Case Study: Chinese Civil War

The Chinese Civil War was an attempt by two ideologically opposed forces – the Nationalist Guomindang and the Chinese Communists – to gain central control over China. There are two phases to this civil war: the first phase started in 1927 and was halted in 1937 when the Sino-Japanese war broke out.  The second phase started with the defeat of the Japanese in 1945 and ended with Mao's victory in 1949.

The results of this civil war not only had a revolutionary impact on China, they also had wide ranging effects for the region and for international relations.

It is an excellent example of a civil war in which there was foreign intervention and where guerilla tactics were used by one side.


1. Chinese Civil War: Causes (ATL)

The ATL on this page are designed to help students understand the causes of the Chinese Civil WarEssay writing practice for this case study as well as ideas for videos and how to incorporate these into...

2. Chinese Civil War: Practices (ATL)

This section looks at the practices of the Chinese Civil War, linking the course of the war to the prescribed content headings for wars on the IB syllabus.Note that this section links to Paper 3 Asia...

3. Chinese Civil War: Effects (ATL)

1 October 1949, Mao proclaimed the People's Republic in Tiananmen Square.The effects of his victory in the civil war were far-reaching not just for China but for the region and for the whole world. The...

4. Chinese Civil War: Essay planning for Paper 2

This page contains ATL to improve essay writing for this topic as well as specific essay frames.The Chinese Civil War can be used for essays that require a discussion of guerilla warfare and the impact...

5. Chinese Civil War: Videos and activities

This page has suggestions for videos on the Chinese civil war. For other videos focusing more on Mao's rule (i.e. effects of the civil war) go to: The People's Republic of China (1949 - 2005): videos

Causes, practices and effects of wars: Graded student examples

On this page you will find sample essays on this topic, written by students and graded by examiners. We have also suggested activities that can be done with these essays.Essay One

Causes, practices and effects of wars: comparative essay planning

This page gives some suggestions for activities and plans which require students to compare two wars.Refer back to the page Essay writing for Paper Two for hints for students on how to structure comparative...

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