1750 to 1919: An Age of Revolutions
Qing 1644 to 1912     Republic of China 1912
Edo 1615 to 1868
Meji Restoration 1868 to 1912     Taisho Period 1912 to 1926
Choson 1392 to 1910     Japanese rule 1910 to 1945
Nguyen (in Vietnam) 1801 to 1862
French rule in "Indochina" (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam) 1862 to mid-20th century
Mughal dynasty 1526 to 1858
British rule 19th century to 1947
Table of Contents - 1750 to 1919

| Index of Topics for All Time Periods |

CHINA: HISTORY-ARCHAEOLOGY

Qing Dynasty (1750-1919)

Printable MapMaps of Chinese Dynasties: Ch'ing (Qing) Dynasty [The Art of Asia, Minneapolis Institute of Arts]
Color map showing land ruled by China's Qing dynasty relative to present-day political boundaries. Can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

Interactive MapQing Dynasty, 1644–1912 [Princeton University Art Museum]
An excellent brief overview of the Qing dynasty. With four related art objects, all with lengthy descriptions, and an interactive map with an excellent COMPARE feature that allows the user to select any two dynastic periods in Chinese history and compare them by moving from one map to the other.

Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong [The Field Museum]
Online presentation of a 2004 traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Palace Museum in Beijing. With a video introduction to the exhibition, plus a gallery of images organized under the following topics: 1) Symbols of Power; 2) Effective Leadership; 3) Family Life; 4) The Private World of the Emperor; 5) Religion. Also a Q&A section with eleven commonly asked questions about Imperial China.

MapsRecording the Grandeur of the Qing [Columbia University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
This interactive teaching unit gives the viewer unprecedented access to four monumental artworks of the Qing period — four of the twenty-four southern inspection tour scrolls commissioned by the Qing emperors Kangxi (r. 1662-1722) and Qianlong (r. 1736-1795). Each of the four featured scrolls is displayed online in its entirety, with key details annotated by Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Maxwell K. Hearn. Five background essays by Dr. Hearn and Columbia history professor Madeleine Zelin serve as guides to the historical and artistic context in which the scrolls were created. Topics discussed at length include: the reigns of the two emperors who commissioned the scrolls, Kangxi and Qianlong, as well as key aspects of the Qing government, economy, and art.

The Late Qing Empire in Global History [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
The role of the Chinese empires in global history at the height of their economic power (roughly 1400–1800) has been well described in powerful books by Andre Gunder Frank, Kenneth Pomeranz, and Bin Wong. In that period, China’s advanced technology and commercial economy, as well as access to their markets over sea and land, created a market that drove technological development, efficiency in industrial organization, and an increasing volume of long-distance trade. The effects were felt first in East Asia and Southeast Asia, but eventually powered the development of travel, trade, and finance throughout the Indian Ocean, and finally drew Europeans, eager to connect with the center of wealth, out of their continent and into the oceans. After roughly 1800, however, various factors caused China to lose its global economic leadership as it experienced social turmoil, economic fracturing, and the imposition of European imperialism. Global historians sometimes lose sight of the China thread between this threshold of 1800 and the appearance of modern China as an ascendant power in the late twentieth century, but there are many reasons why we should continue to see important trends and their effects reflected in the modern Chinese experience.

Note to Teachers • The journal Education about Asia has many excellent teaching resources on-line on all topics related to East, South and SE Asia.

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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, THOUGHT

"Self-Strengthening" and "Learning from the West"

Background readings related to these primary sources can be found in the Years of Reform section, below.

Feng Guifen, 1809-1874
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from "On the Adoption of Western Learning" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Yan Fu, 1854-1921
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from "Learning from the West" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Liang Qichao, China's First Democrat [Asia for Educators]

Liang Qichao, 1873-1929
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from "Observations on a Trip to America" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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Calls for Radical Social Reform

Han Yi (Pseudonym, possibly written by Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from "Destroying the Family" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

He Zhen (wife of Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
Primary Source w/DBQs"What Women Should Know About Communism" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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

Primary SourcesBefore and After the May Fourth Movement [Asia for Educators]
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.

More readings related to the May Fourth Movement can be found under Time Period 1900-1950.

