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The Heritage of Chinese Civilization,9780135766200

The Heritage of Chinese Civilization

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780135766200

ISBN10:
0135766206
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/1/2001
Publisher(s):
Prentice Hall
List Price: $36.00
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Summary

A single volume, clear and manageable narrative covering all the major periods of Chinese history. The text is presented chronologically and features brief principle interpretations to provide an accessible overview of an expansive subject area. Covers a complete summary of China's history beginning with Early China, China's First Empire and Its Aftermath, Imperial China, Late Imperial China: The Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties and concluding with Modern China. For anyone interested in gaining a comprehensive overview of China's vast history.

Table of Contents

Maps
xi
Documents xiii
Preface xv
Early China
3(26)
Origins: The Old and New Stone Ages
4(2)
Early Bronze Age: The Shang
6(4)
Later Bronze Age: The Western Chou
10(2)
Iron Age: The Eastern Chou
12(2)
Iron Age: The Birth of Chinese Philosophy
14(15)
Confucianism
17(4)
Taoism
21(2)
Legalism
23(6)
China's First Empire (221 B.C.E.=220 C.E.) and Its Aftermath
29(26)
Ch'in Unification of China
30(3)
Former Han Dynasty (203 B.C.E.-8 C.E.)
33(7)
The Dynastic Cycle
33(1)
Early Years of the Former Han Dynasty
33(1)
Han Wu Ti
34(2)
Government During the Former Han
36(3)
Decline and Usurpation
39(1)
Later Han (25-220 C.E.) and Its Aftermath
40(3)
First Century
40(1)
Decline During the Second Century
40(1)
Aftermath of Empire
41(2)
Han Thought and Religion
43(7)
Han Confucianism
43(1)
History
44(1)
Neo-Taoism
45(4)
Buddhism
49(1)
China's First Empire in Historical Perspective
50(5)
Imperial China (589-1368)
55(40)
Reestablishment of Empire: SUI (589-618) and T'ang (618-907) Dynasties
56(1)
The Sui Dynasty
57(1)
The T'ang Dynasty
57(13)
Government
57(3)
The Empress Wu
60(1)
The Ch'Ang-an of Emperor Hsuan-tsung
60(1)
The T'ang Empire
61(2)
Rebellion and Decline
63(2)
T'ang Culture
65(5)
Transition to Late Imperial China: The Sung Dynasty (960-1279)
70(1)
Agricultural Revolution of the Sung: From Serfs to Free Farmers
71(1)
Commercial Revolution of the Sung
72(3)
Emergence of the Yangtze Basin
72(1)
New Technology
72(1)
Rise of a Money Economy
73(1)
Trade
73(2)
Government: From Aristocracy to Autocracy
75(2)
Sung Culture
77(4)
Philosophy
77(1)
Poetry
78(2)
Painting
80(1)
China in the Mongol World Empire: The Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368)
81(1)
Rise of the Mongol Empire
82(2)
Mongol Rule in China
84(4)
Foreign Contacts and Chinese Culture
88(1)
Last Years of the Yuan
89(1)
Imperial China in Historical Perspective
90(5)
Late Imperial China: The Ming (1368-1644) and Ch'ing (1644-1912) Dynasties
95(28)
Land and People
97(1)
China's Third Commercial Revolution
98(3)
Women and the Commercial Revolution
99(2)
Political System
101(7)
The Role of Confucianism
102(1)
The Role of Emperor
102(2)
The Role of Bureaucracy
104(1)
The Role of Gentry
105(1)
The Pattern of Manchu Rule
106(2)
Foreign Relations
108(5)
Ming
108(2)
Ch'ing
110(1)
Contacts with the West
111(2)
Culture
113(5)
Late Imperial China in Historical Perspective
118(5)
Modern China (1839-1949)
123(32)
The Close of Manchu Rule
125(10)
The Opium War and Its Aftermath
125(3)
Rebellions Against the Manchus
128(2)
Self-Strengthening and Decline (1874-1895)
130(3)
The Borderlands
133(2)
From Dynasty to Warlordism (1895-1926)
135(4)
Cultural and Ideological Ferment: The May Fourth Movement
139(4)
Nationalist China
143(7)
Kuomintang Unification of China and the Nanking Decade (1927-1937)
143(3)
War and Revolution (1937-1949)
146(4)
Modern China in Historical Perspective
150(5)
China, the Last Half Century
155(24)
Mao's China
156(6)
Consolidation
156(2)
The Soviet Model
158(1)
The Great Leap Forward
158(2)
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1965-1976)
160(2)
China After Mao
162(8)
Political Developments
162(2)
Economic Growth
164(2)
Social Change
166(2)
China's Relations with the World
168(2)
Taiwan
170(3)
China, the Outlook
173(6)
Index 179

Excerpts

Preface China is one of the birthplaces of civilization. Of the original civilizations, it is the only one which has continued down to the present. The civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and India were all submerged or supplanted by subsequent waves of very different cultures. Chinese civilization, to be sure, was not static. It continued to evolve, but while it absorbed from outside influences, it was never wholly swamped by them. During the seventh and eighth centuries C.E., China's writing system, philosophies, and technology spread to Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, defining the area known today as East Asia. Its poetry, literature, and arts were no less influential. Today China is a nuclear power with a fifth of the world's population. Its economy is burgeoning. To understand the world today, one must understand China, and to understand China, one must understand its past. This volume consists in the main of the China chapters ofThe Heritage of World Civilisations,though they have been extensively revised. It provides a chronological framework and a short narrative of China's long history. It does not neglect the ruling dynasties, but it also treats social, economic, and cultural developments that cut across dynastic lines. There exist, of course, several excellent thick histories of China. Their only drawback is that length often precludes the assignment of other readings. For the instructor who wishes to approach Chinese history topically or assign monographs, collections of documents, novels, or movies, the brevity of this text may prove an advantage. Since brevity was a goal, the author asserts with seeming confidence many things that may be true only in the balance. Proper qualifications would take up many pages. The author has picked many key historical variables for his reconstruction of the past. In doing so, however, he has inevitably left out other variables that merit attention. Reading assignments in other works, perhaps from the bibliographies given at the end of each chapter, may provide a counterpoint to the account in the text. Written history is an abstraction. In any society, change or stability is a consequence of the feelings and actions of hundreds of thousands or millions of people. Each person lives in a family, has social ties extending to the larger society, works for a living, and is constrained and protected by a structure of rule. The totality of such relationships shapes the actual history of a nation. The historian, at best, grasps bits and pieces of this past. In China, despite the fact that its written record in the premodern ear surpassed that of any other nation, most of the people lived in obscurity and left no traces. Writing its history from surviving sources is like doing a jigsaw puzzle with most of the pieces missing. It is also difficult to see the past in the terms in which it saw itself. Even studying the West--our own civilization--we catch only glimpses of what it meant to be, say, a merchant in medieval Hamburg. What family, society, and the universe looked like to a merchant of Hangchow during the Southern Sung dynasty is even more difficult to ascertain. But some inkling may be gleaned from original sources. To this end, translations of poems, philosophy, essays, scenes from novels, and the like, are included both in the narrative and in the form of boxed quotations. The immediacy of these writings provides windows into the actual thought and feelings of the actors in China's history. They not only illuminate the history, but they remind us that Chinese living a thousand years ago had many of the same hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows that we do today. We recognize these shared feelings despite the powerful shaping of human experience by cultural modalities and social organization. The text contains many maps. Peking in China's north is as different from Canton in the near tropical southeast as is Bosto


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