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Modern China

a brief history of modern China

Amy Withers

on 4 June 2012

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Transcript of Modern China

Modern China After China was not united for several hundred years, it was re-united again under the Sui Dynasty in 589 AD. Many dynasties ruled China for the next several hundred years. The last two dynasties to rule China were the Ming and the Qing Dynasties. The Ming Dynasty had a strong central government, emphasized agriculture as the basis for the economy and trade, and also tried to control neighboring nations, such as Viet Nam. During this Dynasty the Great Wall was repaired and completed, as was the Forbidden Palace. The Qing Dynasty ruled for almost 400 years. They had a strong military and exerted their control over neighboring nations, such as Tibet. At the same time, Britain was gaining control within China, and it was during the Qing Dynasty that the British took control of Hong Kong. Around the year 1900, students, military leaders, and young officials became tired of imperial rule and they started an uprising. A leader of this uprising was Sun Yat-Sen. This uprising was eventually successful and in 1912, China became a republic. Although this uprising had been successful and China was no longer ruled by dynasties, this new system of government came with many problems and fighting. For a time, Japan occupied and controlled China. Two Chinese groups fought to control China, though they united to oust Japan from their country. The Kuomingtang (KMT) is a nationalist party, and they still rule over Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party (CPC), headed by Mao Zedong, gained control of mainland China and in 1949, formed the People's Republic of China - what we know as China today. In Mao's rule of China, he first initiated what he called The Great Leap Forward. The central government ceased control of all private land and re-distributed it to poor peasants. Then rural peasants were forced to grow crops for the central government. Mao also prohibited practice of any religion or traditional culture in China. The Great Leap Forward resulted in millions of deaths from starvation and violence. After the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao began another program, the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 - 1976. This was Mao's attempt to strengthen socialism in China, while getting rid of anyone who might be capitalist. He established the "Red Guard", a group of people that carried out this initiative. The results of the Cultural Revolution were vast: the economy slowed; production of grains diminished; many people stopped receiving an education; many people were not allowed to visit China; all information was controlled by the government. In 1976, Mao dies. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping becomes the leader of China and opens the economy to the market. That same year, the United States begins full diplomatic relations with China. In 1984, the Chinese government loosens control over many parts of the economy, becoming more capitalist. In 1986, they open their first stock market. In 1989, thousands of students gathered in Tiananmen Square to mourn the death of a former communist leader who had been known to be open to critism of the Chinese government. After 7 weeks of mourning, the Chinese government cracked down on the people gathered in the square, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Following this, the Chinese government continued to crack down on protesters around the country. Countries from around the world condemned the actions of the Chinese government. China's economy continues to grow. In the 1990's the Chinese government approved a plan to create the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River. The dam, completed in 2006, provides electricity to help keep China's economy going, but also forced over a million people to relocated their homes, and created environmental problems. First some vocabulary:

Capitalism: An economic system that favors private ownership of goods and services; where prices are set by the market and not by the government.

Communism: A social and economic system in which goods and services are controlled and owned by the government. This system emphasizes the collective group instead of the individual.

Imperialism: Aggressive authority and control

Republic:A form of government in which the ruler is not someone who became ruler because they are in a certain family (such as a king, Pharoah or Emperor)

Socialism: An economic system in which the government decides what, how and where to produce goods and services.
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