Mao Zedong died in 1976, and in 1978, Deng Xiaoping became China's paramount leader. Deng and his lieutenants gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and decentralized economic decision making. Economic output quadrupled by 2000 and continues to grow by 8-10% per year, but huge problems remain — bouts of serious inflation, regional income inequality, human rights abuses, ethnic unrest, massive pollution, rural poverty and corruption. While the larger cities near the coast like Beijing , Shanghai and Guangzhou have grown to become rich and modern, many of the more inland and rural parts of the country remain poor and underdeveloped. The former General Secretary of the Communist Party, Hu Jintao, has proclaimed a policy for a "Harmonious Society" (和谐社会 héxié shèhuì) which promises to restore balanced economic growth and channel investment and prosperity into China's central and western provinces, which have been largely left behind in the post-1978 economic boom. The current General Secretary of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, have pursued an ambitious policy of social reform, particularly income redistribution, poverty relief, and environmental improvements. Furthermore, a highly ambitious crackdown on corruption started by the previous administration has only been expanded. Growth in China has finally slowed down in recent years and seems to be leveling off.
The Rise of State Level Society
in Ancient China is a unit of study designed for students in grades
four through seven. Several of the lessons in the unit have
separate reading assignments and slightly different activities for
students in grades four and five than for students in grades six and
seven. The lessons are interactive and multi-modal. Rubrics
have been provided for individual assignments, small group
presentations and larger group activities. An authentic
assessment and an end of the unit test are also included. The
lessons, as they have been designed, take roughly twenty-four
sixty-minute class periods.
This unit of study corresponds to the Massachusetts History and Curriculum Frameworks for grades four: "Optional Standards for China, C 3000-200 BC/BCE" through . It also corresponds to the Massachusetts History and Curriculum Frameworks for grade seven: "Human Origins in Africa through the Neolithic Age," through .