Park, dedicated to those killed in the uprising in 1927 against the Kuomintang (Nationalists) and a mausoleum for 72 people who lost their lives in an unsuccessful revolt against the Ch'ing dynasty in 1911. Many of the city's institutions of higher learning are located in the district.

      South of the Pearl is Hai-chu district. It is characterized by modern residential quarters and industrial centres. The Sun Yat-sen University (founded 1924) is located there.

The people
      Canton is one of the most densely inhabited areas in China; most of its residents live in the central district of the city. The people, called Cantonese, speak a dialect of Chinese that is distinctively different from Mandarin. The earliest inhabitants, of Tai or Shan origin, were assimilated by the Chinese (Han) long ago. There are, however, small groups of Manchus and Chinese Muslims (Hui) in the city. A notable demographic feature is the large number of “overseas Chinese” who emigrated to Southeast Asia, the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. Since the early 1980s, many of them have returned and resettled in and around Canton.

The economy
      Since 1950 there has been substantial expansion of such light industries as the manufacture of electronics, textiles, newsprint, processed food, and firecrackers. Heavy industries include the production of machinery, chemicals, iron and steel, and cement, as well as shipbuilding. Smaller plants have also been developed for the manufacture of consumer goods. Canton is celebrated for its many handicraft products, including ivory carvings, jade objects, embroideries, fans, porcelain, and paper umbrellas. Since the late 1970s there has been considerable foreign investment in Canton, and the city has become one of China's principal tourist attractions.

      Canton is the centre of the trade of Kwangtung and Kwangsi and the adjacent provinces of South China. Products such as sugar, fruits, silk, timber, tea, and herbs are exported, whereas manufactured goods and industrial equipment are transshipped via Canton into the interior. The semiannual Chinese Export Commodities Fair has become an institution of world trade.

      Buses, bicycles, and automobiles are the principal means of transportation; the city has some of the worst traffic congestion in all of China. The delta is blessed with innumerable canals and creeks; the smaller canals are used by sampans (flat-bottomed boats propelled by oars) and the larger by steamers or motor launches. Canton is a terminus of inland navigation and is also the focal point of coastal and ocean navigation. The port facilities at Canton and at Huang-pu, 12 miles downstream and now a district of the city, have been expanded to accommodate larger vessels.

      Canton is served by railroads linking it to Peking, Kowloon, and San-shui (at the confluence of the Hsi Chiang and the Pearl). Kwangtung is the nation's most advanced province in highway development. Major arterial roads link Canton with other large cities in Kwangtung and with Macau. The city's international airport, north of the city, is the largest in southern China.

Administration and social conditions
      Canton's municipal government is part of the hierarchical structure of the Chinese government—and the parallel structure of the Chinese Communist Party—that extends from the national organization, through the provincial apparatus, to the municipal and, ultimately, neighbourhood levels. The principal responsibilities of the Canton Municipal People's Congress, the major decision-making body, include issuing administrative orders, collecting taxes, determining the budget, and implementing economic plans. A standing committee selected from its members recommends policy decisions and oversees the operation of municipal government. Executive authority rests with the Canton People's Government, the officers of which are elected by the congress; it consists of a mayor, vice mayors, and numerous bureaus in charge of public security, the judicial system, and other civil, economic, social, and cultural affairs.

      The city is divided into districts (ch'u), each of which has a district mayoralty. Under the district, there are police substations and street mayoralties. Neighbourhood associations have various functions, including mediating disputes, conducting literacy campaigns, supervising sanitation and welfare, and promoting family planning.

      Health conditions have improved dramatically during the 20th century. Epidemics have been eliminated through the control of disease-carrying pests. The city has many fine hospitals, of which one of the best known is the Kwangtung Provincial People's Hospital.

      Canton is one of China's most progressive cities regarding education. In addition to a large number of kindergartens, primary schools, and middle schools, it has many institutions of higher learning, including Sun Yat-sen University, Chinan University, Sun Yat-sen Medical College, Canton College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Canton Institute of Mechanical Engineering, and South China Institute of Agriculture.

