About this courseSkip About this course
In the 18th century, the Qing Dynasty is at its height; it is the wealthiest, most powerful,most civilized state on earth. And yet the 19th century brought enormous challenges for the Qing and for the place we call China. By the 20th century, a 2,000-year imperial tradition is gone. What happened?
In this overview of modern Chinese history, you’ll learn about the Qing was forced to engage with the West, the impact of imperialism and dynastic decline, and, ultimately, the causes of the Qing dynasty’s fall. This course will cover the effects of opium, how the Qing responded to that epidemic, and how the opium war brought fundamental changes to the country. You’ll also learn about the introduction of Christianity in this period, and about the ideology of Chinese salvation.
This is a time when intellectuals were wrestling with new western ideas and new western technologies. This course will help you to understand how China engaged with the West, and how this confrontation still resonates today.
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- An overview of modern Chinese history.
- About the Qing’s forced re-encounter and engagement with the West.
- The impact of imperialism and dynastic decline.
- What ultimately caused the fall of the Qing dynasty.
- How intellectuals wrestled with the confrontation of western ideas and technology.
- The historiography of periodization and how one can define the modern period.
Meet your instructors
Pursue a Verified Certificate to highlight the knowledge and skills you gain$139 USD
Official and Verified
Receive an instructor-signed certificate with the institution's logo to verify your achievement and increase your job prospects
Add the certificate to your CV or resume, or post it directly on LinkedIn
Give yourself an additional incentive to complete the course
Support our Mission
EdX, a non-profit, relies on verified certificates to help fund free education for everyone globally
Frequently asked questions
How is the honor code upheld?
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 edX honor code, 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.
How does my participation contribute to research?
How are non-discrimination and anti-harassment supported?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and/or report your experience through the edX contact form.