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HIST242: Modern Northeast Asia

Unit 5: China: From Reform to Revolution   *By the late nineteenth century, it was clear that Self-Strengthening was not enough to keep Europe or the US at bay. Furthermore, Japan was rapidly modernizing and Chinese students were flocking there to study the ‘ways of the West’ in the hope that they might be able to ‘save China’. In the process, many of them transformed from reformist to revolutionary modernizers, and when they returned to China promoted their ideas to the public through the newly burgeoning newspaper industry. Following humiliating and devastating defeat in the 1894-1895 War with Japan, the revolutionaries’ ideas gained traction, and despite a last-ditch effort by the Qing to enact widespread reforms that would establish a constitutional monarchy, it was too little too late, and the Imperial system was swept away in the 1911 Revolution.

Following the 1911 Revolution, the revolutionaries were unable to establish a central government and China was ruled at the local level by various strongmen until the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) was able to unify the country (with the cooperation of the local warlords) in 1927. Political disunity, however, did not prevent social and cultural change, and the period is regarded as one of a great flourishing of new ideas.

After 1927, the Kuomintang oversaw a period of limited economic growth and modernization in the eastern part of China, but was never able to assert nationwide control. Throughout the period, the KMT was also at loggerheads with the Communists, as well as with Japan, which continued to encroach on China, culminating ultimately in the 1937 invasion.*
 

Unit 5 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 7 hours to complete.
 
☐    Subunit 5.1: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 1.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3:

☐    Subunit 5.4: 1.25 hours

☐    Subunit 5.5:

☐    Subunit 5.6: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 5.7: 20 minutes

☐    Subunit 5.8: 1 hour

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain how and why the Imperial system in China collapsed. - Assess the impact of Japan’s overtaking China as the dominant Asian power on Chinese nationalist thought. - Classify major intellectual trends in late imperial and early Republican China. - Evaluate the successes and failures of the KMT.

5.1 The Hundred Days Reform   - Lecture: Harvard Extension School’s “The End of Imperial Rule” and “Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic” Link: Harvard Extension School’s “The End of Imperial Rule” (Adobe Flash) and “Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Scroll down the page to the lecture topics, and choose a connection type (video or audio). The lectures are accompanied by PowerPoint slides.
 
Watch/listen to the first 35 minutes of “The End of Imperial Rule.” Watch/listen to the entire “Foreign Models” lecture. Focus on the general trends and ideas described – you do not need to note all the details.
 
These lectures provide the overview for units 5.1-5.4.
 
Watching/listening and note-taking will take approximately 1.75 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

5.2 The Boxer Rebellion   - Reading: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of Fei Ch’i Hao’s “The Boxer Rebellion, 1900,” Paul Halsall’s Version of Yao Chen-Yuan’s “My Adventures During the Boxer War, 1900” and Paul Halsall’s Version of Pierre Loti’s “When the Allies Entered Peking, 1900” Link: Fordham University: Paul Halsall’s Version of Fei Ch’i Hao’s “The Boxer Rebellion, 1900,” Paul Halsall’s Version of Yao Chen-Yuan’s “My Adventures During the Boxer War, 1900” and Paul Halsall’s Version of Pierre Loti’s “When the Allies Entered Peking” 1900 (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read these eyewitness accounts of events. Compare the writers’ views of the Boxers. What factors might explain differences in their opinions? Why do you think one writer refers to it as a “war” and another as a “rebellion”?
 
The readings and questions should take approximately 1.25 hours to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web pages above.

  • Reading: 100jia.net’s “The Boxer Protocol” Link: 100jia.net’s “The Boxer Protocol” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the terms of the treaty. Identify the key gains made by the foreign powers? How did this further infringe on Qing sovereignty?
     
