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Chapter 10 (Page 262-291) NotesMonday, April 11, 2016Introduction:oThe half century from 1900 to 1949 was a period of intense effort on the part of an increasingly diverse elite to refashion China into a powerful, modern state. Center stage was taken by energetic men and women who felt compelled to act: to promote new ideas, start new enterprises, build new institutions, organize the oppressed, fight corruption and defeat aggressors. Patriots wanted to reconstitute China as a nation of the Chinese people and make it strong enough to stand up to foreign threats. Intellectuals and artists wanted to create a new culture that would be Chinese but modern. oRevolutionaries toppled the Qing in 1911, but their initial efforts to replace it with a republican government foundered. From 1916 to 192 China was politically fragmented as local warlords competed for supremacy and imperialist powers extended their domination. Even after political division was largely overcome by the Nationalists, bitter strife between the Communists and the Nationalists and Japan’s progressive aggression kept the Nationalists in a state of war, deflecting them from their goals of modernization. During the war with Japan, the Communist Party successfully mobilized poor peasants into a well-disciplined fighting force, an army that eventually defeated the much better equipped Nationalist army in civil war.Undermining the Qing Dynasty:oDuring the first decade of the 20thcentury, the Qing dynasty was undermined simultaneously on nearly every front. Its moral authority had been weakened by the final events of the 19thcentury, the defeat by Japan, the Empress Dowager’s coup against the emperor, and the imperialists’ intervention into the Boxer Rebellion.oIn the last decades of the Qing the educated were gaining a better grasp of how wealth and power had been secured by the European powers and Japan. Yan Fu argued that the western form of government freed the energy of the individual, which could then be channeled toward collective goals, in contrast to the Chinese ‘Way of the Sages’ which discouraged the development of the people’s capabilities.oDuring the decade 1900 to 1910 Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao were the best known reformers. After fleeing the wrath of the Empress Dowager, Kang travelledand visited overseas Chinese communities, while Liang settled in Japan. The experience of living in a foreign country, where they felt humiliated by China’s weakness and backwardness, aroused ardent nationalistic feelings in these students. Liang promoted the idea that China could become strong through democracy, which to him meant a government that drew its strength from the people, not necessarily a representative government or one that defended individual rights.
oBack in China, the Qing court was itself edging in the direction of constitutionalism and parliamentary government. Civil service exams were abolished and modern school system was established along with a government bureaucracy. After collecting advice from abroad, in 1908 Empress Dowager Cixi