History of China

Course Number: HST 106
Transcript Title: History of China
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: June 6, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.

Course Description

Surveys the history of China. Includes political, diplomatic, economic, social, religious and cultural themes from pre-history to modern times. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Articulate an understanding of the key events in the history of China and use critical thinking to evaluate historical changes and their impact on civilization.
  2. Recognize the diverse contributions of China to World Civilization in order to appreciate and evaluate society.
  3. Identify culturally grounded assumptions which have influenced the perceptions and behaviors of and about peoples in China.
  4. Communicate effectively using historical analysis.
  5. Compare and contrast the past with the present to enhance understanding of and to promote civic and global engagement.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Service-learning projects
  • Class participation and discussion
  • Other creative assignments

Course Activities and Design

  • Lecture
  • Small group discussion
  • Class discussion
  • Oral presentation
  • Essay Exams
  • Research Paper

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and skills

  • Identify the characteristics of East Asian civilizations, focusing on China and Japan
  • Identify key political, geographical, social, economic and cultural aspects of East Asian civilizations
  • Appraise how civilizations changed over time
  • Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources
  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
  • Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own
  • Recognize and understand the basis for various interpretations and views of historical issues
  • Identify an historian's thesis and supporting evidence
  • Select what is important from a large body of material
  • Connect present-day events to the past

Themes, Concepts, Issues

  • Early China
  • Themes in Chinese history:
    • Mandate of Heaven
    • "Civilized" versus "Barbarian" world
    • China's regional role
  • Confucianism, Daoism, Legalism, and other schools of thought
  • Qin (Ch'in) and Han dynasties¬†
  • Growth and influence of Buddhism
  • Tang (T'ang), Song (Sung), Yuan, Ming, and Qing (Ch'ing) dynasties
  • Early and feudal Japan
  • China's reactions to western influence and imperialism
  • Japan's reactions to western influence and imperialism
  • Meiji Restoration
  • Japan's imperialism
  • Chinese Revolution
  • World War I and its effects in both China and Japan
  • Interwar period in East Asia
  • World War II and effects in East Asia
  • Communist Revolution and Mao Zedong (Tse-tung)
    • Great Leap Forward
    • Cultural Revolution
  • Postwar Japan
  • Modern East Asia

Considering such factors as:

  • Geography
  • Social hierarchy
  • Gender
  • Institutions
  • Political and economic structures
  • Imperial governments
  • Law
  • Cultural contributions
  • Philosophies and religions