A specific urban morphological structure reflects the dynamic equilibrium of all forces at the point of time. These socioeconomic forces may be explored through the analysis of urban morphological changes over time. Taking the city of Shanghai as a case study, five urban spatial morphology as the research object, based on five representative maps of the different historical periods and supported by ARCGIS software for spatial a?nalysis, the paper calculated the Shanghai urban spatial expansion speed and expansion, the compactness and fractal dimension, analyzed the historical evolution of urban morphological structure in Shanghai and the socio?economic forces. The study found:from 1884 to 1987, the development of Shanghai built?up areas can be di?vided into two stages:One stage was low speed expansion period from 1884 to 1978 . The city developed slowly because of the wars. The other stage was rapid expansion period from 1978 to 1987. The reform and opening up improved economic development and urban construction. Therefore, urban morphological structure is relat?ed with socioeconomic forces.