Cultural life
      Canton is a vibrant city. Large tracts of parkland, many of them created since 1949, help give the city its characteristically lush appearance and provide the citizenry with a wide variety of recreational facilities. The colourful flower show held during the annual Spring Festival is a major highlight. Although the Cantonese are increasingly aware of the modern life-style of Hong Kong, they also prize their historical and cultural roots. Throngs of people are usually found visiting the city's many museums and monuments of historical importance, and productions of Cantonese opera and music are well attended. The Sun Yat-sen Library of Kwangtung Province, with one of the largest holdings in China, has an extensive collection of vernacular-language works. The vitality of the Cantonese is exemplified by their passion for food. Cantonese cuisine is world-renowned, and the city's hundreds of restaurants offer a seemingly endless variety of dishes.


The early period
      The earliest known inhabitants of the Canton area were the Pai Yüeh, a Tai, or Shan, people. At the beginning of the Western Chou dynasty (c. 1111–771 BC), their chief built a walled town, known as Nan-wu Ch'eng, in the northern section of the present-day city. In 887 BC the town was taken by the mid-Yangtze kingdom of Ch'u and was known as Wu-yang Ch'eng (“City of Five Goats”).

      Under the Ch'in dynasty (Qin dynasty) Canton was made the capital of Nan-hai prefecture. Upon the fall of the Ch'in, Gen. Chao T'o (died 137 BC) established an autonomous state known as Nan Yüeh (Nam Viet), which was annexed in 111 BC by the Han dynasty. For the next 300 years Chinese assimilation of the Yüeh people proceeded, and integration of the region into the empire took firm root.

      During the four centuries from the Three Kingdoms to the founding of the T'ang dynasty (Tang dynasty) in AD 618, when North China was overrun by “barbarian” invaders, Canton remained a part of the Chinese regimes based in Nanking. During this period the city grew in wealth and population; Buddhist temples were erected, and a flourishing community was maintained by Arab and Hindu traders. Peace and prosperity were further augmented under the T'ang (618–907). An auxiliary wall and settlement were built on Yü Hill, but the city suffered much destruction during the civil strife at the end of the dynasty.

      Under the Sung dynasty (Song dynasty) (960–1279) the increase in Canton's population and the growth of foreign trade made it necessary to enlarge the city. A second auxiliary wall and settlement were constructed on P'an Hill in the late 11th century. With the settlements on the twin hills, the city took on the name P'an-yü (hence the name of the county in which Canton is now located). Under the Southern Sung (1127–1279) Chinese seamen and traders sailed to Southeast Asia, thus opening the way for Chinese emigration abroad in subsequent ages. In the late 13th century and throughout the 14th, many Chinese families from North China moved into the Kwangtung region in the wake of the Mongol conquest. A booming economy resulted as the Yüan rulers (1206–1368) encouraged maritime trade and kept Chinese-Mongol race relations under control.

      Under the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) the city underwent considerable rebuilding and expansion. In 1380 the P'an and Yü hills were razed, and the old town and the two auxiliary districts were combined into one large walled city. In 1535 an outer wall was added to incorporate the new commercial districts on the north bank of the Pearl. Meanwhile, the pattern of foreign trade changed as the supremacy of the Arabs ended with the coming of the Europeans. The Portuguese sent their first embassy to Canton in the early 1500s, followed by the Dutch and the British in the 17th century.

      Canton came under the rule of the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty from 1644 to 1911/12. Recognizing the importance of the city, the government made it the capital of the Viceroyalty of Kwangtung and Kwangsi. The British East India Company established a “factory” (foreign traders' residences and business offices) in Canton in 1685, and annual trading operations began in 1699. Throughout the 18th century French, Dutch, American, and other nationals also established trade relations with the city; the “13 factories” were located on the waterfront.

 Trade moved without undue difficulty until friction began to mount in the 1820s. The foreigners found trade restrictions (through licensed Chinese merchants known as Cohong) too irksome, while the Chinese authorities refused to open normal diplomatic relations. The Chinese seized and destroyed large quantities of illegal opium brought in by the British in 1839, and in retaliation the British attacked Chinese positions in the Canton Estuary. The first Opium War (Opium Wars) (1839–42) ended in humiliating defeat for China, and the city saved itself from destruction only by paying a $6,000,000 ransom.

      The Treaty of Nanking (1842) with the United Kingdom opened Canton as a treaty port. In 1844 the French and the Americans obtained similar treaties. Antiforeign sentiment, however, ran high, and the city refused to open its gates until 1857. The coolie trade and the use of foreign flags to protect pirates caused several crises. The second Opium (or “Arrow”) War broke out between China and Britain and France in 1856. Canton was occupied by Anglo-French forces until 1861, and Sha-mien was made an Anglo-French concession in 1859.

