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CHINA: HISTORY-ARCHAEOLOGY
Republic of China (1912 to present; in Taiwan after 1949)

Video Unit The End of Imperial Rule [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit The Military Persuasion [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit The Origins of the Taiwan Question [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Lectures 25, 26, 27, and 30 of 37 from the Harvard Open Learning Initiative course, China: Traditions and Transformations. These 50-minute lecture presentations, each with an accompanying slide presentation that can be controlled separately, are part of an introductory course on China for undergraduates at Harvard. Taught by two of the leading scholars of the China field — professors Peter Bol and William Kirby — the presentations provide background for teachers and students alike. Suitable for secondary school classrooms, especially AP-World History courses. (The link above leads to the main course page listing all 37 lectures. Scroll to Lecture 25: The End of Imperial Rule, Lecture 26: Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic, Lecture 27: The Military Persuasion, and Lecture 30: The Origins of the Taiwan Question and select a connection type to view or listen to these lectures.)

Interactive MapModern Period, 1912-present [Princeton University Art Museum]
An overview of political and artistic developments in China from 1912 to the present. 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.

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RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, THOUGHT

Living in the Chinese Cosmos >> Religion in China: 20th Century: Communism and Internal Challanges to Tradition [Asia for Educators]
Although the focus of this teaching module is late-imperial China, this section on China in the 20th century is useful for putting the units below in context.

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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" (Speech, 1934) [PDF]; Mao Zedong's "Reform Our Study" (1941)], plus discussion questions and suggested activities for students.

Chen Duxiu, 1879-1942
Primary Source w/DBQs
"The True Meaning of Life" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQs"Our Final Awakening" (1916) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Chiang Kai-shek, 1887-1975
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Essentials of a New Life Movement" (Speech, 1934) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQs"China Cannot Be Conquered" (Speech, 1939) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Hu Shi, 1891-1962
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Our Attitude Toward Modern Western Civilization" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Liang Shuming, 1893-1988
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Chinese Civilization vis-a-vis Eastern and Western Philosophies" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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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).

Video Unit The Defining Issues of Modern Chinese History [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit The End of Imperial Rule [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit The Military Persuasion [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Video Unit The Origins of the Taiwan Question [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Lectures 20, 25, 26, 27, and 30 of 37 from the Harvard Open Learning Initiative course, China: Traditions and Transformations. These 50-minute lecture presentations, each with an accompanying slide presentation that can be controlled separately, are part of an introductory course on China for undergraduates at Harvard. Taught by two of the leading scholars of the China field — professors Peter Bol and William Kirby — the presentations provide background for teachers and students alike. Suitable for secondary school classrooms, especially AP-World History courses. (The link above leads to the main course page listing all 37 lectures. Scroll to Lecture 20: The Defining Issues of Modern Chinese History, Lecture 25: The End of Imperial Rule, Lecture 26: Foreign Models for a Chinese Republic, Lecture 27: The Military Persuasion, and Lecture 30: The Origins of the Taiwan Question and select a connection type to view or listen to these lectures.)

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Rebuilding China

Liang Qichao, 1873-1929
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Renewing the People" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Sun Yat-sen, 1866-1925
Primary Source w/DBQs
Selections from A Program of National Reconstruction: "The Three Stages of Revolution" (1918) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQs"The Principle of Democracy" (1924) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Chiang Kai-shek, 1887-1975
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Essentials of the New Life Movement" (Speech, 1934) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and the Chinese Revolution

Asian Revolutions in the Twentieth Century [ExEAS, Columbia University]
This website provides lecture material, teaching strategies, bibliographies, timelines, and links to other online resources for teaching about revolution and revolutionary leaders in high school, college, and university classes. See section on Mao Zedong.

Mao Zedong: Biographical and Political Profile [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source The Long March (1934-1936) [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source Commonly Read Speeches and Writings of Mao Zedong (1927-1945) [Asia for Educators]
With excerpts from three speeches and one article, all highlighting two important themes in Mao Zedong's thinking: voluntarism and selflessness. Includes excerpts from "In Memory of Norman Bethune" (1939); "Serve the People" (1944); "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains" (1945); and Report on the Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan (1927).

Primary Source Mao Zedong on War and Revolution [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsFrom "The Dictatorship of the People's Democracy": On Leaning to One Side (Speech, 1949) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Mao Zedong's writings can also be found in the Government and Administration: Communism, Military and Defense: War and Revolution, and Society: Farmers and the Revolution sections, below, .

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Communism in China

Mao Zedong, 1893-1976
Primary Source w/DBQs
Quotations from Chairman Mao on Being a Communist in China (1937-1938) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Also see Mao Zedong's 1941 speech "Reform Our Study," which is part of the unit Before and After the Fourth Movement in the section Religion, Philosophy, Thought: The May Fourth Movement, above.

