History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

HIST 387: Topics in Global History

HIST 387-008: History of Taiwan
(Fall 2017)

Planetary Hall (formerly Science & Tech I) 224

Section Information for Fall 2017

Taiwan has a rich history, with its strategic geographic location attracting a succession of pirates, colonial powers, and settlers driven by poverty and chaos in China to this fertile land originally populated by Austronesian peoples.

Today, Taiwan is situated close to several international flashpoints, where the possibility of war between major powers exists.  This course will explore the factors that have created this complex situation: claims to sovereignty over the island over the course of centuries, the post-World War II matrix of decolonization and self-determination, shifting U.S. policy toward the island, and the drive for democracy with its heightened sense of a unique Taiwanese identity developed over the past decades. 

This course is designed to familiarize students with the history and people of Taiwan and its success in transforming itself from an authoritarian, underdeveloped country into a free and vibrant democracy.  The course will also explore the complex triangular relationship among Taiwan, China and the United States. 

The first part of the course will survey the history of Taiwan and will cover the original aborigine inhabitants, the Dutch occupation, the Koxinga period, the Manchu (Ch’ing) era, Japanese colonial rule, and the Republic of China on Taiwan after World War II.  The second and third parts will focus on the momentous transition to democracy in the late 1980s, as well as explore Taiwan’s relationship with China and the U.S.  We conclude with Taiwan’s arrival into the 21st Century as a vibrant democracy.  As we travel through the country’s history, we will also touch on a broad range of issues such as politics, the environment, arts and culture.

Topic Varies

Satisfies the general education requirement in global understanding.

Non-Western Culture

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3-6

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest in global, Latin American, African, Asian, or Middle Eastern history. Notes: Topics announced in advance. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Mason Core: Global Understanding
Specialized Designation: Non-Western Culture
Schedule Type: Lecture

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