    These primary source readings should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

5.3 The Move towards Constitutional Monarchy   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 5.1.

5.4 The 1911 Revolution   - Reading: IUP: Zou Rong’s “The Revolutionary Army” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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  • Reading: Fordham University: J. S. Arkenberg’s Version of “Proclamation of the Abdication of the Manchus, 1912” Link: Fordham University: J. S. Arkenberg’s Version of “Proclamation of the Abdication of the Manchus, 1912” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Pay attention to the language used in this short announcement. On whose/what authority does the imperial family declare a republic? Who will be citizens of the new state? Compare this to Zou Rong’s position on the driving force for political change and his attitude to the Manchus.
     
    The primary source reading and questions should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

  • Reading: CUNY: Paul Halsall’s Version of Sun Yat-sen’s “Fundamentals of National Reconstruction” Link: CUNY: Paul Halsall’s Version of Sun Yat-sen’s “Fundamentals of National Reconstruction” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: What differences and similarities between Sun’s and Zou Rong’s definitions of revolution can you identify? Compare Sun’s views on the Manchus and the Chinese “nation” to Zou Rong’s. Compare Sun’s and Zou’s views on the form of government and type of society they hope to create. Why do you think Sun (and the Manchus in their abdication proclamation) appeals to Chinese tradition to support his argument?
     
    The primary source reading and questions should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

5.5 New Culture Movement   5.6 The May 4th Movement   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ Liang Shuming’s “Chinese Civilization vis-à-vis Eastern and Western Philosophies,” Hu Shi’s “Our Attitude Towards Modern Western Civilization,” Chen Duxiu’s “The True Meaning of Life” 1917 and “Our Final Awakening” 1916 Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ Liang Shuming’s “Chinese Civilization vis-à-vis Eastern and Western Philosophies,” Hu Shi’s “Our Attitude Towards Modern Western Civilization,” Chen Duxiu’s “The True Meaning of Life” 1917 and “Our Final Awakening” 1916 (PDF)
 
Please click on the links above to read the following selections.
 
Liang Shuming: Read the introduction and longer excerpt on pages 2-4. Answer the questions on  page 2.
 
Hu Shi: Read the introduction and longer excerpt pages 2-3. Answer the questions on p2.
 
Chen Duxiu: Read the introduction and longer excerpt from the first text on pages 2-4 and answer the questions on page 2. Read and answer the questions on the second text.
 
Compare the viewpoints of these three major thinkers.
 
The primary source readings and questions should take approximately 1 hour.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the Web Pages above.

5.7 The Nationalist Revolution   5.7.1 Establishment of KMT Government in Nanjing   5.7.2 Industrial and Commercial Development 1927-1937   5.7.3 Politics and Ideology   5.7.3.1 Three Principles of the People   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 5.1.

5.7.3.2 The New Life Movement   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Chiang Kai-shek’s “Essentials of a New Life Movement” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators: Chiang Kai-shek’s “Essentials of a New Life Movement” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the introduction and the longer excerpt beginning on page 2 of the PDF transcript of Chiang’s 1934 speech linked above. Then, answer the questions on page 2.
 
The primary source reading and questions should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.
 

5.8 The Chinese Communist Party   - Reading: Marxists.org: Liu Shaoqi’s How to be a Good Communist: Section VI: “A Party Member’s Personal Interests Must be Unconditionally Surrendered to the Interests of the Party” Link: Marxists.org: Liu Shaoqi’s How to be a Good Communist: Section VI: “A Party Member’s Personal Interests Must be Unconditionally Surrendered to the Interests of the Party” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Why must personal interests be surrendered to those of the Party?
 
This primary source reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

5.8.1 Establishment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)   5.8.2 Suppression by KMT: From Shanghai to Yan’an   5.8.2.1 Massacre of Communists in Shanghai   5.8.2.2 Jiangxi Soviet   5.8.2.3 The Long March   - Reading: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Long March” Link: Columbia University: Asia for Educators’ “The Long March” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read the introduction and the account by Edgar Snow. Use the text to give you a general idea of the progress and events of the Long March—you do not need to remember all the details. Do you think Snow’s account is “objective”?
 
This reading should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the web page above.

5.8.2.4 Yan’an