Sample History Paper on China, between the 1920s and 1930s, was “The Age of Openness.”

China between 1920 and 1930 was definitely going through a metamorphosis that would later lay the foundation for most institutions within the political, economic, and social circle. This was the true definition of openness occurring since they witnessed the formation and rise of new political parties and revolutionary armies. During this period, China also witnessed the famous China Civil War in 1927. The period was also the begging and end of the Northern expedition, which began in 1926. The Northern Expedition was a military campaign by the National Revolutionary Army meant to secure more in northern China, mainly under local warlords’ control ( Top of Form

Wang, & Zheng, 2013)Bottom of Form. A series of these events between 1920 and 1930 is what culminated in he creation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. China’s birth meant that the long battle between Nationalists and Communists had ended, and communism had to take over. Notable is that beginning of communism in the People’s Republic of China was the start of hostile relations between China and the United States of America (Kalman, 2008). This would later see China rise to an economic giant by transferring innovative technology throughout the world. Therefore, it would be true to state that between 1920 and 1930 was the true definition of the age of openness for China.

China’s political strife can be traced back to 1919 when there protest from students in Beijing against a decision made at the Paris Peace Conference on the retention of the rights and possessions of Germany. The protest spread through major cities within China, bringing business to a halt. The spark of these protests is what led to the spread of reformist ideas and marketed the launch of the revolutionary journey to what we see in China today. The revolution journey was led by the Nationalists and the Chinese Communist Party. The Nationalist party has its roots in the United League against the Qing dynasty (Thornton, 2019). After a failed attempt to create the Chinese Revolutionary Party, which did not gunner much support as expected. The Nationalist party’s formation took many years, considering most of the supporters inclined towards socialism.

On the other hand, the Chinese Communist party was majorly formed by professors and students who had a strong belief that China needed a social revolution. The Communist party preached on the tenets of Marxism and the dire need for a national revolution that would shun away foreign imperialism and encouraged factory workers to form labour unions. The two parties would later cooperate and establish diplomatic relations, which would lead the nation to the Washington Conference (November 1921 – February 1922). It is through this conference that China showed its intentions in relation to other powers. After negotiations, China sought independence, sovereignty, territorial, and administrative integrity to form a stable government. This was clear that China was seeking exclusive privileges that would see China go through rampant industrialization in the following years. The repercussions of exclusive privileges marked the initiation of China’s age of openness and its political and administrative system evolving to become a giant nation in terms of political powers within Asia. Today China has impacted the trade relations within the globe through its influence in the World Trade Organization by transforming major supply chains and being a global leader in advanced technologies.

China’s economic history between 1920 and 1930 was also very dynamic. From the politically weak Qing government that would collapse and Yuan Shikai would take over and bring sanity to the system by abolishing provincial assemblies and having a central control system. Yuan would also exit the scene, and there was a massive proliferation of the warlord system, which led to massive economic damage and exploitation (Grasso, Corrin, & Kort, 2018). China would witness unwarranted taxation of the population and other organized economic crimes. Ironically, this period marked the emergence of revolutionary industrialization. Provocative studies by scholars like Thomas Rawski concluded that between 1911 and 1936, China’s per capita GDP growth attained a rate close to that of Japan.  The missing link that any scholar would question is the economic expansion under political instability. It would be worth noting that China was not yet colonized at this point, and Western Imperialists had shown interest in China’s resources. They signed a treaty on ports and leased territories that were located in economic hubs like Shanghai and Wuhan. These regions pushed for economic growth due to the privileges accorded to the areas through politically unjust means. These strategic territories are what would see cities like Shanghai become an industrial hub absorbing close to 34% of China’s foreign direct investment and population size, hitting 3.5 million in the 1930s. This reflected the true age of openness, and henceforth Shanghai would create an industrial network belt connecting Nantong and Wuxi, which later became large cities controlled by massive capital flows.

The modernization model in greater China greatly focused on the revolution of communism, which resulted in class conflicts arising, state ownership of territories, which had a direct impact on the economy. The social engineering of China in the early 19th century was greatly dependent on the Communism way of thinking as well as the rural reconstruction movement. The communist movement lay the foundation for the socialist economy, whose major target was taking over the control of great cities and setting up industrial hubs. This would be a means of excluding foreign imperialists from running key economic areas and pave the way for a truly socialist society. In this focus, there was also a need to focus on the rural lives, and thus, the rural reconstruction movement came about. Rural reconstruction focused on governance and social reforms within rural areas. The movement was a result of China’s contact with western industrial powers leading to a decline in the rural economy. This rural reconstruction focused n utilizing social forces to drive production and industrial growth within rural areas. The need for decentralization in China through rural reconstruction and pluralistic strategies is definitely the way to go in terms of social and economic growth. Social progress is what saw the devolution of democracy and the growth or major economic activities within many sectors of society in China (Kalman, 2008). This can well be interpreted through Shanghai’s story that was a treaty port under the British after the First Opium War in 1840.For this reason, the area attracted a lot of interested parties within the industrial sector to set up shop. The small town would later turn to be an ‘Adventure’s Paradise’ with countries setting major business enterprises within the town. This turned Shanghai to become an international hub for Asia, leading to China establishing the Chinese Communist Party. This is what began the age of openness for The People’s Republic of China due to such opportunities that brought social groups together within the town. That is what has today made Shanghai become an international metropolis and greatly influenced the economy of China.

China has in recent years experienced exponential growth in all sectors and is currently placed as an upper-middle-income country. In terms of labour productivity and human capital energy, the nation has built up mechanism and institutions have supported the current growth course. It therefore would be true to state that the activities that took place in China between 1920 and 1930 led to the foundation of China’s great economic, political and social power that is being witnessed today. China is predicted to take over from the United States as being the global power house in the world and all these forces emanated from the activities that took place in the early 19th century. Thus, we cannot agree more that 1920 to 1930 was truly the definition of “The Age of Openness.”

 

 

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Grasso, J. M., Corrin, J. P., & Kort, M. (2018).

Modernization and revolution in China. New York: Routledge.

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Kalman, B. (2008). China. New York: Crabtree.

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Kirby, S. (2013).

Introduction to the Economic History of China. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

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Thornton, R. C. (2019). China: A Political History, 1917-1980.

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Wang, G., & Zheng, Y. (2013).

China: Development and Governance. World Scientific.

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