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China: Civilization and Empire

Learn about China’s past, present, and future.

Earn a Certificate

  • XSeries via edX and Harvard University
  • $450 for 4-5 months
  • 2-4 hours a week of effort
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China: Civilization and Empire
☆☆☆☆☆ (0 Reviews)
Learn about china’s past, present, and future: through history, geography, philosophies, literature, politics, economy, art, and ecology.
Credential Type
2-4 hours a week
4-5 months

XSeries Program Overview

China: Civilization and Empire explores the development of this great civilization from the Neolithic to the last dynasty. We see the formation of political structures and social practices that have lasted into the present; we learn to appreciate artistic and literary traditions of sophistication and refinement; we inquire into its philosophical and religious legacies and their significance for our own lives; and we trace the creation of the largest economy in world history.

What You'll Learn

  • To develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources.
  • To express ideas more clearly and confidently; to think more analytically and critically through the study of primary and secondary sources.
★★★★★ (9) 57 weeks Self paced
<p>_China (Part 1): Political and Intellectual Foundations: From the Sage Kings to Confucius and the Legalists _is the first of ten parts of ChinaX, that collectively span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4 to 8 weekly "modules," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. There are a total of 52 modules in ChinaX.</p> <p>Parts 1-5 make up <strong>China: Civilization and Empire</strong>, taught by Professor Peter K. Bol. Parts 6-10 make up <strong>China and the Modern World</strong>, taught by Professor William C. Kirby. </p> <p><a href="">For more information about ChinaX, please visit the ChinaX page.</a></p> <hr /> <p>HarvardX requires individuals who enroll in its courses on edX to abide by the terms of the edX honor code. HarvardX will take appropriate corrective action in response to violations of the <a href="">edX honor code</a>, which may include dismissal from the HarvardX course; revocation of any certificates received for the HarvardX course; or other remedies as circumstances warrant. No refunds will be issued in the case of corrective action for such violations. Enrollees who are taking HarvardX courses as part of another program will also be governed by the academic policies of those programs.</p> <p>HarvardX pursues the science of learning. By registering as an online learner in an HX course, you will also participate in research about learning. Read our <a href="">research statement</a> to learn more.</p> <p>Harvard University and HarvardX are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which no member of the community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination or harassment in our program. All members of the HarvardX community are expected to abide by Harvard policies on nondiscrimination, including sexual harassment, and the edX Terms of Service. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact <a href=""></a> and/or <a href="">report your experience through the edX contact form</a>.</p>
★★★★★ (6) 57 weeks Self paced
<p>This course, the second in a collection on Chinese history and culture, addresses how the Qin dynasty conquered China and established a new system of government and how the Han dynasty built a stable, centralized empire that lasted for hundreds of years. We cover the early history of Buddhism in China and how the rising feudal aristocracy responded to the loss of empire by looking inward.<br /><br />In this period, the Qin forged a new, unified empire, discovered new ways of mobilizing the population, and introduced the imperial ideology of &ldquo;Cosmic Resonance&rdquo;. However, this early dynasty was short-lived and soon gave way to the Han. Though the Han struggled with many tensions &mdash; centralism vs. regionalism, feudalism vs. bureaucracy &mdash; it lasted much longer than the Qin and established a stable relationship between Chinese society and the state.<br /><br />Later, aristocratic culture and concerns around self-actualization became important in Chinese culture. Buddhism was also established in this period, and learners will discover how that religion spread throughout the country.<br /><br />Join us to learn about China&rsquo;s first unified empires and how the relationship to the self evolved with the spread of aristocratic culture and Buddhism.</p>
★★★★★ (4) 57 weeks Self paced
<p>By the Tang period, China was divided into northern and southern dynasties with different rulers and political systems. The north was conquered by relatively unsophisticated barbarians, but in the south, the aristocratic families established a refined appreciation of writing and literature.<br /><br />In this course, the third in a large collection covering all of Chinese history, you&rsquo;ll learn about the Cosmopolitan Tang and the reemergence of great aristocratic clans. You&rsquo;ll discover how these clans formed a kind of state aristocracy that dominated Tang government and society. <br /><br />This period &mdash; a product of the Medieval period, and of the development of Buddhism and Daoism &mdash; gave the world a model for modern statehood the great cosmopolitan empire that defined it is among the highest achievements in Medieval culture. Join us to discover those achievements through readings of classical Chinese poetry and a review of the ancient art of calligraphy.</p>
★★★★★ (6) 57 weeks Self paced
<p>Fundamental changes in government, the economy, and broader society took place between the 8th and 11th centuries in China. The state aristocracy gave way to new literati elite: educated men who sought to enter government through competitive examinations. A new kind of Confucianism also took shape, which prized the moral autonomy of individuals. With this, the later imperial period of China&rsquo;s history begins.<br /><br />From our series on Chinese history and culture, this course focuses on the changes brought by the Tang-Song transition, including the reconfiguration of power, urbanization, Neo-Confucianism, and the shared values as expressed in the state examination system.<br /><br />Join us to learn how a shifting social and political elite ultimately brings unity to China, ushering in an age of global empire.</p>
★★★★★ (4) 57 weeks Self paced
<p>In the 13th century, by force of arms, the Mongols created the greatest empire in human history. Yet by the end of the Ming dynasty in the late 16th century, a new global economy emerged. New World silver brought together the Americas, Europe, and East Asia, and the intellectuals of East and West began to speak to each other directly. The founding of the Ming and the growth of the global silver trade spurred changes in social and political spheres, and the late Ming period brought new literature, philosophies, and religions, with shifting roles for women.<br /><br />This course, part of a collection on the history and culture of China, will cover the Mongol&rsquo;s large, multi-ethnic empire and the social, political, and cultural changes during the Ming dynasty. From early Mongol life at China&rsquo;s northern border to the rise of Genghis Khan, we&rsquo;ll take a deep dive into the territorial expansion of these traditionally nomadic people.<br /><br />The establishment of a truly global China set the stage for even greater changes in the modern era. Enroll now to understand the context for these changes, and how the economic and political realities of today&rsquo;s China originated in the region centuries ago.</p>
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China: Civilization and Empire

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