Lifelong Learning

Subject Description:

This course covers the history of China from 1800 to the early years of the People’s Republic. Pressured by both domestic unsettlement and foreign incursions, this period of momentous crises began with the unravelling of the traditional order of imperial China in the nineteenth century, only to be followed by the escalation of revolutionary urgency in the twentieth. By the time of the Communist revolution in 1949, this historical process of “national survival” and “becoming modern” had profoundly and irretrievably transformed China’s political, social, and cultural landscape. In this course, we examine a number of the overarching themes and issues that have preoccupied the Chinese in their march towards modern nationhood.

Course Content:

  1. Introduction
    • Issues and themes
    • State and Society in Traditional China
  2. Challenge of the West
    • China Trade, Indian Opium, and British Gunboats, I
    • China Trade, Indian Opium, and British Gunboats, II
  3. Unraveling of the Traditional Order
    • Dynastic Crises in Mid-Century
    • The Limits of Dynastic Reforms, 1861-1895
  4. The Republican Experiment
    • The 1911 Revolution
    • Strongman, Warlords, and the Party-State, I
    • Strongman, Warlords, and the Party-State, II
  5. Culture and Revolution
    • Radical Anti-traditionalism and New Culture
    • Lu Xun and the Critique of the Chinese National Character
  6. The People’s Revolution
    • The Chinese Communist Movement: The Orthodox Phase
    • The Chinese Communist Movement: The Maoist Phase
    • Social Origins of the People’s Revolution
    • Towards the People’s Republic

Learning Outcome:

  • Acquire good, solid knowledge of the major themes and issues in the history of China from 1800 to the early decades of the People’s Republic
  • Examine and assess the historical forces, both domestic and foreign, that led to the unraveling of China’s traditional order in the nineteenth century
  • Examine and assess China’s modern social and cultural experience against the overarching demand of revolution in the twentieth century
  • Chinese national formation under the imperatives of reform and revolution

Textbooks and references:

Zarrow, Peter. China in War and Revolution, 1895-1949. 1st ed. Routledge, 2005.


A three-step flow of “Registration, Notification, Enrolment” applies.

Applicants should first register (through methods listed in the “Registration” section on our website) during the application period of a Programme. Accepted Registrants will be notified through SMS and they must complete the application process in person during the period mentioned in the SMS, with a valid copy of Macao Resident ID Card.

A certificate of completion will be issued for participants fulfilling an attendance rate of 70%.

Withdrawal applications must follow stated policies.

Remark: Programmes may be cancelled due to insufficient registration.