Modernism In China

1366 Words 6 Pages
Modernity, the quality of being modern, is inevitable as time only moves forward. However, modernism does not capture the time period most present, but instead captures the late 19th to early 20th century when the development of modern industrial societies and cities boomed in the West. Modernization in Western countries led to a rejection in traditional ways of thinking and religious belief as science and technology advanced. In China, the path of modernizing was not as simple; it was a ripple effect from the West that began when the Qing Dynasty collapsed and continued up until mid-20th century. The route to modernity was arduous and had many stops throughout history with influences from Soviet socialist ideals, making China’s modernization …show more content…
China has roughly five thousand years of history, but this paper will begin in 1840, when the Opium War of 1840— an Anglo-Chinese war fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing in China over conflicting viewpoint of diplomatic relations and trade—took place. The Opium war led to a great weakening of the Chinese people and the start of the Self-Strengthening Movement (SSM) that lasted from 1861 to 1895. The movement yearned to strengthen the nation by preserving traditional Confucian values while embracing Western military and industrial practices. However, the SSM proved to be ineffectively, leading to the downfall of the Qing dynasty, formation of the Nationalist party and beginning of China’s modernization period. Between 1915 and 1920, the New Culture Movement spawned from the “disillusionment with traditional Chinese culture following the failure of the Chinese Republic to address China’s problems” (QUOTE), leading to a revolt against Confucianism ideals which enveloped the entire. In addition, on May 4th, 1919, the May Fourth movement took place in response to the unequal treaty the West has imposed on China. In 1921, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) was found, leading to two civil wars (the first being from 1927 to 1936 and the second from 1946 to 1949) between the Nationalist and Communist parties. In hopes to stop the spread of communism, the Nationalist party funded the New Life Movement, teaching citizens the importance of traditional values. In 1949, under Mao’s leadership, the Communist Party won and China official began People’s Republic of China. During Mao’s reign, three important movements include the Hundred Flowers Movement in 1957, the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1961 and the Culture Revolution from 1966 to 1976. The movements encouraged open criticisms of Communist policies and rapid transformation through industrialization in hope to

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