According to the most recent archeological findings, traces of human settlement(s) from the Bronze Age can be found on the river banks of Kanjiza (presently: the Fishermen's Square), while the earliest human traces were found in Trešnjevac from the Neolithic age. The formation of early human settlements can be interpreted by the favorable conditions of the region (plentitude of water) as well as the fact, that the earliest crossing (haven) on the Tisa was beyond the Maros river discharge.
Close to the haven - in order to safeguard the crossing on the river- a watchtower was built on the highest peak of the terrain during the Roman age and later in the age of migrations, then, a fortification was built at the discharge of the Koros creek into the river Tisa. The brook was named by the Slavs living there in the 9th century and it appeared in the first written Hungarian sources after the Hungarian conquest as CNESA and KENESNA respectively, and is one of those Slavic names that has survived all the turbulent centuries of the Tisa region.
According to a document dated from 1093, after the Hungarian conquest, Kanjiža was a principal estate of the Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey. Kanjiža is also mentioned in the Hungarian conquest tale of Anonymous as a place where the Hungarians crossed the river Tisa in 896 in order to conquer the territory between the rivers of Maros, Tisa and Danube from the Bulgarian king, Glad. These sources evidence that Kanjiza in the early 13th century - in the age of Anonymous - was a well-known crossing place on the Tisa.
At the time of the Tartar invasion in the region of the river Tisa, Kanjiza was devastated and for several hundred years no mentioning can be found in historical documents.
By the fall of Otoman Empire the Roman Catholic alliance, headed by the Habsburg dominated Austria, liberated most of the territory of Hungary in 1686. Kanjiza was liberated on October 20th of the same year, and this day is still celebrated as the day of the Municipality. The Vienna war council, depending on the state of emergency, settled first in Martonos (in 1687), than, after the Karlovca Peace Treaty (1699), in Kanjiža as well, with migrated Serbs who were engaged as border guard soldiers. The soldiers were organized in cavalry and infantry troops and renewed the Kanjiža and Martonoš fortifications which became a part of the Tisa region border guard system in 1700. The newly settled Kanjiža fortification, that was called Foldvar (FEUDVAR, 1560) in the times of the Turkish Empire, was named OKANIZSA (Vetus-, Alt-, Stara Kanjiža).
During the early years of the 18th century the Ottomans were expelled from the left (Banat) banks of the Tisa, so the river ceased to be a border, therefore, the Tisa border guard region was abolished in 1741 and declared a civilian region in 1751. A part of the border guards left the territory in order to keep their privileges, while a certain number stayed there: those were given land, the officers were declared noblemen and in protecting their collective rights, a Tisa privileged district was formed, including Martonoš and Kanjiža, although this district was a part of the Bač-Bodrog County. Kanjiža was awarded the title of borough and the right to establish a haven.
The progress of the town was interrupted in the mid 19th century, namely, during the Hungarian Revolution. Still, the Revolution created civic equality and fundaments for economic changes: the district was abolished, villains became farmers and Kanjiža slowly regained its small-town features. By the end of the 19th century, between Szeged and Senta, Kanjiža came into the forefront of progress: the number of inhabitants grew slowly but without considerable fluctuation, while economy was progressing based on local natural conditions
At the beginning of the 20th century the economy of the town was featured by relatively developed processing craftsmanship, several manufactures, mechanized mill and construction material industry. The soil around Kanjiža was rich loess, yellow soil that was used for brick-backing as early as the 18th century. There were brick-makers and manufactures even in the 19th century, but the first mechanized brick producing started in 1903, when an ambitious entrepreneur from Kanjiža, Hermann Grunfeld, established the first steam-brick and tile factory joint stock company. This started the industrial-economic activity that is still the most outstanding in Kanjiža: the construction material industry.
In the early 20th century Kanjiža regained the status of town with regular council and was awarded again the coat-of-arms in 1908. This period is marked by the construction of the Town Hall (1911) that is still used as the headquarters of the municipal leaders and the building of St. Paul's Church (1912). Water with healing effects was found close to the town and very soon in the People's Park a spa was build (1913) that has grown into a health and recreation center. After the World War I, which ended with Trianon Peace Treaty, the town finds itself in a new country: Yugoslavia.
Since the 1960s a gradual economic growth started in agriculture, process-industry and services. The beginning of petroleum industry, updating of roads, building of the bridge over the Tisa, and the abolishment of the railroad to Horgoš and Senta meant an important change. After the great flood in 1970 a new embankment was built on the eastern part of the town and the Koros brook was filled with sand from the Tisa, where a new quarter was built. An outstanding growth marked the construction industry and the industry of construction materials (“Potisje”) and a new branch appeared: metal industry (“Metal”) and the insulation material factory (“F.I.M.”). In 1980 the Health and Recreation Center was founded. A reconstruction was implemented in the old industries as well: in agriculture, mill, sawmill-, textile and food- industry. By the end of the 80s the socialist system reached its crisis and the economic growth of the municipality stopped.