History of Asia (HL) Grade 12 – Semester 1

Paper 3 – History of Asia: China and Korea 1900 – 2005 (Topics 12 and 14)

Calendar of Units/Lessons (Grade 12, Semester 1)

Overview Timeline China

Part I – China (1900 – 1949)

[Readings: China: From Empire to People’s Republic 1900-49, Michael Lynch (2018)]

1. Imperial China and the Chinese Revolution Week 2 (Aug. 19 and 21)

  • What were the distinctive characteristics of imperial China?
  • How did China see its place in the world in 1900?
  • What was the American attitude towards China?
  • Why had China’s relations with the West become a mixture of detestation and admiration?
  • What problems beset the Qing dynasty between 1900 and 1911?
  • Why did the Boxer Rising fail?
  • What measures did Cixi introduce in her attempt to save the Qing dynasty?
  • What problems did China’s railway boom create for the Manchu rulers?
  • What were the main revolutionary notions that inspired Sun Yatsen and the Nationalists?
  • Why did the Qing dynasty collapse in 1911?

ATL Problems facing China

What was the essential character of the 1911 Chinese Revolution?

2. Warlords, Nationalists and Communists Week 3 (Aug. 26, 28, 29, 30)

  • What problems confronted Yuan Shikai as president of the Republic?
  • What did Yuan Shikai hope to gain from re-creating the imperial system?
  • Why did China decline into warlordism after Yuan Shikai’s death?
  • What were the chief characteristics of warlord rule?
  • What was the political effect in China of warlord rule?
  • In what sense was the 4 May Movement an expression of Chinese nationalism?
  • How was China regarded by the West?
  • In what ways did Sun Yatsen shape the GMD in this period?
  • What revolutionary programme did Sun Yatsen develop at Guangzhou?
  • Why, in his reorganization of the GMD, did Sun put such emphasis on the military?
  • What developments led to the founding of the CCP in China in 1921?
  • Why were Chinese progressives so impressed by the Russian Revolution?
  • What factors led to the formation of the Untied Front in 1924?
  • Why was Sun willing to co-operate with the Comintern?
  • What motives lay behind the Soviet Union’s involvement in revolutionary China?
  • What were the perceived advantages and disadvantages to the CCP of a merger with the GMD?
  • Why were some Chinese Communists uncertain about an alliance with the GMD?
  • What impact did the 30 May Incident have on GMD -CCP relations?
  • In what ways were the relations between China’s two main political parties altered by Sun Yatsen’s passing?
  • How successful was the Northern Expedition?

To what extent did Soviet support contribute to Chiang Kaishek’s increasing control of China in the period 1925-1928?

Evaluate the impact of the warlords on China during the period 1916-1927.

3. Nationalist Triumph and Communist Survival Week 4 (Sept. 2, 5)

  • Why were the Communists not prepared for the White Terror?
  • How successfully did Chiang Kaishek and the GMD establish their authority in China in this period?
  • How did the GMD government deal with the issue of the foreign presence in China?
  • What principles inspired the New Life Movement?
  • What factors undermined the New Life movement?
  • What difficulties prevented Chiang Kaishek from fully achieving his political aims?
  • How successful had Chiang’s Nationalist government been in the period 1928-1937?
  • Why were the Jiangxi years such a critical period for Mao and the CCP?
  • What was Mao’s assessment of the revolutionary situation in China?
  • What revolutionary role did Mao ascribe to the peasants?
  • What did the Futian Incident reveal about Mao’s approach to leadership?
  • What internal opposition did Mao contend with at Jiangxi?
  • What strategy did Chiang’s Nationalists employ in their campaigns to destroy the Reds at Jiangxi?
  • What consequences did the Long March have for Mao and the CCP?
  • Why did the Zunyi meeting prove so significant?
  • Was the Long March a triumph or a defeat?

Why was the CCP able to survive the attacks on it in the years 1927-1937?

‘Chiang Kaishek’s government of 1927 to 1936 largely failed because of his preoccupation with crushing the Communists.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?

4. Mao and the Communists at Yanan Week 5 (Sept. 9, 10, 11) and Week 6 (Sept. 18, 20)

  • What effect did the Xian Incident have on GMD-CCP relations?
  • What quality of life did the people enjoy in Yanan?
  • What revolutionary concepts did Mao develop while at Yanan?
  • How did the CCP exercise its control in the liberated areas?
  • What political and social role did Mao require the Red Army to play?
  • What methods did Mao use to enforce his authority at Yanan?
  • Why were relations between CCP and the Soviet Union so strained during the Yanan period?
  • What was the significance for China of the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943?

