The Making of Modern China: War, Revolution, and Reform (HIH2180A)

30 credits

Only a hundred years ago, decades of domestic revolt and foreign incursions brought China’s antiquated imperial government to the brink of collapse. Yet the decaying empire of the early twentieth century has become the rising superpower of our own era. This course will explore the tumultuous events of the last century that remade the ‘Middle Kingdom’ into the political and economic behemoth it is today. 

In studying a nation whose recent past is all too easy to read as a series of violent upheavals, students will be encouraged to think about continuity as well as change. The challenges of managing a multiethnic empire, policing dissent, and defining a world role are not new problems for China’s leaders; instead, they have deep historic roots that reach back into imperial era and remain ever present over the course of the twentieth century.