      Amid the woes of foreign imperialism, Canton was deeply shaken by the great antidynastic outbreak of the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64), the leader of which, Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, was born in the northern Canton suburb of Hua-hsien. Many followers of Hung formed secret societies that kept his revolutionary ideals alive even after the failure of the rebellion. For the next 50 years anti-Manchu agitation formed one of the twin forces that gripped Canton; the other was the rise of nationalism.

The modern city
      Canton came under the spell of its most illustrious son, Sun Yat-sen, from 1885 to 1925. Sun made the city the testing ground for his campaign to overthrow the Manchu dynasty and to establish a Chinese republic. The Canton Uprising of 1911 paved the way for the success of the revolution before the end of the year. Canton became the base of operations for action against the warlords between 1916 and 1925 and served as the headquarters of Sun's party, the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party). Besides completing his Three Principles of the People, Sun reorganized the Kuomintang in 1924 to reactivate the Nationalist revolution. All manner of people flocked to Canton—the right- and left-wing members of the Kuomintang, the members of the newly formed Chinese Communist Party, and Soviet advisers. Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Zhou Enlai began their careers in Canton under Sun's tutelage.

      Chiang gained power when he crushed an uprising by the Canton Merchants Volunteer Corps and defeated the disloyal local warlords (1924). With Sun's death in 1925, however, Canton was embroiled in the power struggle between the Communists and the Nationalists. In 1927 a Communist-led coup attempted to set up a workers' government in the city, only to be crushed by Chiang. From 1928 to 1937 Canton was officially under the control of the Nationalist government, but it was actually controlled by independent leaders, who criticized Chiang's dictatorship and threatened secession from Nanking. In 1937, when war against the Japanese broke out, Canton became a prime target of Japanese air raids. Canton fell in 1938 and remained under Japanese occupation until 1945. Recovery did not begin until the Communist government took control in 1949. The modernization begun in the 1920s continued, although there were periods of hardship during the Great Leap Forward (1958–60) and Cultural Revolution (1966–76). New housing and government offices have been built, heavy industry has been introduced, and the city has developed into one of China's centres of foreign trade.

Additional Reading
General references include Fredric Kaplan, Julian Sogin, and Arne De Keijzer, The China Guidebook, 6th ed. (1985); and Nagel Publishers, China, English version by Anne L. Destenay, 4th ed. (1982). More detailed information is contained in Shann Davies et al., Canton and Guilin (1980); China Travel And Tourism Press, Guangzhou (1983); and Fifteen Cities in China, published by China Reconstructs. For geography, see George Babcock Cressey, China's Geographic Foundations: A Survey of the Land and Its People (1934); and for an economic geography, see T.R. Tregear, China, A Geographical Survey (1980). Historical references may be found in W.C. Hunter, The “Fan Kwae” at Canton Before Treaty Days, 1825–1844 (1882, reprinted 1970); Leang-Li T'ang, The Inner History of the Chinese Revolution (1930, reprinted 1977); and Immanuel C.Y. Hsü, The Rise of Modern China , 3rd ed. (1983). S. Bernard Thomas, “Proletarian Hegemony” in the Chinese Revolution and the Canton Commune of 1927 (1975), examines the impact of the commune's failure; and Stanley Rosen, Red Guard Factionalism and the Cultural Revolution in Guangzhou (Canton) (1982), analyzes the Red Guard movement in the city. Ezra F. Vogel, Canton Under Communism (1969, reprinted 1980), is a study of the changes in the 1950s and 1960s. Cantonese language, culture, and food are discussed in Leo J. Moser, The Chinese Mosaic: The Peoples and Provinces of China (1985). Ping-chia Kuo Zhong Gong-fu

      city, Fulton county, west-central Illinois, U.S. It lies in the Illinois River valley between the Illinois (Illinois River) and Spoon (Spoon River) rivers, about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Peoria. Founded in 1825 by Isaac Swan, a native of New York, it was named in the belief that it was diametrically opposite Guangzhou (Canton) (Canton), China. Swan built a sawmill there, and Canton subsequently developed as a centre for the manufacture of cigars and farm tools and became the site of a large International Harvester Company (now Navistar International Corporation) farm-implement factory. During World War II, International Harvester's Canton Works was a leading centre for the production of defense products; the plant ceased production in 1983. Canton is the county's commercial and trading centre; bituminous-coal mining, farming (corn [maize], wheat, soybeans, and livestock), and a state prison contribute to the economy. The city is the seat of Spoon River (junior) College (1959). Lake Wee-Ma-Tuk (west), Canton Lake (east), and several wildlife areas along the Illinois River (east and southeast) provide recreational opportunities. Inc. 1837. Pop. (1990) 13,922; (2000) 15,288.

