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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Environmental History in China

Bao Maohong

Environment and History 10(2004): 475-499

As a subdiscipline, environmental history appeared in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, environmental history studies have been launched in many countries in the world, including China. Since China uses its own writing system with Chinese characters, the environmental history studies done in China have remained unknown outside China. As global environmental problems were becoming more serious and world environmentalism was developing vigorously, the trend to internationalise American environmental history studies was strengthened and there was an increasing need to understand Chinese environmental history and the state of its studies. That is why I wrote this paper, which I hope will improve understanding and co-operation between Chinese and international environmental history studies. The paper is divided into four parts: (1) The rise of environmental history studies in China; (2) The main contents of Chinese environmental history studies; (3) The principal methods and characteristics; (4) The major problems to be solved.

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