The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History

By R. Keith Schoppa | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER TWO
Building State and Nation Amid
Cultural Revolution, 1901–28

THE “REVOLUTIONARY” MANCHUS

Changing Historical Contexts

The last decade of the Manchus ended with a bang of activity, not a whimper. The activity varied from reformist to quite radical, even revolutionary. The year and a half that the empress dowager spent in Xi'an must have given her time to ponder China's predicament. Already in January 1901, she issued a statement about adopting the strong points from foreign countries in order to make up for China's weaknesses. During the course of the reforms up to the 1911 revolution, the first stirrings of a new China began to be felt—from modern-style economic developments to outbursts of nationalism and the appearance of new social forces. Certainly, if the Manchu reform effort was stimulated by China's plight vis-à-vis the outside world, it was also prompted by internal developments and change.

From the start, it should be seen that the stirrings of a new China were spatially uneven. Core areas of greater urbanization and degree of economic development, often along the coasts or important river systems, evidenced the greater degree of modern changes; peripheral backwaters showed the least. The resulting gap obviously tended to create different experiences and “worldviews” among the denizens of the respective zones of development. Cities were the sites of greatest change. They were being paved, lighted, and policed. They were the homes for wide-ranging reformist voluntary associations to deal with social wrongs and vices like opium smoking, foot binding, and gambling. Newspapers were being produced in great number, and more and more magazines appeared, focusing on current developments. One historian in discussing the welding of Chinese society together has estimated that the numbers of letters, newspapers, and magazines sent and received in 1910 were twenty-five times that in 1901. 1 Such an increase most certainly comes primarily from the core zones.

-50-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Columbia Guide to Modern Chinese History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 356

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?