Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Harvard University

Creating Modern China: The Republican Period to the Present

Harvard University via edX


What does it mean to be modern? What constitutes modern politics, modern institutions, a modern military, and modern infrastructure? In this period of great excitement and experimentation, the country is asking itself: How do you become modern and remain true to the Chinese national identity?

This course will explore enduring issues around Chinese modernity, with a focus on the creation of the modern Chinese state during the Republican era. You’ll learn about China’s war against Japan, about long-term patterns in U.S.-China relations, and about the role of individual leaders against the backdrop of historical circumstance.

Ultimately, you’ll learn different ways to study and understand history. We explore this period thematically rather than chronologically, providing you with a better understanding of how political context influences the interpretation of history.

Taught by

William C. Kirby and Peter K. Bol


4.9 rating, based on 7 Class Central reviews

4.2 rating at edX based on 5 ratings

Start your review of Creating Modern China: The Republican Period to the Present

  • Profile image for Lola Jiang
    Lola Jiang
    This is an amazing course with 4 major themes:
    1. the growth of militarism
    2. the search for a political model
    3. the growth of state power (engineering spirit) at the expense of civil society.
    4. cultural revolution: to revolutionize a nation’s culture as the first step along the path of revolutionizing society.
  • Allison W
    This series of courses on China (ChinaX) is one of the best classes I've ever taken, in my entire academic life. Extremely interesting, very thought provoking, and taught be instructors who are extremely enthusiastic about the topic.
  • Profile image for Michael Ye
    Michael Ye

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.