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Creation of Modern China, 1894–2008

Creation of Modern China, 1894–2008

The Rise of a World Power

By Iain Robertson Scott

No country has undergone a greater period of sustained and convulsive change than China in the twentieth century. This is its story, tracing the emergence of a modern China.

Paperback, 356 Pages

ISBN:9781783084975

June 2016

£22.95, $37.95

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About This Book

China preoccupies us; yet its recent past is still relatively unfamiliar. No country has undergone a greater period of sustained and turbulent change than China in the twentieth century, but it has emerged again as a leading global power. It is, therefore, more important than ever to understand the society it has become and its rise to such influence. This timely study uses recent research to explore how China has been transformed from an economic and political backwater at the start of the twentieth century to its current pre-eminent position one hundred years later.

During this convulsive period, China experienced a multitude of political systems: from the final years of the Qing dynasty, it entered a democratic phase in the 1920s when central government was weak and local warlords ruled supreme. As the Nationalist Government struggled to maintain control in the 1930s, the country was subject to invasion and partial occupation by Japan. At the end of the Second World War, the country was again torn apart in a struggle between the Nationalists and the Communists under Mao Zedong. Finally, a new People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, but early social and economic advances were thrown away as Mao initiated the Great Leap Forward and then the Cultural Revolution. These experiments brought the country to the brink of ruin. It was not until the death of Mao in 1976 and the subsequent reforms of Deng Xiaoping that the emphasis finally turned to practical change and the revival of the economy. Uniquely, subsequent success has been achieved through the adoption of capitalist enterprise in a one-party communist state – a fusion which has defied Western scepticism.

This study tackles all these major social, economic and political developments. In the process, it explores regional variation, cultural change and philosophy, as well as contrasting interpretations of Chinese history, the fluctuating role of women and the family and the challenges for the world’s most populous nation as it enters the twenty first century. It portrays a resilient people whom we must understand, for their future is also ours.

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Author Information

Iain Robertson Scott is Director of Sixth Form at Stewart’s Melville College and The Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh.

Series

Anthem Perspectives in History

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Last of the Emperors, 1894—1912; Chapter 2: Division, Deceit and New Directions, 1912—1937; Chapter 3: War and Civil War, 1937—1949; Chapter 4: Communism in Action, 1949—1957; Chapter 5: The Great Leap Forward, 1957-65; Chapter 6: The Cultural Revolution, 1966—1976; Chapter 7: Deng Xiaoping and the Boom Years, 1976—2008

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