edited by Roderick MacFarquhar and John K. Fairbank
A century of revolutionary upheaval in China reached a climax in 1949 with the creation of the People's Republic. A central government had now gained full control of the Chinese mainland, thus achieving the national unity so long desired. Moreover, this central government was committed for the first time to the overall modernization of the nation's polity, economy, and society. This is the first of the two final volumes of The Cambridge History of China, which describe the efforts of the People's Republic of China to grapple with the problems of adaptation to modern times. Volume 14 deals with the achievements of the economic and human disasters of the new regime's first sixteen years (1949-65). Part I chronicles the attempt to adapt the Soviet model of development to China, and Part II covers the subsequent efforts of China's leaders to find native solutions that would provide more rapid and appropriate answers to China's problems. Each of the two parts of the volume analyzes the key issues and developments in the spheres of politics, economics, culture, education, and foreign relations.
The contributors, all leading scholars of the period, show the interrelation of Chinese actions in all these spheres, and the describe how, gradually, events led to the Cultural Revolution launched by Mao Tse-tung in 1966.
This is the first of two volumes in this major Cambridge history dealing with the decline of the Ch'ing empire. It opens with a survey of the Ch'ing empire in China and Inner Asia at its height, in about 1800. Modern China's history begins with the processes recorded here of economic growth, social change and the deterioration of central government within China. Contributors to this volume study the complex interplay of foreign invasion, domestic rebellion and Ch'ing decline and restoration. Special reference is made to the Peking administration, the Canton trade and the early treaty system, the Taiping, Nien and other rebellions, and the dynasty's survival in uneasy cooperation with the British, Russian, French, American and other invaders. Each chapter is written by a specialist from the international community of sinological scholars. Many of the accounts break new ground; all are based on fresh research. This volume has been designed both to be consulted as a work of reference and to be read continuously.
No knowledge of Chinese is necessary; for readers with Chinese, proper names and terms are identified with their characters in the glossary, and full references to Chinese, Japanese and other works are given in the bibliographies. Numerous maps illustrate the text, and there are a bibliographical essays describing the source materials on which each author's account is based.