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CHINA JAPAN KOREA VIETNAM & SE ASIA
4000-1000 BCE | 1000 BCE-300 CE
300-600 CE | 600-1000 | 1000-1450 | 1450-1750
1750-1919 | 1900-1950 | 1950-2000
4000-1000 BCE
Ancestral Rites and Divination
Warfare
Women: Childbearing
1000 BCE-300 CE
Confucianism
Daoism
Zhou Dynasty Govenment: Confucius, Mencius, Laozi
Qin Dynasty Govenment: The Legalist Philosophers Han Fei and Li Si
Han Dynasty Government
Warfare: Zhou Period

Confucius/Kong Fuzi/Kong Qiu, 551-479 BCE
Selections from the Confucian Analects: On War [PDF]

Sunzi/Sun Wu, Eastern Zhou Period (770-221 BCE)
Selections from the Sunzi: Art of War [PDF]

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Agriculture, Han Period
Women and Family
Literature: The Classic of Odes (Book of Songs); Poetry from the State of Chu
Literature: Sima Qian

Sima Qian, 145?-85? BCE, whose father Sima Tan (d. 110 BCE) was Grand Historian at court of Han Emperor Wu (r. 141-87 BCE)
Sima Qian's Letter to Ren An [PDF]

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300-600 CE
Buddhism in China
Women

Lotus Sutra, composed after 483 BCE
Selection from the Lotus Sutra: "The Daughter of the Dragon King" [PDF]

Northern and Southern Dynasties Period, 317-589 CE
The Ballad of Mulan (Ode of Mulan) [PDF]

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Literature: "A Song of Seven Sorrows"; "Peach Blossom Spring"
600-1000
Buddhism in China: The Chan (Zen) School of Buddhism

Huineng, 638-713, Sixth Patriarch of the Chan (Zen) school
The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch [PDF]

Linji Yixuan, d. 867, founder of the Linji (Rinzai) school
Seeing into One's Own Nature [PDF]

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Buddhism in China: Reactions of Confucianists and Daoists to the influence of Buddhism during this period
Tang Dynasty Government: Effective Rulership, the Law, and Taxes

Emperor Taizong, r. 626-649
Emperor Taizong on Effective Government [PDF]

Zhangsun Wuji, d. 659
The Great Tang Code: Article 6, "The Ten Abominations" [PDF]

Yang Yan, 727-781; Lu Zhi, 754-805
Tang Debate on the Twice-a-Year Tax [PDF]

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Reflections on War
Slavery in Tang China
Women & Family
Tang Poets: Wang Wei, Li Bo, Du Fu
1000-1450
Neo-Confucianism
Song Dynasty Government: Reform under the Neo-Confucianists
Ming Dynasty Government: Promotion of Social Order and Morality
Military: The Northern Song Defeated by the Jurchen Jin
Agriculture; Growth of Cities and Urban Life during the Song and Yuan Dynasties

Chen Pu (Chen Fu), 1076-1154
On Farming (Nongshu) [PDF]

Unknown Author, ca. 1235
The Attractions of the Capital (Hangzhou) [PDF]

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Women
Literature of Scholar-Officials and Military Officers
Women Writers
1450-1750
Neo-Confucianism during the Ming
Books of Moral Instruction, Ming and Qing
Christianity Enters China
Provincial and Imperial Government under the Qing
Women
Essays, Poems, and Fantasy Tales of the Qing

Li Yü (Li Liweng), 1611-ca. 1680
"On Being Happy Though Poor" [PDF]

Yuan Mei, ca. 1716-ca. 1798
"On His Chair-bearers—A Case of Misplaced Sympathy" [PDF]

Li Ju-chen, ca. 1763-ca. 1830
"In the Country of Women" [PDF]

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1750-1919
"Self-Strengthening" and "Learning from the West"
Calls for Radical Social Reform

Han Yi (Pseudonym, possibly written by Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
Excerpts from "Destroying the Family" [PDF]

He Zhen (wife of Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
"What Women Should Know About Communism" [PDF]

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The May Fourth Movement (ca. 1916-1920s)

Before and After the May Fourth Movement
The so-called "May Fourth" or "new culture" movement began in China around 1916, following the failure of the 1911 Revolution to establish a republican government, and continued through the 1920s. This unit includes a background reading and three primary-source readings [Chen Duxiu's "Our Final Awakening" (1916) [PDF]; Chiang Kai-shek's "Essentials of a New Life Movement" (1934) [PDF]; Mao Zedong's "Reform Our Study" (1941)], plus discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

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The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)
The Years of Reform: Prologue to Revolution

From Reform to Revolution, 1842 to 1911
After China's defeat in the Opium War of 1842, thinkers tried to understand what made the West so strong and how China could best respond. This unit traces the debates about reform from the mid-nineteenth into the early twentieth century, as arguments for more radical reform, including revolution, increased. Includes background readings, two primary-source readings (Feng Guifen's "On the Adoption of Western Learning" [PDF] and Yan Fu's "Learning from the West" [PDF]) and brief discussions of Liang Qichao's ideas on democracy and Sun Yatsen's "Three People's Principles." Also see the Religion, Philosophy, Thought section, above, for more readings by these and other reformist thinkers.

