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China in the Modern Age

 

 

­Chinese Civil War 1945 - 1949 - Nationalists (Guomingdang) vs. communists.

·         After years of fighting (going back to the “Long March”), the communists defeated the Nationalists in 1949.

 

Chiang Kai-Shek - Leader of the Nationalists. The Nationalist government was allegedly very corrupt.  After his defeat, Chiang fled to the island of Taiwan.

­Vs.

Mao Zedong  - Communist leader of China -1949 - 1976.  Mao’s forces defeated the Nationalists in 1949 and established the People’s Republic of China with the capital at Beijing.  Mao transformed China into a totalitarian state.  Women became equal under the law and entered the workplace, but still carried out their traditional roles.

 

­Economic changes under communism

    • A major goal was to modernize Chinese industry and agriculture

    • Landlords were driven from their lands.

    • Millions died during this transition.

    • Living conditions improved for the people living in the countryside as schools and  health clinics were set up.

    • ­Soviet Style 5 year plans - ­As a way to modernize the economy, the first 5 year plan was set up in 1953.Industrial output did increase during the first 5 year plan.  ­It focused on heavy industry and agriculture.

o    ­Large cooperative farms were created.

o    ­Private industry was bought under government control.

o    ­The Great Leap Forward - 1958

o    ­Human labor was stressed over complex technology.

o    ­This plan failed after 2 years.

o    ­This caused a rift within the communist party.

o    ­Communes - Cooperatives were merged in larger government controlled communes. ­20,000,000 died of starvation.

   

­The Cultural Revolution  1966 - 1968

·         ­Communist ideology was the priority of the time.

·         ­It was a period of disorder, schools closed, production decreased and violence broke out.

·         ­Thousands had died during this period

·         ­It was a way for Mao to purge any opponents..

·         ­Mao explained that the new generation needed to experience a revolution.

·         ­The “Little Red Book”  - volumes of Mao's works were printed;                 This book held the teachings of Mao. ­“It is better to be Red than expert” reflects that idea that Mao wanted loyalty over competency.

·         ­The Red Guard - During the Cultural Revolution, bands of young people, attacking enemies of Mao including critical politicians &  teachers.

·         ­It was a way for Mao to purge any opponents.

­China’s Foreign Policy under the Mao years. - Anti U.S.

·         ­Supported the North Koreans in the Korean War.

·         ­Relations with the Soviet declined in the late 1950’s, each competing to be the leading communist power in the world. In 1960, their alliance ended.

·         ­1964 - China becomes nuclear power

·         ­The Chinese - Soviet split was an opportunity for improved relations with the U.S.

·         ­1972 Improvements in U.S. Chinese relations.

·         ­U.S. President Richard Nixon visits Communist China.

·         ­Later in the decade the U.S. establishes diplomatic ties.

­

Deng Xiaoping (leader of china 1978 - 1997)

·         ­After Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping emerged as the leader.

·         ­Deng allows some forms of private enterprise.

·         ­The Four Modernization's  (major reforms by Deng)

1.      Agriculture

2.      Industry

3.      Science & Technology

4.      National defense

·         ­He moved China forward, forging closer relations with the west until the Tiananmen Square Massacre..

­

Tiananmen Square Massacre 1989 - Students demonstrated in support of more civil liberties & improved conditions at the universities   ­The government sent in the troops to disperse the crowd.  ­Thousands were killed, wounded or imprisoned.

­

­Jiang Zemin was the leader of China After Deng. Human Rights are still an issue

·         ­The Economy - Zemin has continued with limited privatization of businesses

·         ­It is still of mixed of traditional, command and market economies.

·         ­Human Rights Violations  - This is a source of tension between China and the U.S.

·         ­Chinese activists jailed for using Internet to support democracy

­

Hong Kong  - On July 1,1997, over a 150 years of British rule  ­ended in Hong Kong as it returned to China. ­Hong Kong has grown from a nearly uninhabited island to a thriving, living city with over 6 million residents.

­

Taiwan - Very much a threat to world peace. China wants Taiwan to be reunited as one country.  It could use force for this end, that could mean war.

 

­Tibet - Until 1950, Tibet was a sovereign state of three provinces, inhabited by six million people with a distinct language, culture and history dating back thousands of years.   Buddhism is a way of life in Tibet

·         ­Tibet - In 1950, Tibet was invaded by the army of her neighbor, The People's Republic of China

 

·         ­Dalai Lama  - 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Citation -­The Dalai Lama in his struggle for the liberation of Tibet has opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect.

­

Look at what has happened to TIBET since:

 

­Human Rights Violations

·         ­In 1959 the International Commission of Jurists found that genocide had been committed in Tibet.

·         ­1.2 million Tibetans died as a direct result of Chinese occupation of Tibet.

·         ­Forced abortions, many in late pregnancy, and sterilization of Tibetan women is common.
Some 4,000 Tibetan political prisoners are being held.

·         Destruction of a region - Over six thousand monasteries, temples and historical structures looted and destroyed.

·         ­Tibet's ecosystem has been severely damaged: wildlife species decimated.

·         ­Tibet's substantial mineral resources have been plundered.

·         ­Nuclear weapons & waste -One quarter of China's nuclear missiles are stationed in Tibet.  China is using Tibet as a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

·         ­The Chinese as an occupying force Some three hundred thousand Chinese troops are based in Tibet.  7.5 million Chinese colonialists have been shifted into Tibet in a move dominate the Tibetans.  In 1992 plans were revealed that the Chinese intended to swamp the Tibetan population with even more Chinese.

·         ­Today - 175,000 Tibetans are in exile (and increasing yearly with refugees still escaping Tibet after nearly 40 years of Chinese occupation of Tibet)