This unit explores Chinese history in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. What I have tried to do is to present the many contrasts in new China today as she begins to modernize and play a more prominent role in world affairs. In all that I read, one message was repeatedly made: the dangers in being wrong about China are vastly greater today than they ever were in the past. The unit begins with an examination of China’s geography and the resulting isolation from the rest of the world up through the Eighteenth Century. It then traces some of the events leading to the downfall of the last ruling dynasty in China and the organization of the Nationalist Party and the Chinese Communist Party. The unit covers the history of China up to the Communist takeover in 1949, and then examines some of the most pressing challenges facing China today. I plan to do a sequel to this unit next year in which the focus will be China since 1949 (or since Mao).
(Recommended for 7th and 8th grade World Cultures and 9th grade World Civilization.)