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GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

Introduction to China's Modern History [Asia for Educators]
An introduction to modern Chinese history for teachers and students. Includes a brief introductory reading highlighting four major themes for teaching about modern Chinese history; a longer reading, "China in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries," providing an overview of the many significant changes in Chinese society, polity, and economy; and an annotated timeline of modern Chinese history from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to China's civil war (1946-49).

Homicide and Law in 18thc China [China Mirror, U. of Michigan]
"In eighteenth-century China there were approximately fifteen hundred administrative districts; the average population of a district in 1800 was about two hundred thousand." There was just one District Magistrate responsible for each of these districts, and his "responsibilities included the fiscal, social welfare, security, educational, and judicial affairs of [his] district/..." informally...known as the "parent official" (fumu guan) because [he was] the official closest to the people...occupying the base of a bureaucratic pyramid that reached up to the emperor in Beijing. The [case]...here is a complete case record of the crime, from the initial reports to the final imperial endorsement of the investigation and its conclusions... documenting the mysterious disappearance of a husband, wife and son...the investigation revealed that Ms. Zhou (the wife of the murdered man), was an active instigator and willing participant in the murder of her husband, which is most shocking given the prevailing notion of ideal feminine virtue.

The Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864)

Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) [Asia for Educators]
An introductory overview of the Taiping rebellion. With suggested activities for students.

Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from The Land System of the Heavenly Kingdom (Tianzhao tianumu zhidu): "The Taiping Economic Program" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from Ode for Youth [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Internal Crisis and Famine (1876-1879; 1887-1888); The Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900)

Primary SourceQing China's Internal Crisis: Land Shortage, Famine, Rural Poverty [Asia for Educators]
This unit explores the domestic crises that China faced in the late nineteenth century. With woodblock prints that portray the extent of the 1876-1879 famine and a primary-source reading about the 1887-88 famine that afflicted North China. With discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

Primary SourceFei Ch'i-hao on the Boxer Rebellion [Modern History Sourcebook, Fordham University]
The account of "the activities of the millennialist 'Boxers' in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900," by Fei Ch'i-hao, a Chinese Christian.

See the International Relations sections, below, for content about China's relations with Britain and the United States in the years before the Boxer Rebellion.

The Years of Reform: Prologue to Revolution

Primary SourcesFrom Reform to Revolution, 1842 to 1911 [Asia for Educators]
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.

China's First Experiment in Overseas Education, 1872-1881 [Chinese Educational Mission Connections]
"Beset by the military and economic domination of the Western colonial powers, China had been forced to open up the country to foreign trade and settlements in the so-called Treaty Ports. The dispatch of the 120 students on what was called the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) was a belated effort by the government of the Qing dynasty to stem the growing tide of aggression: harness the aggressors’ know-how and technology to defeat them at their own game." This website, created by several third-generation descendants of CEM students, provides an in-depth look at the history of the Chinese Educational Mission, with archival photographs and basic biographical profiles of all 120 CEM students.

Chu Chengbo's 1895 memorial to Qing emperor Guanxu (1871-1908, r. 1875-1908)
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from Reforming Men's Minds Comes Before Reforming Institutions [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Kang Youwei's 1898 memorial to Qing emperor Guanxu (1871-1908, r. 1875-1908)
Primary Source w/DBQsExcerpts from Comprehensive Consideration of the Whole Situation [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Reform Imperial Edict of 1901 (Issued by the Empress Dowager Cixi, 1835-1908)
Primary Source w/DBQsReform Edict of the Qing Imperial Government (January 29, 1901) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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MILITARY AND DEFENSE

Sino-Japanese War, 1894-1895

Teaching Unit w/Lesson PlansThrowing Off Asia II: Woodblock Prints of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) [Visualizing Cultures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology]
Featuring propaganda prints illustrating Japan's victory in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). A teaching unit richly illustrated with high-resolution images and maps and featuring essays by John W. Dower, MIT professor of Japanese history. The Visual Narratives section offers a shorthand view of the unit's primary themes and images; the Curriculum section includes eight lesson plans related to the unit.

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ECONOMY, WORK, TRADE, FOREIGN RELATIONS

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

History of the China Trade [British Library]
A brief history of British trade with China from 1637 to the 1840s. With images from the British Library's collection.

