Chapter

The old order and the new

Rana Mitter

in Modern China

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780199228027
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191777028 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780199228027.003.0002

Series: Very Short Introductions

The old order and the new

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  • Contemporary History (Post 1945)
  • Asian History
  • Political Geography

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The Chinese past is often viewed as a corrupt, ‘feudal’ chaos held back by Confucian thought. However, the imperial Chinese state was also driven by a system of mutual obligation which resulted in a dynamic political and social culture. ‘The old order and the new’ considers how much and in what ways China has changed from the first Chinese first encounter with the outside world up until the first stage of modern mass politics. Western political thought had an impact on China after the Opium Wars in the 19th century. Japanese culture also exerted an influence. The early 20th century was a time of great upheaval for China, fostering many political debates on topics such as nationalism, socialism, and feminism.

Keywords: Chinese; Communist Party; Mao Zedong; May Fourth Movement; Meiji Restoration; nationalism; Northern Expedition; Opium Wars; Sino-Japanese War; Soviet Union; World War I

Chapter.  6655 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) ; Asian History ; Political Geography

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