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Chiu, Eugene W.
Modernity;Enlightenment;Transitional Era of China;Dongfang Zazhi (East Magazine);Du Yaquan;Militarism;Qingdao
|Issue Date:||2016-06-02 14:33:19 (UTC+8)|
Breaking out at the beginning of 20th century, the “Great War” of Europe became the First World War; it started from an area military conflict of the Balkan Peninsula to a pan-Europe war. From a sole area military alliance to the world-wide competition of Great Powers, the WWI involved a population of 854,000,000 among the nations participated the war, namely, half of the world population. Known as the “Great War” in Europe, this war was called by Chinese intellectuals as the “European War” (Ouzhan 歐戰). Literally, Ouzhan, or the “European War”, meant a war which had nothing to do with China. Indeed. Chinese government did take an armed neutrality policy toward the “Great War” after it broke out for a period of time. Nevertheless, Chinese armed neutrality policy did not prevent her from the attacks of Western guns. After its eruption in Europe, “Great War” showed itself in China proper in a particular way: China’s Qingdao of Shandong province, which was the military headquarter of Imperial Germany in Asia, became an extended battle field of the “Great War” starting from the bombard of English-Japanese alliance against Germany. China was therefore involved into the WWI in a passive, and perhaps innocent, way. This study has no intention to discuss in a large scale the attitudes of Chinese government toward the “Great War.” Neither, it has any ambition to explore the impact of the WWI over early Republican China. It will, however, examine the Chinese WWI experiences from the following perspective: First, in what sense did the “Great War” endow its impact on modern China’s “Enlightenment Movement”? Second, what was the nature of this “Enlightenment impact” out of the WWI? Was it a positive or negative one? Or, was it both? Third, in a more narrow sense, what was the direct impact of the WWI on the Chinese intellectual trends of the “May Fourth” period? Mainly depending on the East Magazine (dongfang zazhi 東方雜誌), one of the everlasting, and most influential as well, non-official magazine in Republican China, this study came to the following major findings: First, in contrast to the previous “elite enlightenment”, a top-down development experience, typified by the late Q’ing intellectual leader Liang Qichao, the East Magazine through its extensive and intensive reporting of the progress of “Great War” as well the daily life of the West, brought about a so-called “popular enlightenment”, a bottom-up experience. Second, early Republican China on the whole experienced the WWI through “text” instead of “bullet”, namely, Chinese came to know the “Great War” through the new media such as magazines and newspaper instead of direct participation of the war. Third, as an agent of “popular enlightenment” in modern China, the East Magazine reported and commented the developments and its significances of the WWI. More importantly, by introducing the daily practices of Western militarism and the content of Western materialism, the East Magazine with its circulation of 15,000 copies during its high peak, successfully brought the secrets of Western “Wealth and Power” to the face of Chinese intellectuals, and maybe populace as well.
|Relation:||政治大學歷史學報, 23, 91-146|
The Journal of History
|Appears in Collections:||[政治大學歷史學報 THCI Core ] 期刊論文|
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