Rise and Fall of the Canton Trade System [Visualizing Cultures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology]
I. China in the World (1700-1860s) | II. Macau & Whampoa Anchorage | III. Canton & Hong Kong | IV. Image Galleries | "From early times China engaged in extensive trade relations with other countries, and until the mid 19th century Chinese officials directed by the imperial court in Beijing dictated the conditions under which such trade was conducted. From the 16th century to mid 1800s, three cities became the centers of the trading system linking the 'Middle Kingdom' to Western European powers and eventually the United States: Macau, Canton, and Hong Kong." An extensive look at the Canton Trade system, richly illustrated with high-resolution images and maps. With essays by MIT Professor Emeritus of History Peter C. Perdue. The images in the galleries section "portray the abundant variety of commercial, art, and craft goods exchanged in the Canton region during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Three cities became the center of the trading system that linked China to the Western European powers and the United States. Macau, the oldest, stayed under Portuguese control from 1557 to 1999. Canton gathered traders from Europe, Southeast Asia, the U.S., and the rest of China. Hong Kong, acquired by the British after the Opium War, grew from a small fishing village to a major international port during the 19th century."

China and Europe, 1780-1937 [Asia for Educators]
Part of the teaching module China and Europe: 1500-2000 and Beyond, with consultants Ken Pomeranz (Professor of History, University of California at Irvine) and R. Bin Wong (Professor of History, University of California at Los Angeles). The section on 1780-1937 discusses China's decline, focusing specifically on resource differences and the "Asian trade boom." With video interviews of the faculty experts, additional maps, images, and readings throughout.

Primary Source w/DBQsMacartney and the Emperor [Asia for Educators]
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.

Lesson Plan + Classroom ActivityQianlong Meets Macartney: Collision of Two World Views (A One-Act Play) [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
A lesson plan that aims "to illustrate in dramatic form the clash of diplomatic objectives and ideological assumptions characterizing the Macartney mission and its reception in China; to lay out the issues dividing the British and the Chinese, and to assess their significance for future interaction between China and the West." With an in-depth teachers' introduction and study guide, full text of the play to be performed, and related questions and activities.

Primary Sources w/DBQsThe "Opening" of the East: Differing Perspectives [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
Provided with eight short primary-source selections and given only the date of the selection for reference, students are asked to provide a brief summary of the speaker’s position, to identify the nationality of the speaker, and to provide a rationale for choosing that speaker. Particularly relevant for AP World History courses.

Note to Teachers • The journal Education about Asia has many excellent teaching resources on-line on all topics related to East, South and SE Asia.

Trading Places: East India Company: Opium and the Expansion of Trade [British Library]
A brief look at the circumstances leading to the British East India Company's smuggling of opium from India into China. Part of a larger unit on the history of the East India Company. With images from the British Library's collection.

Primary Source w/DBQsThe Opium War and Foreign Encroachment [Asia for Educators]
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.

China and International Law in the 19th c. [China Mirror, U of Michigan]
What you can learn by looking at the actual "Treaty of Tientsin..."

 

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International Relations: China and the United States
(American Missionaries in China; Chinese Immigrants in the U.S.; Chinese Exclusion Act)

The US Founders and China: Origins of the Chinese Cultural Influence on the United States [PDF] [Education about Asia]
"Walking from the east entrance up the steps to the Supreme Court building, one can see a sculpture of Confucius along with Moses and Solon. The sculpture may serve as an indicator of the impact of Confucius in the formation of American culture. Indeed, Chinese cultural and technological influence on what would become the United States started even before this country was born. Chinese culture became important when some of the US founders looked for resources that could be mobilized in their efforts to build a new nation after declaring independence from Great Britain. Chinese contributions to early America were varied. In their efforts to cultivate personal virtue and to educate the younger generations to be virtuous, several founding fathers sought guidance from Confucian philosophy. The founders also adopted Chinese inventions to facilitate the social and economic development of colonies and introduced elements of Chinese agriculture to North America. Facing British trade sanctions after the Revolutionary War, US political leaders initiated efforts to build direct economic connections with China. Robert Morris and George Washington were directly involved in the opening of trade with China with support from other American founders. One important reason behind Thomas Jefferson’s quest for westward expansion through the acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 was the search for a shortcut to China, and late in his presidency, he communicated the desirability of creating something like a US-China policy."

