Depending on which historian you ask, China exceeded European nations in wealth and power until the seventeenth or possibly the nineteenth century. This course will explore the ups and downs that China and its people have experienced over the past four centuries. We will begin with the tumultuous transition in the early 1600s from the Ming Dynasty to the initially-foreign Qing Dynasty. We will read about the Kangxi Emperor’s hunting prowess and its lessons for governing. We will study the devastating Opium War, China’s twentieth-century wars, and revolutions, and its resumption of great power status as the twenty-first century dawned. Much of this story will be told through biographies and social history, enabling students to experience history through participants’ eyes. Classes will be conducted in a discussion-oriented format.
Field WorkCountry: China
Date: February 5, 2019
This Field Class will begin with a historical Walking Tour of the Kowloon Walled City. In the afternoon, we will visit Central for a walking tour of the area and an overview of the history and architecture of the region.
- Learn first-hand about local and national Chinese perspectives on Hong Kong’s history – its role in the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century, its colonial status under a century and a half of British rule, and its status since 1997 under China’s “one country, two systems” policy.
- Observe cultural, economic, and political similarities and differences between Hong Kong and Shanghai.