Chinese modern history (1840-1949) in accordance with many historical professionals' standpoints is a revolutionary history of Chinese people, exactly, a history of anti-invasion, anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism of Chinese people for re-independence and national revival.
Chinese modern history from 1840 to 1949 is also separated into two phases: Chinese Old Democratic Revolution Phase from 1840 when the Opium War broke out to 1919 when May-4TH Movement was on the verge of breaking out, Chinese New Democratic Revolution Phase from 1919 after May-4th Movement broke out to 1949 before the foundation of New China. Amid this period, China belonged to the country of semi-colony and semi-feudalism.
Since the middle phase of the 19th century, China begun to be intimidated by the provocation and invasion of western powers represented by Britain and France and gradually China lost independence. China suffered foreign invasion and humiliation and the integrality of sovereignty and territory were largely undermined by exotic powers. The conflict between China and Western Powers was worsened after 1870s when foreign aggression was rather intensified and China's national crisis became increasingly urgent. China's failures in warfare always brought China endless disgrace and ignominy. A series of shameful treats was forced to sign under the and trashy and ridiculous leadership of Qing Government for temporary peace like Treaty of Nanking(南京条约) in 1842, Treaty of Tianjin(天津条约)in 1858, Treaty of Peking(北京条约) in 1860, Treaty of Shimonoseki（马关条约） in 1895 and Treaty of Xinchou Year(辛丑条约) in 1901 etc, all of which humiliated Chinese people too much! For getting rid of aggression and saving China, Qing Government held several large-scale and influential reforms such as Yangwu Movement（洋务运动）and Wuxu Reform or the Hundred Days' Reform(百日维新), The grassroots' insurgence like Taiping Rebellion(太平天国, Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace) from 1851 to 1864 and Yihetuan(义和? Righteous Harmony Society) happened in 1896 and finally, Xinhai Revolution(辛亥革命) in 1911 and 1912 ended the reign of Qing government and relieved a little bit of social and national conflicts, but it could not rooted the foreign aggression out. In 1919, Paris Peace Conference themed with the profit distribution after World War One, China as a winning country attended at the conference, but on the conference, China' justified requirements were not agreed by western powers and Japan. Besides, China was secretly further aggrieved. This breaking news directly led the May-4th Movement to outbreak. China Entered the new phase in pursuit of independence and democracy
In 1921, Chinese Communist Party was founded in Shanghai. A new way and power for realizing the re-independence and revival of China appeared. In 1931, September-18 Incident (Mukden Incident or Manchurian Incident) happened. China suffered the severe national crisis and Anti-Japanese War begun. In 1935, North-China Incident happened. For jointly rolling back Japanese Ghost-like Invaders, Patriotic Generals Zhang Xueliang(张学?1901-2001) and Yang Hucheng(杨虎?1893-1949) launched an incident that they placed Jiang Kai-shek(蒋介?1887-1975), President of Kuomintang, under the house arrest. With the all-out efforts of Zhou Enlai (周恩?1898-1976)and many other patriots. This interior incident was peacefully resolved and Kuomintang-China Communist Party patriotic united front for protecting homeland and fighting against Japanese invaders firstly appeared. In 1937, July-7th Luogouqiao Incident officially symbolized the beginning of Chinese National Anti-Japanese War. In 1945, China defeated Japan and won the independence. Subsequently, three-year civil war broke out, up to 1949; Kuomintang failed and retreated to Taiwan because of its corruption and wrong policymaking, and Mainland China since then has been under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party
As the extension of Chinese modern history, New China's history beginning at 1949 is also impressive and full of tears and surprises. The foundation of the People's Republic of China realized the re-independence of China which many generations have strived for a long time. But the way to revival abounds with lots of reforms, frustrations, failures and success. After many heartbroken historical events represented by Cultural Revolution, Grand Leap Forward, Great Chinese Famine and Anti-Rightist Movement happened, China has learnt much from the lessons. Today, it is still in progress for national revival but has gotten a great economic achievement over the past 30 years !