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China: A New History


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Introduction - approaches to understanding China's history: the variety of historical perspectives, geography - the contrast of North and South, humankind in nature, the village - family and lineage, inner Asia and China - the Steppe and the Sown. Part 1 Rise and decline of the imperial autocracy: origins - the discoveries of archaeology - paleolithic China, neolithic China, excavation of Shang and Xia, the rise of central authority, Western Zhou, implications of the new archaeological record; the first unification - imperial confucianism - the utility of dynasties, princes and philosophers, the Confucian code, Daoism, unification by Qin, consolidation and expansion under the Han, imperial Confucianism, correlative cosmology, emperor and scholars; reunification in the Buddhist age - disunion, the Buddhist teaching, Sui-Tang reunification, Buddhism and the state, decline of the Tang dynasty, social change - the Tang-Song transition; China's greatest age - Northern and Southern Song - efflorescence of material growth, education and the examination system, the creation of neo-Confucianism, formation of gentry society; the paradox of Song China and Inner Asia - the sybiosis of Wen and Wu, the rise of non-Chinese rule over China, China in the Mongol Empire, interpreting the Song era; government in the Ming dynasty - legacies of the Hongwu emperor, fiscal problems, China turns inward, factional politics; the Qing success story - the Manchu conquest, institutional adaptation, the Jesuit interlude, growth of Qing control in Inner Asia, the attempted integration of policy and culture. Part 2 Late Imperial China, 1600-1911: the paradox of growth without development - the rise in population, diminishing returns of farm labour, the subjection of women, domestic trade and commercial organization, merchant-official symbiosis, limitations of the law; frontier unrest and the opening of China - the weakness of state leadership, the White Lotus Rebellion 1796-1804, maritime China - origins of the overseas Chinese, European trading companies and the Canton trade, rebellion on the Turkestan frontier 1826-1835, opium and the struggle for a new order at Guangzhou 1834-1842, inauguration of the treaty century after 1842; rebellion and restoration - the great Taiping rebellion 1851-1864, Civil War, the Qing restoration of the 1860s, suppression of other rebellions; early modernization and the decline of Qing power - self-strengthening and its failure, the Christian-Confucian struggle, the reform movement, the Boxer rising 1898-1901, demoralization. (Part contents)

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