China (Part 8): Creating Modern China: The Birth of a Nation - Harvard University



Important information

  • Course
  • Online
  • Duration:
    5 Weeks

Part 8 explores the birth of modern China, focusing on four broad themes of the modern period, from the republican period to the present. The main time period covered is from the fall of the Qing to the end of World War II.
With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: None


Where and when

Starts Location
01 June 2016

What you'll learn on the course

World war
Chinese History
Modern China

Course programme

China (Part 8): Creating Modern China: The Birth of a Nation is the eighth of ten parts of ChinaX, that collectively span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4 to 8 weekly "modules," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. There are a total of 52 modules in ChinaX.

Parts 6 - 10 make up China and the Modern World, taught by Professor William C. Kirby. Parts 1 - 5 make up China: Civilization and Empire, taught by Professor Peter K. Bol.  

  • Enduring issues of modern China, focusing on the creation of the modern Chinese state on the ruins of the Empire during the Republican era; investigate four broad themes across the history of the Republic and People’s Republic, from the 1911 revolution to the present; learn in detail China’s war against Japan and long-term patterns of U.S.-China Relations.
  • Different ways to study and understand history as we explore this period thematically rather than chronologically.
  • A better understanding of how the political context in which a period or event is studied influences our interpretation of the period or event.
  • Develop skills to analyze and understand primary sources.
  • Examine the role of individual leaders (Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong) versus broader historical circumstances.
  • To develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources.
  • To express ideas more clearly and confidently; to think more analytically and critically through the study of primary and secondary sources.