      town (township), Norfolk county, eastern Massachusetts, U.S., lying just south of Boston along the Neponset River. Settled in 1650, it was known by its Algonquian name, Punkapoag, and was part of Stoughton. Separately incorporated in 1797, it was renamed because of local belief that the town was antipodal to Canton, China. It was an early industrial centre, where Paul Revere (Revere, Paul) established a gunpowder factory during the American Revolution and built (1808) the first copper rolling mill and brassworks in the United States. The town is mainly residential, and services account for a large share of employment, but light manufacturing is still important. Canton is the site of the Massachusetts Hospital School (1907), and Massasoit Community College (1966) has a campus there. Area 20 square miles (52 square km). Pop. (1990) 18,530; (2000) 20,775.

      city, seat (1834) of Madison county, central Mississippi, U.S. The city lies on a low divide between the Pearl (Pearl River) and Big Black rivers 20 miles (32 km) north of Jackson. Poultry processing and the manufacture of office furniture are the main industries. It is a market centre for an agricultural region that produces cotton, soybeans, and livestock. The Mississippi Petrified Forest, the Natchez Trace Parkway, and the Ross R. Barnett Reservoir are nearby. The Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Festival is held in July. Visitors can take a tour of Canton's dozens of antebellum homes. Inc. town, 1836; city, 1911. Pop. (1990) 10,062; (2000) 12,911.

      city, seat (1808) of Stark county, northeastern Ohio, U.S. The city lies approximately 60 miles (100 km) south-southeast of Cleveland. It is the focus of a metropolitan area that includes the cities of North Canton and Massillon and the village of East Canton. Laid out in 1805, it was probably named by its founder, Bezaleel Wells, for his friend Capt. John O'Donnell's estate, Canton, in Baltimore, Md., which was built with profits from trade with China.

      The community developed from a manufacturer of plows, reapers, and farm equipment into an important industrial centre. Diversified products now include electric sweepers, alloy steel, tapered roller bearings, automatic teller machines, safes and bank vaults, heavy-duty floor coverings, turbine parts, streetlight standards, heavy steel presses, water softeners, voting machines, internal combustion engines, rubber products, and bricks and ceramics.

      William McKinley (McKinley, William) opened (1867) a law office in Canton, from where he later conducted his “front-porch campaign” for the presidency. After his assassination in 1901 his body was returned there for burial. He, his wife, and two daughters are now entombed in the McKinley National Memorial in Westlawn Cemetery. The American Professional Football Association (National Football League) (later the National Football League) was formed in Canton in 1920 with Jim Thorpe of the Canton Bulldogs as its first president. To honour the city's role in organizing the sport, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was established there in 1963.

      Canton is the seat of Malone College (a Quaker institution founded in 1892 in Cleveland), the Stark Campus of Kent State University (1946), Walsh University (1958, Roman Catholic), and Stark State College of Technology (1960). The Cultural Center for the Arts (1970) houses the Canton Art Institute, the Players Guild, and the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Civic Opera, and Poetry Society. The McKinley National Memorial is part of a complex that includes the McKinley Museum, the Ramsayer Research Library, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium. Inc. village, 1828; town, 1834; city, 1854. Pop. (2000) city, 80,806; Canton-Massillon MSA, 406,934; (2005 est.) city, 79,478; Canton-Massillon MSA, 409,996.

      city, seat (1867) of Lincoln county, southeastern South Dakota, U.S. It lies along the Big Sioux River at the Iowa border, about 20 miles (30 km) southeast of Sioux Falls. It was founded in 1866 and was first called Commerce City but was renamed (1868) by settlers who believed that its location on the globe was diametrically opposite Guangzhou (Canton) (Canton), China. It became the centre of a Norwegian community and was used by O.E. Rölvaag (Rölvaag, O E) as a setting for his novel Giants in the Earth (1927). The agriculture-based economy (corn [maize], soybeans, cattle, and hogs) is augmented by light industries (heating and cooling systems, paving equipment, and window components). Annual events include the Canton Car Show and the Sioux River Folk Festival, held in Newton Hills State Park, just south of the city. Inc. 1881. Pop. (1990) 2,787; (2000) 3,110.

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Universalium. 2010.

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