The Fight For The Republic in China eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Fight For The Republic in China.
was purely personal and as such could not be transmitted to any son by any means known to the human intellect, (c) that all Yuan Shih-kai’s sons were worthless, the eldest son being semi-paralyzed, (d) that constitutional government and the Eastern conception of kingship, which is purely theocratic, are so antithetical that they cannot possibly co-exist, any re-establishment of the throne being ipso facto the re-establishment of a theocracy, (e) that although he so constantly speaks of the low political knowledge of the people, the Chinese have had a most complete form of local self-government from the earliest times, the political problem of the day being simply to gather up and express these local forms in some centralized system:  (f) the so-called non-patriotism of the Chinese is non-existent and is an idea which has been spread abroad owing to the complete foreign misunderstanding of certain basic facts—­for instance that under the Empire foreign affairs were the sole concern of the Emperors, provincial China prior to 1911 being a socio-economic confederation resembling mediaeval contrivances such as the Hanseatic League—­a provincial confederation not concerning itself with any matter which lay outside its everyday economic life, such as territorial overlordship or frontier questions or the regulation of sea-port intercourse etc., because such matters were meaningless.  It was only when foreign encroachment in the post-Japanese war period (i.e. after 1895) carried problems from the fringes of the Empire into the economic life of the people that their pride was touched and that in spite of “their lack of experience and knowledge in political affairs” they suddenly displayed a remarkable patriotic feeling, the history of China during the past two decades being only comprehensible when this capital contention, namely the reality of Chinese patriotism, is given the central place.

It is useless, however, to pursue the subject:  we have said enough to disclose the utter levity of those who should have realized from the first that the New China is a matter of life and death to the people, and that the first business of the foreigner is to uphold the new beliefs.  The Goodnow Memorandum, immediately it was published, was put to precisely those base uses which any one with an elementary knowledge of China might have foreseen:  it was simply exploited in an unscrupulous way, its recommendations being carried out in such a manner as to increase one’s contempt for the men who were pushing the monarchist plot with any means that they could seize hold of, and who were not averse from making responsible foreigners their tools.


[16] It is perhaps of importance to note that Dr. Goodnow carried out all his studies in Germany.

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The Fight For The Republic in China from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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