This course will introduce you to the history of East Asia from the early Yellow River civilizations to the Qing Dynasty in the late eighteenth century. You will learn about the major political, economic, and social changes that took place in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam during this period. The course will be structured chronologically. Each unit will include representative primary-source documents that illustrate important overarching political, economic, and social themes, such as the development of a coherent Chinese identity, Chinese imperial aspirations in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan, the expansion of Western influence and trade networks, the Mongol invasions, and the role of Confucianism and Buddhism in East Asian culture. By the end of the course, you will understand how East Asia transformed from fragmented and warring societies into consolidated imperial states that sought to separate themselves from Western religion and commerce. The course will present a variety of resources that will discuss the social, political, cultural, technological, and materials aspects of East Asian society.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
Compare the philosophical schools of thought that influenced the political and religious development of East Asia to the eighteenth century.
Identify the common educational and cultural sources that have served as the foundation of multiple Chinese political dynasties.
Compare the development of societies in China, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan since 1500 B.C.E.
Differentiate between decentralized and centralized authority in the political history of China, Japan, and Korea by comparing governing bodies that range from clans to kingdoms to dynastic empires.
Describe the interactions between Europeans and rulers in China and Japan and the eventual isolationist policies that develop in East Asia.
Identify the key technological innovations in East Asian societies that transformed the political systems and social hierarchy of the region.
Analyze and contextualize a selection of East Asian literary and artistic works including objects of material culture.
More info: http://www.saylor.org/courses/hist241/