Unit 8: Two Revolutions in China: Liberalism and Marxism in a New Context
China experienced two revolutions in the 20th century which dramatically reshaped its social and political institutions. In 1911, nationalist forces overthrew the Qing Dynasty and established a republican government. Their experiment with democracy did not last long and the nation soon fell into anarchy.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the revolutionary Chinese Communist Party battled the Chinese nationalists for political control over major regions of the country. While they established a truce to respond to the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s, they resumed their civil war when World War II ended in 1945.
In 1949, Mao Zedong's communist forces defeated the nationalist forces and formed a communist government in China. As in Russia, the government imposed large-scale land reforms and dramatic industrial development. While these policies contributed to China's remarkable economic development, they also caused widespread suffering and the death of millions of Chinese citizens.
In this unit, we investigate how China's 20th-century revolutions altered the nation politically, economically, and socially. We also evaluate the international consequences of these revolutions for global history.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.
8.1: China: Social, Historical, and Political Background
8.2: Xinhai Revolution and Its Failure: 1911–1927
8.3: Establishment of the People's Republic of China
8.4: Consequences and Legacies of the Chinese Revolution
Unit 8 Assessment