Liu Shaoqi, 1898-1969
Primary Source w/DBQs
How to Be a Good Communist (1939) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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MILITARY AND DEFENSE
Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

Video Unit The United States and China in War and Revolution [Open Learning Initiative, Harvard Extension School]
Lecture 29 of 37 from the Harvard Open Learning Initiative course, China: Traditions and Transformations. This 50-minute lecture presentation, with an accompanying slide presentation that can be controlled separately, is part of an introductory course on China for undergraduates at Harvard. Taught by two of the leading scholars of the China field — professors Peter Bol and William Kirby — the presentations provide background for teachers and students alike. Suitable for secondary school classrooms, especially AP-World History courses. (The link above leads to the main course page listing all 37 lectures. Scroll to Lecture 29: The United States and China in War and Revolution and select a connection type to view or listen to this lecture.)

Chiang Kai-shek, 1887-1975
Primary Source w/DBQs
"China Cannot Be Conquered" (Speech, 1939) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]
Primary Source w/DBQsGeneralissimo Chiang Assails Prince Konoe's Statement [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsJapanese Ambassador Hiroshi Saito on the Conflict in the Far East [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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Mao Zedong (1893-1976) on War and Revolution

Primary SourceMao Zedong on War and Revolution [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsReport on the Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan (March 1927) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Primary Source w/DBQsSelections from On Guerilla Warfare (1927) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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SOCIETY
Women during the Republican Era (1911-1949)

Ling Long Woman's Magazine (Shanghai, 1931 to 1937) [Columbia University Libraries]
A digital archive of Ling Long Women's Magazine, "originally published in Shanghai from 1931 to 1937 and of significant scholarly research value in several disciplines." With extensive background information about the magazine and the social and cultural context in which it was produced.

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Raising Children

Zhu Ziqing, 1898-1948
Primary Source w/DBQs
"My Children" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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Farmers and the Chinese Revolution

Primary SourcesFarmers and the Chinese Revolution [Asia for Educators]
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]].

When is a Farmer not a Farmer? [AsiaMedia, UCLA Asia Institute]
"... until the 1920s, Americans religiously used 'farmer' for China, 'peasant' for Europe, Russia and even the Mediterranean. ... After about 1930, the words switched positions. Pearl Buck's The Good Earth (1931), for instance, uses the word 'farmer,' never "peasant," but after that, Americans overwhelmingly preferred 'peasant.'" This article explores the distinction between the two terms and the role of young Chinese radicals of the 1920s in promoting the use of the term "peasant."

A Guide to Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth [Asia for Educators]
This unit introduces the novel The Good Earth (1931) by Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), widely used and valued for its portrayal of Chinese society and, in particular, the Chinese family. The unit includes an introductory reading for teachers (providing background on the author), followed by a student reading summarizing the novel. Discussion questions are included.

What's So Bad about The Good Earth? [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
Article by independent scholar Charles W. Hayford from the Winter 1998 issue of Education About Asia magazine. Excerpts: "…the book is still widely read, especially at the secondary level, and I would not discourage teachers who find the book a good read. As long as we remind students that not all Chinese are rural, that the Chinese family system is not evil simply because it differs from our modern American model, and that China has tremendously changed since the 1930s, reading The Good Earth conveys much more good than harm. We take our starting points where we can find them; the dangers in the book are 'teaching opportunities' rather than excuses to avoid discussion. Students can be challenged to compare the China which Buck invented with the Chinas invented by others … More substantively, I think I can show how Buck illustrates the long-term cross-cultural moral debate over the nature of modernity, introduces students to issues in American foreign relations (rather than simply diplomatic relations), and shows how unarticulated views of history shape the ways we see the world…As a starting point, The Good Earth still works."

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LITERATURE AND FILM
20th-century Literature

Introduction to Chinese Literature [Asia for Educators]
This reading offers an overview of Chinese literature, identifying its forms and contextualizing its role within Chinese history and culture. A selection of historical periods and literary forms is discussed: the scholar-official and Chinese poetry, the short story as social commentary in the early 20th century, and literature as propaganda in revolutionary China. Discussion questions are included.

Hu Shi, 1891-1962
Primary Source w/DBQs
"A Preliminary Discussion of Literary Reform" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Lu Xun: China's Greatest Modern Writer [Asia for Educators]
This reading about the writer Lu Xun highlights his criticism of traditional Chinese society. Recommended readings include the preface to "Call to Arms," in which he recounts his disgust with Chinese herbal medicinal practices and his realization that China needed "spiritual medicine" more than treatment for physical ailments. Discussion questions are included.

Lu Xun (Zhou Shuren), 1881-1936
Primary Source w/DBQs
"My Old Home" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Mao Dun (Shen Yanbing), 1896-1981
Primary Source w/DBQs
"Spring Silkworms" [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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ART AND MUSIC
Graphic Arts

Graphic Arts (of 20th-Century China) [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 China's visual culture, which "changed dramatically in the twentieth century with the great growth in advertising, posters, and other mass-produced means of using images to attract the attention of the populace."

Find more art-related resources for China, 20th Century
at OMuRAA (Online Museum Resources on Asian Art)

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© 2009 Asia for Educators, Columbia University