Introduction

China (Part 5): From a Global Empire under the Mongols to a Global Economy under the Ming Dynasty is the fifth of ten parts of ChinaX, that collectively span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4 to 8 weekly "modules," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. There are a total of 52 modules in ChinaX.

Parts 1 - 5 make up China: Civilization and Empire, taught by Professor Peter K. Bol. Parts 6 - 10 make up China and the Modern World, taught by Professor William C. Kirby.

For more information about ChinaX, please visit the ChinaX page.

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What you'll learn:

  • How in the 13th century the Mongols created the greatest empire in human history by force of arms. Yet by the end of the Ming dynasty in the late 16th century a new global economy was emerging through trade.
  • How new world silver brought together the Americas, Europe, and East Asia, and how the intellectuals of East and West spoke to each other directly.
  • To analyze land-based versus sea-based empire building.
  • To develop your own approaches to history and gain a critical appreciation of China’s literary, philosophical, political and cultural resources.
  • To express ideas more clearly and confidently; to think more analytically and critically through the study of primary and secondary sources.

 

Meet The Faculty

Peter K. Bol

Peter K. Bol

Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Peter K. Bol is the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the founding director of the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis. He holds degrees from the University of Leiden and Princeton University. He began teaching at Harvard in 1985 and was named a Harvard College Professor for excellence in teaching. Bol and Kirby have been teaching the history of China together since 1992.

William C. Kirby

William C. Kirby

T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies

William C. Kirby is T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. He serves as chairman of the Harvard China Fund and served as director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies from 2006 to 2013.

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