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Watersheds in Chinese history


bhchao

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What do you think is the biggest watershed(s) in Chinese history?

Here are four biggest, in my opinion.

1) An Lushan's rebellion (756-763) - It marked the beginning of the end of the Tang dynasty. The Tang never recovered its former glory after the rebellion's conclusion. China's influence was never as strong as it was before the rebellion. (Well, so far). As all of us know, the love triangle, the rebellion, the retreat to Chengdu, and the subsequent fall of an empire have been much dramatized/romanticized in Chinese and East Asian literary works.

2) 五四运动 (1919) - The territorial concessions given to the Japanese following the Versailles treaty resulted in a patriotic outburst of intellectual activity, and out of this movement arose the birth of the Chinese Communist Party.

3) Xian Incident (1936) - This has parallels with An Lushan's rebellion. Both were mutinies conducted by generals against their leaders. Also both helped cause the fall of the Tang, and the KMT government respectively. It looks like Zhang Xueliang's kidnapping of Chiang had more adverse effects on the KMT regime than An Lushan's rebellion had against the Tang.

4) Establishment of Confucianism as the state philosophy under Han Wudi (110 BC) - Without this action, Confucianism would never have taken a strong hold on Chinese society up to the present time. While Qin Shi Huang spat on Confucius's ideals, the Han dynasty embraced it and made it a requirement in passing the civil service exams.

Any ideas on others?

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Don't forget:

The First Opium Wars (第一次鸦片战争) That was when the Chinese realized that the west had not only caught up to them, but surpassed them. First of many beatdowns by western nations.

Also, although the official year for the May 5th movement is 1919, the movement started a few years before then.

I agree with all but one of your choices.

As for the Xi'an Incident, I'd quote the Great 周恩来(Zhou Enlai) when asked about the effect of the French Revolution, "It's to early to tell."

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What "love triangle"?

I remember just the other day I discussed with my brother how we should be grateful for the 書同文 (standardisation of the written language) policy of Qin Shi Huang.

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an lushan's in love with yang guifei, they had an affair(the emperor actually knew it. he was like 20+ yrs older than yang guifei and probably couldnt 'meet her needs'). the main reason for an lushan's rebellion was probably yang guifei.

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