Two Hundred Years of U.S. Trade with China (1784-1984) [Asia for Educators]
This unit explores the 200-year history of U.S. trade with China. Discussion questions and a U.S.-China Trade Timeline are included.

Teaching Unit w/Lesson PlansEarly American Trade with China [Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
"After gaining its independence from Great Britain, the United States needed to develop its economic base. Restricted during colonial times to supplying raw materials to the industrializing English economy, and excluded from most of the British markets after independence, Americans looked to international trade as a means to generate wealth and provide employment for many. Trade with China, from which the colonies had been barred, seemed to offer immediate opportunities for wealth. .... The activities in this unit use the early China trade to explore the place of the United States in the world order and economy of late 18th and early 19th centuries. They also provide insight into the role of trade in nation building before and after the War of 1812. In addition, they provide the background for understanding the United States' interest in events in and along the Pacific Rim later in the 19th century." Includes lesson plans and questions for discussion.

A Journey Shared: The United States and China, 200 Years of History [PDF] [U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian]
A module containing interesting historical documents and pictures regarding the early relations between the U.S. and China, up through the Nixon era. Of particular interest in this time period is the visit of China’s leading diplomat, Li Hung Zhang, to the United States in 1897 in part to discuss the discrimination against Chinese immigrants in the U.S. Li Hung Zhang had met with former President Ulysses S. Grant in China in 1879. While visiting the U.S., Li Hung Zhang’s delegation planted a ginkgo tree behind Grant’s tomb in New York City to commemorate "the greatness" of former President Grant. The plaque remains there today, with the inscription: "THIS TREE IS PLANTED / AT THE SIDE OF THE TOMB OF / GENERAL U.S. GRANT, / EX-PRESIDENT OF THE / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, / FOR THE PURPOSE / OF COMMEMORATING HIS / GREATNESS BY / LI HUNG-CHANG, / GUARDIAN OF THE PRINCE, / GRAND SECRETARY OF STATE / EARL OF THE FIRST ORDER, / YANG YU / ENVOY EXTRAORDINARY / AND MINISTER / PLENIPOTENTIARY OF CHINA, / VICE PRESIDENT / OF THE BOARD OF CENSORS' / KWANG HSU 23RD YEAR, / 4TH MOON, MAY 1897."

China's First Experiment in Overseas Education, 1872-1881 [Chinese Educational Mission Connections]
"Beset by the military and economic domination of the Western colonial powers, China had been forced to open up the country to foreign trade and settlements in the so-called Treaty Ports. The dispatch of the 120 students on what was called the Chinese Educational Mission (CEM) was a belated effort by the government of the Qing dynasty to stem the growing tide of aggression: harness the aggressors’ know-how and technology to defeat them at their own game." This website, created by several third-generation descendants of CEM students, provides an in-depth look at the history of the Chinese Educational Mission, with archival photographs and basic biographical profiles of all 120 CEM students.

Primary Source"The Missionary Enterprise in China," by Chester Holcombe (1906) [The Atlantic Monthly]
A defense of "the missionary enterprise in China," written by American diplomat and author Chester Holcombe (1842-1912) after the Boxer uprising. Holcombe was also an ordained minister and had worked as a missionary in China.

Looking East: William Howard Taft and the 1905 Mission to Asia (The Photographs of Harry Fowler Woods) [Ohio Historical Society]
"On July 8, 1905, one of the first and largest U.S. foreign diplomatic delegations to Asia embarked from San Francisco for a three-month goodwill tour, stopping in Japan, the Philippines, and China. Under the leadership of Secretary of War, William Howard Taft... The 1905 voyage carried two serious diplomatic purposes: to assist with peace negotiations in order to end the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05); and to demonstrate American accomplishments in the Philippines." Includes a 25-page curriculum guide providing extensive historical background information, plus primary-source documents and map activities.

