After May 4 1919—new debate about China Gradual cultural changes will eventually

After May 4 1919—new debate about
nature and speed of change necessary for
 Gradual cultural changes will eventually
lead to the types of political change we as
a generation want
 Rapid political changes are necessary,
they will guide cultural change
Chinese Society in the 1920s
Rural Communities in Decline
Flood/Drought cycle continues in many
destitute places
 Average landholdings per family 3-5 acres
 Most families rent part of their
landholdings from wealthier, landowning
class—50-70% of harvest goes to rent
 Predatory activity of warlord armies taking
their toll
 State “involution”
Urban China 1920s
Coastal cities like Shanghai—the forefront of
New Culture—centers of student activism
New Consumer culture
Growing middle class
Rising urban labor force—a target for
Nationalism and Communist mobilization
New opportunities for women, but also
May 30th 1925: Power of popular nationalism
Hu Shi (1891-1961) 胡适
leading voice for a kind of
liberal pragmatism
 evolution not revolution
 Opens the debate with an
article: “More Study of
Problems, Less Talk of
 Don’t cling to “isms” like
Marxism, etc. as all for
one solutions to China’s
Li Dazhao (Li Ta-chao) (18891927) 李大钊
First to interpret and
spread Marxism in China
 Revolution not Evolution
 Direct political action now
 Marxism is an allencompassing solution for
China’s problems
 Influenced by success of
Russian Revolution 1917
Chinese Communist Party 共产党
Soviet Union as model: Karakhan
Declaration 1919
 Role of the Comintern and Soviet advisors
 Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao: early leaders
 “bloc within”: Chinese communist party
unites with Nationalist party
 Initially a successful alliance between the
 Work-Study in France, Soviet Union
Chinese Marxism
An exciting, powerful concept in the 1920s, not
the failure we think of today
 Class struggle and nationalism: get rid of
oppressive classes= strong nation
 Speed: no time to play catch up: China can and
must leap into socialism
 Peasants: for Li Dazhao and Mao, they are the
key to revolution, but in the revolution of the
1920s, not all Communists share this view.
The Nationalist Party: Guomindang国
The return of Sun Yat-sen
 Soviet advisors: Mikhail Borodin
 “democratic centralism” and party
 Sun’s Ideology revisited: the Three
Principles of the People
 Factions: rightist, leftist, center/military
Mikhail Borodin(1884-1948)
Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi)
A military man
 Underworld connections in Shanghai
 Heads the Whampoa military academy in
 A centrist: but distrustful of the left, of
Soviets, and of Chinese communists
 Heads the National Revolutionary Army of
the Nationalist Party