5. Japanese Occupation of China Week 7 (Sept. 23, 24)

  • Why had Japan modernized more effectively than China by 1900?
  • What place did China have in Japan’s expansionist schemes?
  • What impact did the Memorial have on Sino-Japanese relations?
  • How did the Japanese army and navy differ in their strategic concerns?
  • On what pretext did Japan occupy Manchuria in 1931?
  • What impact did the Japanese occupation have on China’s internal policies?
  • Why was there no organized international resistance to Japan’s aggression towards China?
  • How sincere were the Japanese in urging the Chinese to co-operate with them?
  • Why did the Chinese suffer so severely at the hands of the Japanese?
  • What did the behavior of the Japanese in Nanjing reveal about their attitude towards the Chinese?
  • Why were some Chinese willing to co-operate with the Japanese occupiers?
  • What was the significance of the USA’s entry into the war in 1941?
  • How did the attack on Pearl Harbor change the character of the Sino-Japanese war?
  • How did Chiang’s expectations change after December 1941?
  • Why did Chiang’s Nationalists decline in popularity during the war?
  • What impact did the sudden ending of the Pacific war have on the internal situation in China?
  • Why did the end of the Japanese war lead to a renewal of GMD-CCP hostilities?

To what extent did US intervention in 1941 change the nature of the conflict in the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945?

Evaluate the view, ‘The motive for Japan’s expansion into China was primarily imperialism.’ 

6. The Chinese Civil War  Week 8 (Oct. 9, 11) , Week 9 (Oct. 14), Week 10 (Oct. 24, 25) 

  • What advantages did the Nationalists hold at the beginning of the civil war?
  • What form did the Chinese civil war take?
  • Why was Chiang Kaishek so determined to seize Manchuria?
  • What style of warfare did Mao employ?
  • Why did the Communist retention of Manchuria prove so vital?
  • What led Chiang to launch the ‘strong point offensive’?
  • How did the failure of the Nationalist offensive influence Mao’s approach to the civil war overall?
  • What was the significance of the Liaoshen campaign?
  • Why was the outcome of the Liaoshen campaign so significant?
  • What was at stake in the Huaihai campaign?
  • Why were the NRA defeated at Xuzhou?
  • What had been won and lost in the Huaihai campaign?
  • In what sense did the Pingjin campaign mark the end for the Nationalists?
  • Why did the Nationalists not fight to save Beijing?
  • How had the three campaigns altered the balance between the Nationalists and Communists?
  • In what sense may the final year of the war be regarded as a mopping up exercise?
  • Why were the Nationalists unable to win the civil war?
  • How did Mao aim to win the struggle for the hearts of the people?
  • What factors did Chiang regard as being responsible for his defeat?
  • How did the character of the GMD’s support weaken its claim to be a national party?
  • Why was Chiang unable to gain the support of the Chinese regions?
  • Why was the NRA so brutal in its treatment of its own troops?
  • Why were the Communists ultimately successful in the civil war?
  • Why was the Soviet Union so reluctant to support the CCP during the civil war?

To what extent was Mao’s leadership during the Civil war of 1946-1949 primarily responsible for the Communist victory?

Evaluate the claim, ‘political strength was the main reason why the Communists were successful in the civil war.’

Part 2 – China (1949 – 2005)

[Readings: Mao’s China 1936-1997, Michael Lynch 2018]

8. Consolidation of Communist State – The Transition to Socialism Week  12 (Nov. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) and Week 14 (Nov. 18, 19, 20)

  • What were Mao’s objectives in his reforming of China’s industry?
  • Why did Mao introduce collectivization and with what consequences?
  • How did Mao overcome challenges to his leadership?
  • What were Mao’s objectives in launching the Hundred Flowers campaign?
  • Why, under Mao, were China’s relations strained with both the USA and the USSR?

9. Reform and Control Week 15 (Nov. 25, 28, 29)

  • What issues underlay the power struggle of the years 1962-6?
  • What were the principal features of the cult of Mao?
  • What were the major social changes that occurred under Mao?
  • Why were the USSR and China so divided over the question of nuclear weapons?

10. Cultural Revolution Week 16 (Dec. 5, 6)

  • What were Mao’s motives in launching the Cultural Revolution?
  • What role did the Red Guards play in the Cultural Revolution?
  • What role did the PLA play in the Cultural Revolution?
  • What was the importance of the fall of Lin Biao in 1971 in the development of the Cultural Revolution?
  • In what ways did the Cultural Revolution affect Chinese society?
  • Was Mao a monster?
  • How did the Cultural Revolution affect the PRC’s foreign relations?

11. Deng Era Week 17 (Dec. 9, 10, 11, 12)

  • Who were the main contenders for power in party and government after Mao’s death?
  • What was Deng’s basic approach in economic matters?
  • Why was Deng so determined to resist political reform in China?
  • How did the PRC’s international standing and status change under Deng Xiaoping after 1978?