China, whose recorded history extends back several thousand years, was once the most advanced civilization on earth. But after centuries of self imposed isolation, the so-called Middle Kingdom found itself lagging behind the world's industrialized countries. Defeated militarily by the Western powers and Japan dung the second half of the 19th century, China went through a series of reforms and revolutions before the emergence of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Internal political struggles struggles stifled led the PRC's development during its early decades, but a reform program that began in the late 1970s has transformed China into an economic powerhouse and an increasingly important player on the international stage.
The History of Modern China offers a comprehensive account of China's historical evolution from a prosperous empire to a semi colonial nation and finally to an independent Communist state. This volume also provides an in depth analysis of the interplay between China and the outside world, as well as among China's various political forces.
Table of Contents
1 Overview: A Historic Day 13
2 The Middle Kingdom Humbled by the West 17
3 Self-Strengthening and Other Reform Efforts 27
4 Fall of the Qing and the Struggle for Control 37
5 Triumph of the Communists 49
6 Early Years of the People's Republic of China 63
7 The Hundred Flowers and the Great Leap Forward 75
8 The Cultural Revolution 87
9 Reform and Conflict 105
10 A Rising Power in the 21st Century 121
Further Reading 136
Internet Resources 137