American Influences on Sun Yat-sen [PDF] [Education about Asia]
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States provided immigrants from troubled nations around the world with safe havens for revolutionary movements aimed at their homelands... The career of renowned Chinese revolutionary Sun Yatsen (1866–1925)" was one such immigrant. "In the course of his life, he converted to Christianity under American auspices, organized a revolutionary movement among ethnic Chinese in American-influenced Hawai`i, canvassed American Chinatowns for funds for his movement, and absorbed elements of the American political model into his famed Three People’s Principles...Sun Yatsen has come to be known among many Chinese as "the father of modern China" for the roles he played in overthrowing China’s last dynasty, the Qing (1644–1912), and subsequently leading the Nationalist Party (Guomindang, founded in 1912) while allying it with the then-fledgling Chinese Communist Party (founded in 1921). Today, the governments of the Republic of China on Taiwan and of the Communist-led People’s Republic of China on the Chinese mainland regard Sun’s ideas as a resource for a possible future reunification of China—leading Sun to serve once again as a bridge between contrary forces."

Note to Teachers • The journal Education about Asia has many excellent teaching resources on-line on all topics related to East, South and SE Asia.

VideoThe Two Coasts of China [Annenberg/CPB – Pacific Century Series]
"The British send an expeditionary naval force to China. Using superior military technology they impose their will on China, gaining reparations and open access for Europen powers to China's ports. The British take the greatest prize, Hong Kong." Documentary streaming on Youtube - the complete video on the link above and in segements below.

Immigration from China [Pacific Link, KQED Asian Education Initiative]
This short history of Chinese immigrants in the United States is part of a website about the Angel Island Immigration Station (San Francisco), which was in operation from 1910 to 1940. Also see the HISTORY and TIMELINES sections for more information about China.

Primary SourcesRise of Industrial America, 1876-1900: Chinese Immigration to the United States, 1851-1900 [The Library of Congress]
"After the Civil War, immigrants again began to stream to the United States. ... a relatively large group of Chinese immigrated to the United States between the start of the California gold rush in 1849 and 1882, when federal law stopped their immigration." A brief overview, with eight primary source documents on Chinese immigration written by various Americans of the time (including Mark Twain).

Primary SourcesThe Chinese in California, 1850-1925 [The Library of Congress]
"The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials. Included are photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter." With essays discussing "Chinese and Westward Expansion," "San Francisco's Chinatown," "Anti-Chinese Movement and Chinese Exclusion," and more.

Teaching Unit w/Lesson PlansThe Chinese-American Experience in 19th Century America [Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
"To understand the experience of Chinese immigrants to the United States in the mid-19th century, it is necessary to look at the intellectual, economic, and political climate of the times. Many of the issues that were important then are still part of the current discussion concerning political and economic effects of immigration and whether peoples who do not come from European stock are true Americans." Includes lesson plans and questions for discussion.

Dragon Wings: The Story Behind the Story [Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
Scroll down the page to find the curricular materials and power point for "the story behind the story." The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to propaganda related to Chinese immigration from the United States in the 1870’s through the 1890’s in order to gain some understanding of the climate in which the story takes place. Students will identify the sentiment being suggested by the propaganda piece/ political cartoon and will discuss the meaning and the purpose of these with their peers. Laurence Yep's Newbery Award-winning book is based on the true story of Chinese-American aviator Fung Joe Guey, the first person to successfully fly a plane on the US West Coast. Click on the link for the PowerPoint to discover more about this aviation pioneer's life, and learn more about the Chinese Exclusion Act and the propaganda associated with Chinese-Americans in the early 20th century by clicking on the link for the curriculum unit.

Chinese Immigration and Exclusion [Stanford History Education Group]
From 1860-1882, hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrated to the U.S. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned further Chinese immigration. In this lesson, students will explore the social and economic factors that fueled the wave of Chinese immigrants as well as the factors that eventually led to their exclusion. Students examine an excerpt from an anti-Chinese play, a political cartoon, an anti-Chinese labor speech, and an immigrant’s autobiography.

Conflict and Compromise: The Chinese Exclusion Act [Smithsonian Learning Lab]

Chinese American: Inclusion/Exclusion [NY Historical Society]
This on-line exhibit teaching unit chronicles the complex history of Chinese in America—the challenges of immigration, citizenship, and belonging that shaped both the Chinese American experience and the development of the United States as a nation. Learn more about the first American trade ship to sail for China, the early Chinese laborers hoping to strike it rich on “Gold Mountain,” the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to limit Chinese immigration and access to citizenship, the experience of multiple generations of Chinese American families in the twentieth century…and see how this history contributed to shaping American society.

