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Chinese History Lecture/Old Footage Show(3):
  • Regular Class Dates
  • Private Class/Event Price
The third lecture will cover the turbulent history between1910-1920's, during which World War I broke out (China had to declared war on Germany in 1917 in the hope of recovering its lost province, then under Japanese control).

The important historical events include the warlord factions of the Warlord Era (after Yuan Shikai's death, shifting alliances of regional warlords fought for control of the Beijing government); foreign incursions and student activism, consequently the May Fourth Movement and New Culture Movement.

The talk will also touch on the liberation of Chinese women from opposition to foot binding and concubinage, and proposition to divorce and remarriage, and acceptance of female students in Peking University.

The lecture will be conducted in English, and well-structured and more accessible to western audience.

Venue: China Culture Center, Beijing, China.

Background information of the lecture


Cai Yuanpei returned to China from Europe in 1916
to became the Chancellor of Peking University
the next year. Then Cai launched his pioneering
work in reforming the system of traditional education
The collapse of the Qing dynasty began an extended period of instability, not just at the national level but in many areas of peoples' lives. Obvious political and economic backwardness combined with widespread criticism of Chinese culture led to questioning and doubt about the future. China's turbulent history since the overthrow of the Qing may be understood at least in part as an attempt to understand and recover significant aspects of historic Chinese culture and integrate them with influential new ideas that have emerged within the last century.

The May Fourth Movement marked the beginning of the New Democratic Revolution in China. It also served as a intellectual turning point in China. It was the seminal event that radicalized Chinese intellectual thought. Previously Western style liberal democracy had a degree of traction amongst Chinese intellectuals. However the Versailles Treaty was viewed as a betrayal. Western centrist thought more generally seen as hypocritical and was jettisoned by the Chinese intellectual community. The adoption of Marxist Leninism began to take hold on the left. It was during this time that communism was studied seriously by some Chinese intellectuals such as Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. (Communism and the adoption of Marxism will not be elaborated in this 3 sessions of the series but in later lectures).

About the Chinese History Lecture Series (1900-2000)
This is a year-round intensive, in-depth Chinese History Lecture Series, retelling one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with written records dating back at least 3,500 years, and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization.

This series cover the past one century of China, from Republican Revolution of 1911 to the millennium celebration of 2000. It will be completed within a year. The concise version of the series is being considered to be presented too, for those audience who "can't wait" for the one-year program.

The first three sessions (1900-1920's)

The first three sessions of the series will covering the period from the beginning of the 20th century, when China experienced abrupt changes in politics, economy, and culture. it uses story-oriented video to review all the changes in the old country and show how a calamity-ridden China struggled for resolution: from its attempt to imperial reform, experimentation with Constitutional Monarchy, Parliamentarism, and to finally choosing Communism.


For more tours, classes and activities, please check our monthly calendar for the updates.


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