Nine ambitious, young Chinese men and women living in a rapidly changing society defy Eastern cultural traditions in pursuit of more Western values.
China in the 1920s was a new republic confronting great challenges—economic, political, and social. One of the most devastating was the early 1920s North China famine. Because this region of China was densely populated, the effects of this crisis affected millions. Triggered by a severe drought, the famine killed crops and devastated the livelihood of farmers in the northern plains of China. But dying crops was only one consequence. Thousands fled the area; others sold children into slavery, and upward of half a million people died. The areas decimated were largely governed by warlords, which further aggravated the situation since they used the crisis for their own political and economic gain.
First Opium (First Anglo-Chinese) War. Treaty of Nanking signed (1842) ending the First Opium War. China to pay large indemnity and extraterritoriality and most favored nation principle established in China
Scholar Rana Mitter describes the evolution of China into a fledgling republic.