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2008-Volume 2, Number 1

作者: 文章来源: 点击数: 更新时间:2010年11月30日

Journal of Modern Chinese History
VOLUME 2 NUMBER 1 JUNE 2008

 

CONTENTS


Articles
Teahouses, theaters, and popular education: entertainment and leisure politics in late Qing and early republican Chengdu
Wang Di


Changes in Japanese strategy in 1939–1940 and the internationalization of the
Sino–Japanese War
Lu Xijun


Beyond restoration: problems of imperial power in the 1870 famine relief
efforts in Zhili
Li Yi


Drug or medicine? China’s experience of Marx’s opium thesis on religion
Tao Feiya


Review Essay
A general history displays great depth: a review of A Comprehensive History
of Modern China
, edited by Zhang Haipeng
Wu Jingping


Academic Lecture
Recent research on Chinese republican history
Wang Chaoguang
 

Commentaries
An overview of recent research on modern Chinese economic history
Dong Zhikai


Current trends in Chinese studies in France
Marianne Bastid-Bruguière


Book Reviews


Notes on Contributors

 

 

 

Teahouses, theaters, and popular education: entertainment and leisure politics in late Qing and early republican Chengdu
Wang Di

 

The Department of History, Texas A&M University, College Station


This article discusses the relationships among folk entertainers and audience members, theater, and popular performances. It also explores the opera reform and its impact. Entertainment in Chengdu was mainly concentrated in teahouses, where people could watch folk performances and local operas while sipping tea, and teahouses became the most important location for leisure pursuits, although they were also multifunctional. This study argues that popular entertainment was a powerful educational tool; many people, especially those who had little or no formal instruction, learned about history, literature and traditional values and virtues from local operas and storytellers. Reformist elites and government officials believed operas could provide enlightenment, enhance civilized discourse, and boost morale. The government used this forum for public entertainment to spread orthodox ideologies and influence the minds of ordinary people, while enacting regulations to control what people watched. In this article, we find that as a part of their control of entertainment, reformist elites and local government sought to reform local opera, which imposed a political agenda onto popular entertainment.

 

 

Changes in Japanese strategy in 1939–1940 and the internationalization of the Sino–Japanese War
Lu Xijun

 

International Relations Department, Daito Bunka University, Tokyo


In the early stage of the Sino–Japanese War, Japan was trying hard to limit the conflict to within a scope where it could be resolved bilaterally between only the two nations involved. However, her actual behavior was in stark contrast to her wishful desire to be at peace with the United States, pushing the latter step by step instead in the direction of aiding China and thwarting Japan. Caught in a dilemma created as the United States abrogated the American–Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation, and faced with the changes in the European situation, Japan’s policy makers were eventually pushed by their obsession with the ‘‘New East Asian Order’’ and by their yearning for the ‘‘Extended New East Asian Order’’ which was to include Southeast Asia, deciding to steer the Sino–Japanese War in the direction of ‘‘international resolution,’’ which was just an alternate route to the same goal sought by China. Subsequently, not only did Japan refuse to withdraw from China, she actually took one step further in an expansion southwards, trying to kill several birds with one stone. The war thus spilled over from China to encompass a much greater area. In this process, Japan’s diplomatic corps was often several steps ahead of the military, reflecting the carefully considered background in Japanese policymaking.

 

 

Beyond restoration: problems of imperial power in the 1870 famine relief efforts in Zhili
Li Yi


Tacoma Community College, Tacoma 

 

