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This course is inspired by Khan Academy's video "Overview of Chinese History 1911-1949." In 11 minutes, it tells the story about China's political events, figures, neighbors, and wars over 38 years. For the interested students, this video is a platform to launch into further learning. We link to Wikipedia articles about the 5 main characters, Youtube videos about Pu Yi, and suggest two movies, including one directed by Steven Spielberg, starring a very young Christian Bale.
- To expand on Khan Academy's concise video about Chinese history for the period of 1911 to 1949.
- To add Wikipedia details about five historical characters outlined in the video.
- To link to videos about China's last emperor, Pu Yi, whose life events parallel this period.
- To suggest movies that might interest and add depth of understanding for students.
Wikipedia article abour Puyi, China's Last Emperor who came to the throne as a toddler, abdicated by teen age, was restored briefly, made Japanese puppet ruler of Manchukuo, became playboy Henry, Russian captive, and prisoner accused of war crime under communist rule.
Puyi (Wade-Giles: Pu-i; pinyin: Pǔyí; 7 February 1906 – 17 October 1967), of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the last Emperor of China and the twelfth and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty. Still a child, he ruled as the Xuantong Emperor (Chinese: 宣統; pinyin: Xuāntǒng Dì; Wade–Giles: Hsuan-tung Emperor) from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912, after the successful Xinhai Revolution. From 1 to 12 July 1917 he was briefly restored to the throne as a nominal emperor by the warlord Zhang
Revolutionary leader and uniting figure in post-imperial China, Sun is revered by both the People's Repubilc of China (communists based on mainland China), and the Republic of China (Kuomingtang based on Taiwan island).
Dr. Sun Yat-sen (12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary, first president and founding father of the Republic of China ("Nationalist China"). As the foremost pioneer of Republic of China, Sun is referred to as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China (ROC), and the "forerunner of democratic revolution" in the People's Republic of China. Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the years leading up to the Double Ten Revolut
Military commander, first President of modern China, and short-lived, self-appointed, emperor.
Yuan Shikai (Wade-Giles spelling: Yuan Shih-kai; simplified Chinese: 袁世凯; traditional Chinese: 袁世凱; pinyin: Yuán Shìkǎi; Wade–Giles: Yüan2 Shih4-kai3; 16 September 1859 – 6 June 1916) was an important Chinese general and politician, famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the first official President of the Republic of China, and his short-lived attempt to restore monarchy
Political and military leader succeeding Sun Yat-Sen in Kuomintang, but broke with communists, and established Republic of China in Taiwan.
Chiang Kai-shek (October 31, 1887 – April 5, 1975) was a 20th-century Chinese political and military leader. He is known as Jiang Jieshi (蔣介石) or Jiang Zhongzheng (蔣中正) in Mandarin Chinese. Chiang was an influential member of the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, and was a close ally of Sun Yat-sen. He became the Commandant of the Kuomintang's Whampoa Military Academy, and took Sun's place as leader of the KMT when Sun died in 1925. In 1926, Chiang led the Northern Expedition to unify the
Communist revolutionary and charismatic leader who ruled China until his death in 1976.
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung listen (help·info), and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), was a Chinese communist revolutionary, politician and socio-political theorist. The founding father of the People's Republic of China from its establishment in 1949, he governed the country as Chairman of the Communist Party of China until his death. In this position he converted China into a single-party socialist state, with industry and busines
Desserts References and More
Video length 1:40:54. A well-made documentary of Pu Yi's life, with many historical footages and clear narration, produced in China and LIC Australia.
The Last Emperor of China
A Youtube playlist of 11 videos. Eight of them are apparently a shortened version of the 1:40:54 video above, but with English subtitle. The last 3 are separate videos narrated in Chinese.
Chosen by Dowager Empress Cixi while on her deathbed, Puyi ascended the throne aged 2 years and 10 months in December 1908 following his uncle's death on ...
This movie barely touches the political upheavals outside of the forbidden city, but the story of one-time playboy Henry Puyi will leave us with vivid images of China and the impacts of drastic social changes during his life time.
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures. Puyi's life is depicted from his ascent to the throne as a small boy to his imprisonment and political rehabilitation by the Chinese Communist authorities.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, and starring John Malkovich and a very young Christian Bale, this movie tells of the loss of innocense in a Japanese prison camp near Shanghai, during WWII, from the eye of a British boy.
Empire of the Sun is a 1987 American coming of age war film based on J. G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which stars Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, and Nigel Havers. The film tells the story of Jamie "Jim" Graham, a young boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai, to becoming a prisoner of war in Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center, a Japanese internment camp, during World War II.
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