History of Modern China

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 216

       Course Name: History of Modern China

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

None

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines political, economic, and social transformation of China from the 19th century dynastic system to a 21st century modern state.  Content includes Confucian value system; collapse of the Qing dynasty; western imperialism; the Communist revolution; the Great Leap Forward; the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; legacy of Mao Zedong; and era of Deng Xiaoping and its impact to the present.  Current issues addressed include China’s relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan), and China’s role in a global context. IAI S2 915N

IV.   Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this course, the students should be able to:

  1. Identify the essential historical figures and events of the period covered.
  2. Describe the ethnic, cultural, and political diversity of modern China and interpret its historical consequences.
  3. Explain the religious, social, economic, and political ideas that emerged in China during the period covered.
  4. Evaluate major religious, literary, and philosophical works produced during the period.
  5. Analyze the relationship between historical events and contemporary issues in the region.
  6. Evaluate conflicting interpretations of the history of modern China.
  7. Analyze primary and secondary sources pertaining to the period covered.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Geography and Chinese Civilization
  2. Confucian Values and Kinship Society
  3. Dynastic Rule, Rebellion and Reform
  4. The Intrusion of the West
  5. Collapse of the Qing Dynasty
  6. The Republican Era and World War II
  7. Communist Victory and Mao Zedong
  8. Deng Xiaoping and Modernization
  9. The New China in a Global Context

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12‑14 double‑spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

A standard textbook in Modern Chinese History will be used, such as:

Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. W.W. Norton & Co. (October 2002)

Supplementary readings will also be assigned as appropriate, such as:
Chang, Jung. Wild Swans:  Three Daughters of China, 1992
Xiao Di Zhu. Thirty Years in a Red House:  A Memoir of Childhood and Youth in
Communist China,
University of Massachusetts Press, 1999

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available at the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX: Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX: Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX: Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX: Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.



If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.