The Communist Revolution in 1949 was perhaps one of the most significant events of the 20th century. In this History Unit there are two Areas of Study:
- Area of Study 1: Revolutionary Ideas, Movements, Leaders and Events
This Area of Study covers the time from the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898 until the Communist Revolution in 1949. Topics will include ideas such as Marxism, Maoism, and Sun Yat Sen's Three Principles; movements such as the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist Party; events such as the Boxer Rebellion and the Long March and leaders such as Sun Yat Sen, Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai Shek and Zhou Enlai.
- Area of Study 2: Creating A New Society
This Area of Study covers the time from the Communist Revolution in 1949 through to the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. Topics include the Great Leap Forward, the Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
First we must note that because the Chinese language [Mandarin] uses a writing system radically different to our own, various methods of transliterating Chinese sounds have emerged. The two used most commonly are the Wades-Giles (WG) system and the Pinyin system. This textbook, in explanations, will use the Pinyin system (therefore we shall say Mao Zedong and not Mao Tse-tung), except for those names who have become widely known under a different - often Cantonese - form (e.g., we shall say Sun Yat Sen and not Sun Yixian). Rather than changing names in primary sources, however, we shall merely state which system of transliteration is used, to avoid confusion. For more detail, consult this table of Chinese names