More populous than any other country on earth, China also occupies a unique place in our modern world for the continuity of its history and culture. In this sumptuously illustrated single-volume history, noted historian Patricia Ebrey traces the origins of Chinese culture from prehistoric times to the present. She follows its development from the rise of Confucianism, Buddhism, and the great imperial dynasties to the Mongol, Manchu, and Western intrusions and the modern communist state. Her scope is phenomenal--embracing Chinese arts, culture, economics, society and its treatment of women, foreign policy, emigration, and politics, including the key uprisings of 1919 and 1989 in Tiananmen Square. Both a comprehensive introduction to an extraordinary civilization, and an expert exploration of the continuities and disjunctures of Chinese history, Professor Ebrey's book has become an indispensable guide to China past and present. Patricia Ebrey is Professor of East Asian Studies and History and the author of Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook (1993).
Contemporary scholars of Chinese philosophy often presuppose that early China possessed a naturalistic worldview, devoid of any non-natural concepts, such as transcendence. Challenging this presupposition head-on, Joshua R. Brown and Alexus McLeod argue that non-naturalism and transcendence have a robust and significant place in early Chinese thought. This book reveals that non-naturalist positions can be found in early Chinese texts, in topics including conceptions of the divine, cosmogony, and apophatic philosophy. Moreover, by closely examining a range of early Chinese texts, and providing comparative readings of a number of Western texts and thinkers, the book offers a way of reading early Chinese Philosophy as consistent with the religious philosophy of the East and West, including the Abrahamic and the Brahmanistic religions. Co-written by a philosopher and theologian, this book draws out unique insights into early Chinese thought, highlighting in particular new ways to consider a range of Chinese concepts, including tian, dao, li, and you/wu.
This book breaks with convention and provides an overview of Chinese history in the form of special topics. These topics include the major issues of “A Scientific Approach to the Origins of Chinese Civilization,” “Ancient Chinese Society and the Change of Dynasties,” “The Golden Ages of the Han, Tang and Qing Dynasties: a Comparative Analysis,” “Transportation Systems and Cultural Communication in Ancient China,” “Ethnic Relations in Chinese History,” “The Systems of Politics, Law and Selecting Officials in Ancient China,” “Agriculture, Handicraft and Commerce in Ancient China,” “The Military Thought and Military Systems of Ancient China,” “The Rich and Colorful Social Life in Ancient China,” “The Evolution of Ancient Chinese Thought,” “The Treasure House of Ancient Chinese Literature and Art,” “The Emergence and Progress of Ancient Chinese Historiography,” “Reflection on Ancient Chinese Science and Technology,” “New Issues in the Modern History of China,” and “A General Progression to the Socialist Modernization of the People’s Republic of China.” The book is based on current literature and research by university students. The modern history section is relatively concise, while the topics related to ancient Chinese history are longer, reflecting the country’s rich history and corresponding wealth of materials. There is also an in-depth discussion on the socialist modernization of the People’s Republic of China. The book provides insights into Chinese history, allowing readers “to see the value of civilization through history; to see the preciseness of history through civilization.” It focuses on the social background, lifestyle and development processes to illustrate ideologies and ideas.
This book analyzes the emergence of ethnic consciousness among Hakka-speaking people in late imperial China in the context of their migrations in search of economic opportunities. It poses three central questions: What determined the temporal and geographic pattern of Hakka and Pengmin (a largely Hakka-speaking people) migration in this era? In what circumstances and over what issues did ethnic conflict emerge? How did the Chinese state react to the phenomena of migration and ethnic conflict? To answer these questions, a model is developed that brings together three ideas and types of data: the analytical concept of ethnicity; the history of internal migration in China; and the regional systems methodology of G. William Skinner, which has been both a breakthrough in the study of Chinese society and an approach of broad social-scientific application. Professor Skinner has also prepared eleven maps for the book, as well as the Introduction. The book is in two parts. Part I describes the spread of the Hakka throughout the Lingnan, and to a lesser extent the Southeast Coast, macroregions. It argues that this migration occurred because of upswings in the macroregional economies in the sixteenth century and in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. As long as economic opportunities were expanding, ethnic antagonisms were held in check. When, however, the macroregional economies declined, in the mid-seventeenth and late eighteenth centuries, ethnic tensions came to the fore, notably in the Hakka-Punti War of the mid-nineteenth century. Part II broadens the analysis to take into account other Hakka-speaking people, notably the Pengmin, or "shack people. When new economic opportunities opened up, the Pengmin moved to the peripheries of most of the macroregions along the Yangzi valley, particularly to the highland areas close to major trading centers. As with the Hakka, ethnic antagonisms, albeit differently expressed, emerged as a result of a declining economy and increased competition for limited resources in the main areas of Pengmin concentration.
This introduction to the social, political, and intellectual history of China offers new perspectives as it analyzes two crucial and interrelated questions. Schrecker proposes new approaches for conceptualizing and evaluating China's modern revolution and the long and often misunderstood Chinese past, clarifying a topic made more complex because the West and Western ideas have played crucial roles in the revolutionary process. The volume presents a concise history of China, reinterprets the revolution and its relationship to the past, and provides valuable insights into the problems of contemporary China. It is of importance for the general reader and should be useful as a text in courses in Chinese, comparative and world history.
This open access book considers a pivotal era in Chinese history from a global perspective. This book’s insight into Chinese and international history offers timely and challenging perspectives on initiatives like “Chinese characteristics”, “The New Silk Road” and “One Belt, One Road” in broad historical context. Global History with Chinese Characteristics analyses the feeble state capacity of Qing China questioning the so-called “High Qing” (shèng qīng 盛清) era’s economic prosperity as the political system was set into a “power paradox” or “supremacy dilemma”. This is a new thesis introduced by the author demonstrating that interventionist states entail weak governance. Macao and Marseille as a new case study aims to compare Mediterranean and South China markets to provide new insights into both modern eras’ rising trade networks, non-official institutions and interventionist impulses of autocratic states such as China’s Qing and Spain’s Bourbon empires.