China (Part 8): Creating Modern China: The Birth of a Nation

China's past, present, and future: through history, geography, philosophies, literature, politics, economy, art, and ecology.

About The Course

Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and infrastructure investment that aspires to global leadership; and the world's largest and oldest bureaucratic state, with multiple traditions in its cultural, economic, and political life. The modern society and state that is emerging in China bears the indelible imprint of China's historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought. These themes are discussed in order to understand China in the twenty-­first century and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.

The modern period of ChinaX explores China’s transformation from empire to nation; its dramatic encounter with the era of imperialism; the rise of alternative models for a modern China; and the prospects for Chinese leadership in the 21st century.

ChinaX makes the riches of Harvard's collections and the expertise of its faculty accessible to learners worldwide. We will engage intellectual and religious trends, material and political culture, the local diversity and the national unity, art and literature, and China’s economic and political transformation— past, present and future.

This is the eighth of ten ChinaX "Mini-­Courses" that collectively span over 6,000 years of history. Each mini-­course consists of 4 to 8 weekly "modules," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums.

ChinaX is also an xSeries. Learn more here. 

WAYS TO TAKE THIS EDX COURSE FOR FREE: Audit this Course

Audit this course for free and have complete access to all the course material, activities, tests, and forums. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you'll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.

WAYS TO TAKE THIS COURSE FOR A FEE: Earn a Verified Certificate of Achievement

Looking to test your mettle? Do you plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards an edX personalized Certificate of Achievement. It is a great way to document your accomplishment.

Earn Harvard Credit

Optionally, you can enroll in the traditional, semester-long course at Harvard Extension School. Courses are offered in fall or spring semesters, or both. You have the option to enroll for undergraduate or graduate credit and will receive grades on a Harvard transcript. Learn more about the course on the Harvard Extension School website.

Recommended Background

None.