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MWH: Global Conflicts (National Identity: China)  

Last Updated: May 12, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
Global Conflicts Print Page

Background Information

In order to unite a nation, governments may attempt to shape or form a national identity based on common, shared cultural characteristics.  Conflict may occur when people in a nation do not all share the same cultural characteristics and may face persecution or discrimination as a result. The Cultural Revolution in China is one example of how a government attempted to forge a common national identity but caused massive upheaval and crisis.

China has tried to unify its people by creating a common, shared culture. The Cultural Revolution was an extreme effort taken by communist leaders to unify the nation.  Although ultimately unsuccessful, political opposition and individual expression continues to be restricted.  One of the main goals of the Cultural Revolution was to abolish Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. Another goal was to neutralize intellectuals and Mao’s political enemies.

China was facing external and internal problems in the late 1950s.  They split with the Soviet Union over how to lead the worldwide communist movement.  After the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao lost some power and economic policies were relaxed.  Mao saw these changes as weakening the communist goal of social equality.  In 1966, he urged China’s youth to “learn revolution by making revolution.” 


  • unify
  • Old Customs
  • Old Culture
  • Old Habits
  • Old Ideas
  • intellectuals
  • political enemies

    Identify the Problem & Ask Questions

    How can knowledge of global conflicts help us predict and avoid conflicts in the future?

    What is the primary cause of each conflict?

    • Political Ideology?
    • Self-determination?
    • Limited Resources?
    • National Identity?
    • Religious Differences?
    • Ethnic Differences?

    Who are the people involved? Why are they involved?

    How did the conflict start? Has it ended?

    What has happened as a result of the conflict?


    Assignment Specifics

    What is the best way to communicate the information?

    • Poster
    • PowerPoint
    • Prezi

      Search Strategies

      • Locate and search appropriate resources
      • Vary search terms (don't use the same search terms over and over again)
      • Think of synonyms
      • Use Boolean searching
      • Use "quotation marks" to search for exact phrases
      • Be creative (newspaper articles, interviews, political cartoons, and more)

      Some search terms to try:

      • conflict, dispute, war, "civil war"
      • people, ethnicity, tribes
      • chronology, start, "major events", timeline
      • impact, result, outcome, consequences
      • economical cost, refugees, casualties
      • strategy
      • statistics, data
      • scope
      • 2000s, 1990s




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        Record Bibliographic Information

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        • Title of article, chapter, film, webpage
        • Page number
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        • Publication date
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        • Date of access (if found online)


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