A Cultural history of China.doc
The following course, taught at IUBeijing, is available on-line, to orient International University students before going to China. The course consists of four themes, 15 contact hours each, 60 hours of applied study, 3 credits for enrolled students. To do research for your paper, type each word or phrase in italics into the search engine on your e-mail screen, then read, print out, or save the information. Choose from these topics what you will write in your paper. Begin each paper with a content summary of each period, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. There are 4 weeks of reading with an essay due at the end of each week. Contact us by e-mail for more information.
I. History of China.
Lecture 1. Spring: 3000 BCE to 200 BC. The archeology of China, 3000-1700 BCE;, the Xia dynasty; The Shang Dynasty, 1700 to 1100 BCE; oracle bones, Shang dynasty Burial sites, Shang dynasty legends; The Zhou dynasty (Chou Dynasty),1050 BCE to 221 BCE; Spring-Autumn Period, Warring States Period: Confucius, Lao-tzu (Laozi), the Legalists, the 100 schools; the Qin dynasty, the First Emperor of China 221 BCE to 206 BCE;. The “Spring” of Chinese culture. Things to look for and write about in this segment: Myths and Legends of China, (Fu Xi, Shen Nung, Huangdi, Yao, Shun, Yu the Great), oracle bones, Confucius, Lao-tzu (Laozi), the Legalists, the “100 schools,” how they differ from each other; the despotic first emperor Qin (pronounce “Chin”; in Chinese “emperor is pronounced Huangdi, so he is “Qin Shr (first) Huangdi). He built the “Great Wall,” burned the books of Confucius, died eating Daoist long life medicine.
Lecture 2. Summer, 200 BCE to 900: The Han Dynasty, The Three Kingdoms, the North-South period (divided kingdoms), the Sui Dynasty, the Tang dynasty. Buddhism comes to China. Things to look up and write about: “Three religions, one culture,” the origin of Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism; how all 3 form the basis of Chinese culture. The famous heroes of the “3 Kingdoms” period, whose story is told in the novel “Romance of the 3 Kingdoms.” (Name these heroes, and describe them). The Great Poets of China, especially Li Po (Li Bai), everybody’s favorite; Emperor Ming Huang and his concubine Yang Gueifei; (her body guards killed her, to “save” the emperor and China). China’s great woman emperor Wu Zetian;
Lecture 3. Autumn, 900 -1640; The “5 dynasties,” 906 to 960; The Song dynasty (Sung dynasty), 960-1281; the Yuan dynasty, or Mongol Dynasty, 1281-1365; the Ming dynasty, 1365-1640; the Qing dynasty (Manchu dynasty), 1640-1912). Themes to look for and write about: In the Song dynasty and thereafter, China has a fully developed merchant class, as well as clan family estates, and a learning process for children of privilege to be educated in classical Chinese, pass the imperial examinations, and enter the mandarin class of ruling bureaucrats. Banking and checking begin in China between 906-960, long before Europe; wood block printing and moveable type also. The religious reformation of China occurs in the Song dynasty, 500 years before Europe; Mongol rule is cruel and harsh, overthrown at last in 1365; the Ming Emperor Yunglo moves the capital city to Beijing in 1420, and builds the world’s largest Palace and palatial imperial grounds. A legal system is codified during his reign. The Manchu tribes (“banners”) conquer China in 1640, and preside over the gradual demise of China’s power and wealth. European colonial powers and the Japanese occupy all the port cities, humiliate the weak Qing emperors. Take note of the Opium Wars (1838 and after); the Taiping rebellion (1850), and the Boxer rebellion (1901-02). The British burn and steal all the art of the Old Summer Palace; Christianity in China is seen as a tool of foreign colonial occupation.
Lecture 4. Winter, 1912 to the present. Identify: The Last Emperor, Pu Yi. Dr. Sun Yatsen, and the 1911 rebellion, Imperial China is overthrown; democracy is aborted by war lords fighting for power. The Kuomintang (pronounce Guo Min Dang) political regime with Chiang Kai-chek (Jiang Jie-shr) as leader attempts to unify China. The Japanese invasion in 1932, then in full force from 1936-1945, destroys, rapes, and brutalizes the Chinese people. In 1949 Mao Tse-dong (“Chairman Mao”) and the Communist army “liberate” China, expel the Kuomintang, all foreigners, and all missionaries. The “People’s Republic of China” is established. 1952-1955 landlords are executed, or flee. 1955, the “Communes” (built on the Russian model) are established. In 1956 Chairman Mao and Russian Premier Kruschev break company; China rejects Russian counsel. 1958, the Great Leap Forward, and the “Communes” (radical communism) are set up. Crops fail, and famines occur 1960-1963. 1967 Mao declares the “Great Cultural Revolution;” teen age “Red Guard” are allowed to attack and kill communist party officials, and anyone accused of once having been “capitalist,” such as teachers, upper social class, or “class enemies.” In 1976, the Cultural Revolution ends, when Mao dies. By 1980 Deng Xiaoping heads the government, declares China open to economic progress, investments, private ownership of land and businesses, education, and limited freedom. China’s progress since that time has been phenomenal. “Capitalism with a peculiar Chinese socialist flavor” is a success. In 2008, the year of the “Olympics”, Modern China has123 billionaires, and many more millionaires, in spite of the fact that most of the rural and remote areas are still burdened with bitter poverty.
In Beijing, you must write one paper (with charts, bibliography and footnotes) for each of these four periods, choosing to describe in detail the themes that interested you most when reading, studying, and doing research on line. To learn more about each topic listed above, write in the name (especially those in italics) and do an on-line search, for more information on each topic put in italics. Choose from these topics the theme for your four papers. Contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org for any help you might need, comments, correction of papers, and so forth. Remember, copying from a book or website is plagiarism, adding a footnote to what you wrote (stating where you read it) is scholarship. Papers may be corrected, and graded by e-mail. Good reading and writing!
Suggested textbooks: (amazon.com)
The Cambridge Illustrated History of China (Cambridge Illustrated Histories) by Patricia Buckley Ebrey and Kwang-ching Liu (Paperback – May 13, 1999)
Buy new: $36.99 $24.41 58 Used & new from $17.57
China: Its History and Culture (4th Edition) by W. Scott Morton, Charlton M. Lewis, and Charlton Lewis (Paperback – Jun 1, 2004)
Buy new: $18.95 $12.89 41 Used & new from $8.53
A History of Chinese Civilization by Jacques Gernet, J. R. Foster, and Charles Hartman (Paperback – May 31, 1996) new, $37.99 $34.19; 34 Used & new from $17.40