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APA
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History
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History Final Examination Take-Home Component (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

Instructions: Please answer all three of the following questions in concise and well-reasoned essays of approximately two to three pages per question. Each response should present a coherent argument that makes judicious use of assigned readings and material presented in class. References to the readings should be informally but properly cited (for example: Schoppa, p. 39), and no use of other than assigned readings is permitted. For each of these questions, we are interested in your personal views. But you must be certain to support your views with evidence from lectures and class readings.(I have attached lecture PPT in the attachment)
GENERAL ADVICE ON HOW TO DO WELL: Please take this advice seriously and you will do well. When we grade the exams we will be asking ourselves one big question: To what extent has this student profited from readings, lectures, and class discussions? This does not mean you need to cite every possible reading that could apply to a particular question, or every remark made in class. Instead, it means you need to be selective, marshaling evidence to write a convincing argument. All three essay questions can be approached in different ways, and we certainly don't have one correct answer in mind for each.
Question 1: The Cultural Revolution in Context Many people in and out of China view the Cultural Revolution as a complete anomaly, a phenomenon that had nothing in common, nothing to do with, the rest of China's modern history. Do you agree? Or is it possible to find linkages between the Cultural Revolution and earlier (and subsequent) events?
Question 2: Public Profession / Private Belief
Throughout our course, one major theme of our discussions has been the difference between what people say publicly (that is, what they profess) and what they actually believe. Choose two or three periods that highlight this duality and give some examples from each. How can we, as historians, get at the innermost beliefs of historical subjects? Carefully chosen evidence from course readings (book: Yuan-tsung Chen, The Dragon's Village ; Anchee Min, Red Azalea; p.s: if it is needed to read the ebooks for the writing, you can ask me for the login of ibook. ) is crucial to your answering this question.
Question 3: China's Past and China's Present
One important goal of this course has been to provide students with a deep knowledge of Chinese history that will allow them to better understand events that take place in China today. With that in mind, please read the attached article entitled “Want to escape poverty? Replace pictures of Jesus with Xi Jinping, Christian villagers urged.” How does your understanding of Chinese history help you make sense of the events and ideas discussed in the article?

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Content:

History Final Exam Take-Home Component

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History Final Exam Take-Home Component

Question 1

The Cultural Revolution describes a sociopolitical movement that occurred in China from 1966 to 1976. Many people believed that the Cultural Revolution is a complete anomaly and so it had nothing to do with the rest of China’s modern history. However, the Cultural Revolution did not come out of anywhere, it was a planned and organized sociopolitical movement. In this way, it has a lot of linkages with earlier events that occurred in China.

The Cultural Revolution traces its roots to the Great Leap Forward (Schoppa, 2016, p. 330). In 1958, Mao Zedong, who was the Chairman of the Communist Party of China launched the Great Leap Forward as a way of modernizing China. In this endeavor, he called for socialism from the grassroots where people from the rural areas were required to collectively work in industries to produce iron or steel. Many of the people involved in the production of this steel were uneducated farmers and so they did not have the skills or equipment for such work. In the end, the Great Leap became a total failure from what Mao had imagined (Schoppa, 2016, p. 335). This is because the steel products produced were often low quality and mainly useless. People would be required to build their own steel furnaces and so, in general, it was not possible to produce quality steel. To maintain these furnaces, extensive deforestation occurred (Schoppa, 2016, p. 330). People were able to make many types of iron tools like window panes, utensils, and farming tools but they did not last long because the method of production was faulty.

Further, with people collectively forced to work in rural areas to produce steel, the agricultural sector took a serious hit. The harvest sizes decreased significantly because people had their attention focused elsewhere. Additionally, the crisis of the declining harvests was worsened by the natural disasters that occurred in the 1960s (Schoppa, 2016, p. 336). With over 60% of the farmland affected, the country could not reach it’s per capital food production before 1957 and this decline continued up the early 1970s. The decline in harvest resulted in the worst famine in China’s history often referred to as the Great Chinese Famine (Schoppa, 2016, p. 336). The famine resulted in the death of millions of people. The Communist Party did not have solutions for the famine or did not seem to care that people were dying. For example, people were prevented from relocating or move to other locations searching for food. With such polices, the Communist Party and especially its Chairman Mao started to lose favor in the public eye.

Another factor that is directly linked to the Cultural Revolution is the Sino-Soviet split (Schoppa, 2016, p. 339). In the 1950s, China and the Soviet Union were the largest Communist states across the world. During the reign of Joseph Stalin, China had close collaboration with the Soviet Union but after his death, Nikita Khrushchev came to power but he did not embrace the policies of Stalin. Tension developed between China and the Soviet Union because Mao saw Khrushchev as a leader who was departing from Marxism. Mao felt that Khrushchev was more a revisionist and he feared that he could influence the country to adapt to capitalism. In 1960, China publicly denounced the Soviet Union as the Communist leader and definitely led to their split (Schoppa, 2016, p. 343). With these failures, Mao realized that he was losing faith with the Communist Party and in deed, the Chinese public. Mao initiated the Cultural Movement in a bid to eliminate those who were opposing him and also to secure his position as a leader in the Communist Party of China.

Question 2

One period where people what...

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