In pre-Han times (i.e., before 206 BC) it was the site of the city of Shiyi in the state of Zhao.
With the reorganization of local government in the early period of the Tang dynasty (618¨C907), the county was abolished. Shijiazhuang then became little more than a local market town, subordinated to the flourishing city of Zhengding (modern Zhengding) a few miles to the north.
The growth of Shijiazhuang into one of China's major cities began in 1905, when the Beijing¨CWuhan (Hankou) railway reached the area, stimulating much new trade and encouraging local farmers to grow cash crops.
Pre-World War II Shijiazhuang was a large railway town as well as a commercial and collecting centre for Shanxi and regions farther west and for agricultural produce of the North China Plain, particularly grain, tobacco, and cotton.
Xibaipo, a village about 90 km (56 mi) from downtown Shijiazhuang, in Pingshan County was the location of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army during the decisive stages of the Chinese Civil War between May 26, 1948 and March 23, 1949, at which point they were moved to Beijing. Today, the area is a memorial site.
After 1949 the planned industrialisation of the city gathered momentum. Its population more than tripled in the decade 1948¨C58.
In 1967, Tianjin was again carved out of Hebei, remaining a separate entity today, and thus the provincial capital was moved to Baoding. In 1968, Shijiazhuang became the provincial capital.