Based on a close examination of the 1870 government famine relief efforts in Zhili, this study reassesses some significant changes in Qing state power in the nineteenth century. Most previous research has sought to explain receding state power as a response to mounting pressures from an activist society. The famine relief efforts of 1870 demonstrate a less well-known but equally important aspect of the problem. While social pressures had undoubtedly worn away at the 200-year-old state machine, they also stimulated responses from it. While local activism had indeed taken over the levers that had slipped from the imperial government’s hands, the challenges it presented jump-started the state machine, tightened its screws and set it on the path to restoration. In 1870, Imperial Commissioner Li Xingrui, under orders from his superior, Governor-General Zeng Guofan, executed a textbook operation of famine relief in Zhili. Challenges arose as wealthy locals wrestled with Li for control of the relief operation; government officials, too, sought private gain. Nevertheless, the commissioner and his superior conscientiously followed the Qing statutes, warded off these various challenges and completed the relief work. The display of state power during the operation was impressive, and was sweetened by a bureaucratic culture that condoned semi-legitimate personal gain in public affairs. The pairing of ‘‘stick and carrot’’ redirected the challenges to the operation from wealthy locals into a channel unique to China: an activist elite who sought to fulfill their ambitions by working within the existing system rather than by breaking away from it. Thus, Qing state power not only proved reasonably resilient in times of crisis, but also offered some hope for the successful building of a modern state.

 

 

Drug or medicine? China’s experience of Marx’s opium thesis on religion
Tao Feiya

 

Shanghai University, Shanghai 

 

This paper tracks the changes in the influence of Marx’s celebrated opium thesis in China. Marx’s view that religion is ‘‘the opium of the people’’ was first introduced into China through propaganda associated with the Russian revolution. It became very influential among Chinese intellectuals and dominated the religious policy of the CCP for a long period. However, as the revolutionary party became the party in power after 1949, it was obvious that the opium thesis alone would be insufficient to deal with the religious situation in a socialist country. Although the ‘‘five natures’’ of religion thesis was proposed to explain the persistence of religion in socialist China, the opium thesis proved more powerful politically and resulted in a general attack on religion during the Cultural Revolution. Not until the era of reform and ‘‘opening up’’ was the opium thesis questioned. After the release of a major document entitled ‘‘The Basic Viewpoint and Policy on the Religious Question during our Country’s Socialist Period’’ in 1982, the opium thesis was viewed as too simplistic an instrument for understanding ‘‘the problem of religion.’’ Scholars have argued that religion contains important cultural elements and can make a positive contribution to a socialist society in certain respects. After lengthy discussion, a consensus was reached that Marxist views on religion should keep up with the times and that the opium thesis was no longer compatible with contemporary Chinese society. Although different voices can still be heard on the issue, religion is no longer viewed as just a ‘‘drug’’ but rather as a kind of "medicine." Marx’s opium thesis has been replaced in China by a new theory, one that emphasizes that religion should and can adapt to the needs of a socialist society.

 

 

Recent research on Chinese republican history
Wang Chaoguang

 

Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing


Chinese republican history has proved to be the most dynamic subject area within Chinese history studies – with the most substantial research achievements – since China adopted its policy of reform and opening up in 1978. This paper provides an overview of new developments and trends in the recent study of Chinese republican history by Mainland Chinese scholars.

 

 

An overview of recent research on modern Chinese economic history
Dong Zhikai

 

Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 

 

China formally adopted the policy of reform and opening up to the outside world in 1978. Since then, both economic practice and economic theory in China have undergone profound changes, and the academic study of modern Chinese economic history has been encouraged to expand its research horizons under the rubric of ‘‘liberating the mind and seeking truth in the facts’’. A number of important monographs and essays have been produced and the study of modern Chinese economic history has entered a flourishing period. Current research focuses on two major topics: China’s New Democratic economy and the planned economy during the period 1949–78; and, China’s socialist market economy from 1978–2006. The study of these two areas shows numerous interconnections, points of comparison and causal links. The many and important lessons to be drawn from these studies both exhibit Chinese characteristics and have universal implications.

 

 

Current trends in Chinese studies in France

Marianne Bastid-Bruguière

 

CNRS, Paris

 

A description of the current organization of research and teaching in Chinese studies in France is followed by a detailed survey of the various research centres and their ongoing programs and activities, and by a review of the main French academic publications in the field of Chinese studies during the last six years.





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