Chu Chengbo's 1895 memorial to Qing emperor Guanxu (1871-1908, r. 1875-1908)
Excerpts from Reforming Men's Minds Comes Before Reforming Institutions [PDF]

Kang Youwei's 1898 memorial to Qing emperor Guanxu (1871-1908, r. 1875-1908)
Excerpts from Comprehensive Consideration of the Whole Situation [PDF]

Reform Imperial Edict of 1901 (Issued by the Empress Dowager Cixi, 1835-1908)
Reform Edict of the Qing Imperial Government (January 29, 1901) [PDF]

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International Relations: China and Europe (Macartney Embassy, Opium War)

Macartney and the Emperor
The Qing dynasty's restrictions on foreign trade increasingly frustrated Europeans, especially the British. In 1792 Great Britain sent a diplomat, Lord George Macartney (1737-1806), to present its demands to the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1796). This unit includes an introductory note to teachers with suggestions for teaching about Macartney's mission; a student reading discussing European contact and trade with China prior to and on the eve of Macartney's mission to China; and the primary-source reading Two Edicts from the Qianlong Emperor, which were the Qianlong emperor's responses to the Macartney mission. With discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

The Opium War and Foreign Encroachment
In the fifty years after Macartney's visit (see "Macartney and the Emperor," above), Western powers pushed their demands on China further, leading to war and the gradual shift from tribute to treaty relations. This unit examines the events surrounding the Opium War and the Treaty of Nanjing, which concluded that war, and the increasing foreign encroachments upon China during the nineteenth century. Included are two primary-source readings: Commissioner Lin Zexu's "Letter of Advice to Queen Victoria" (1839) and The Treaty of Nanjing (1842) [PDF]. With discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

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Women

He Zhen (wife of Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
"What Women Should Know About Communism" [PDF]

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1900-1950
The May Fourth Movement (ca. 1916-1920s)

Before and After the May Fourth Movement
The so-called "May Fourth" or "new culture" movement began in China around 1916, following the failure of the 1911 Revolution to establish a republican government, and continued through the 1920s. This unit includes a background reading and three primary-source readings [Chen Duxiu's "Our Final Awakening" (1916) [PDF]; Chiang Kai-shek's "Essentials of a New Life Movement" (Speech, 1934) [PDF]; Mao Zedong's "Reform Our Study" (1941)], plus discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

Chen Duxiu, 1879-1942
"The True Meaning of Life" [PDF]
"Our Final Awakening" (1916) [PDF]

Chiang Kai-shek, 1887-1975
"Essentials of a New Life Movement" (Speech, 1934) [PDF]
"China Cannot Be Conquered" (Speech, 1939) [PDF]

Hu Shi, 1891-1962
"Our Attitude Toward Modern Western Civilization" [PDF]

Liang Shuming, 1893-1988
"Chinese Civilization vis-a-vis Eastern and Western Philosophies" [PDF]

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Rebuilding China
Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and the Chinese Revolution
Communism in China
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
Mao Zedong (1893-1976) on War and Revolution
Society and Family: Raising Children

Zhu Ziqing, 1898-1948
"My Children" [PDF]

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Farmers and the Chinese Revolution

Farmers and the Chinese Revolution
This unit looks at the plight of China's farmers in the twentieth century. With a background reading and two primary-source readings ["Spring Silkworms," by Mao Dun [PDF]; Mao Zedong's "Report on the Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan" [PDF]].

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20th-century Literature

Hu Shi, 1891-1962
"A Preliminary Discussion of Literary Reform" [PDF]

Lu Xun (Zhou Shuren), 1881-1936
"My Old Home" [PDF]

Mao Dun (Shen Yanbing), 1896-1981
"Spring Silkworms" [PDF]

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1950-2000
"Hundred Flowers" Period
Land Reform, Socialized Agriculture, The Great Leap Forward
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
Socialism and Democracy in China after Mao Zedong
Tiananmen Square Demonstrations (1989)
China's Political System since 1949

The Chinese Political System and the Communist Party
This unit provides an overview of the Chinese political system and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with excerpts from the constitutions of the Communist Party of China and of the People's Republic of China. These primary documents can highlight for students how the Communist Party is the real political power in China. A chart of the political structure of China is also included, to help students better understand the relationship between the party and the state in a communist system. Discussion questions also included.

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China's Foreign Policy; U.S.-China Relations

Mao Zedong, 1893-1976
From "The Dictatorship of the People's Democracy": On Leaning to One Side (Speech, 1949) [PDF]

Taiwan and U.S.-China Relations Since 1949
This unit offers an historical overview of Taiwan and U.S.-China relations. An introductory reading is followed by two important primary-source documents ["Shanghai Communiqué" (1972) and Taiwan Relations Act (1979)] and discussion questions.

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Literature

Hao Ran, 1932-2008
"Date Orchard" [PDF]

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© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University | http://afe.easia.columbia.edu