Primary SourceOriginal Text of the Chinese Exclusion Act (5/6/1882) [National Archives- Docs Teach]
Explore images of the scanned text of the originl document of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Primary SourceDeparture Statement of Wong Kim Ark (Nov 5, 1894) [National Archives- Docs Teach]
Denied reentry to the United States upon his return from an 1894 visit to China, San Francisco–born Wong Kim Ark was detained by the collector of customs in San Francisco. The U.S. attorney argued that Mr. Wong was a citizen of China because his parents were born in China. However the U.S. District Court determined that Wong Kim Ark "is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment."

SOCIETY

Homes and Gardens, Ming and Qing Periods

Culture and International Relations in the 18th c. [China Mirror, U of Michigan]
In the past, palace architecture, city architecture, and courtly ceremony and accoutrements were probably the most important means by which to impress visiting foreign dignitaries, but, by the eighteenth century, amidst a climate of international cultural competition, gardens came to be regarded as an important measure of a nation’s civilization. Therefore, kings and emperors throughout Eurasia were building gardens with sections specially designed to look similar to the gardens of other nations! The design choices in a garden were used to indicate the nation’s international level of sophistication and present its most positive image.

Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home [Peabody Essex Museum]
"Yin Yu Tang, a late Qing dynasty merchants' house, was originally located in southeastern China. Re-erected at the Peabody Essex Museum, Yin Yu Tang is now open to visitors." This companion website to the permanent installation at the museum allows visitors to explore "this rare example of the region's renowned architecture and to learn about the daily life of the Huang family, who lived in Yin Yu Tang for over 200 years." With in-depth text, images, and diagrams organized around the topics Orientation, Construction, Ornamentation, Belongings, and Preservation.

Gardens [A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, University of Washington]
A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization, prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey, is an excellent resource, with images, questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings throughout. This particular unit discusses the origins, design, social uses, and aesthetics of Chinese garden design, which reached its fullest development during the late Ming.

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Women

Medicine and Childbirth [China Mirror, U of Michigan]

Primary Source + Lesson Plan + DBQWestern Views of Chinese Women [Women in World History, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University]
An excellent teaching module about Western views of Chinese women, drawn from ten primary source documents, mostly from missionary journals dating from the 1830s to the 1890. With a lesson plan for high school students and a document based question (DBQ).

He Zhen (wife of Liu Shipei, 1884-1917)
Primary Source w/DBQs"What Women Should Know About Communism" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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ART AND MUSIC

Painting

The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): Painting [Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
A discussion of painting during the Qing dynasty, with a focus on three principal groups of artists working during the Qing: the traditionalists, the individualists, and the courtiers and professional artists. With 14 related artworks.

Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong [The Field Museum]
Online presentation of a 2004 traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Palace Museum in Beijing. With a video introduction to the exhibition, plus a gallery of images organized under the following topics: 1) Symbols of Power; 2) Effective Leadership; 3) Family Life; 4) The Private World of the Emperor; 5) Religion. Also a Q&A section with 11 commonly asked questions about Imperial China.

Recording the Grandeur of the Qing [Columbia University and The Metropolitan Museum of Art]
This interactive teaching unit gives the viewer unprecedented access to four monumental artworks of the Qing period — four of the twenty-four southern inspection tour scrolls commissioned by the Qing emperors Kangxi (r. 1662-1722) and Qianlong (r. 1736-1795). Each of the four featured scrolls is displayed online in its entirety, with key details annotated by Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Maxwell K. Hearn. Five background essays by Dr. Hearn and Columbia history professor Madeleine Zelin serve as guides to the historical and artistic context in which the scrolls were created. Topics discussed at length include: the reigns of the two emperors who commissioned the scrolls, Kangxi and Qianlong, as well as key aspects of the Qing government, economy, and art.

Find more art-related resources for China, 1750-1919 CE
at OMuRAA (Online Museum Resources on Asian Art)

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