« ForrigeFortsæt »
But the soldiers were much more exhausted, as proper nutrition and rest were far beyond the possibility of their reach. The triumphant joys of those who had suffered for the Republic compensated them for hardships better than any material reward.
The fall of Nanking was the beginning of the new government. During the truce between the revolutionists and the imperialists the latter had made thorough preparations and obtained new equipment. When it expired, they were able to take possession of the cities of Hankow and Hangyang. Had the revolutionists failed in the siege of Nanking, it would have meant their end. The most critical hours were when my companions and myself were doing our work in the suburb of the city. Soon after the triumph, Sun Yat Sen took up his residence in this provincial capital, and the provisional republican form of government was for the first time in the Far East inaugurated with representatives from the different provinces of the country.
As the fighting was carried on by troops from different sections of the nation, naturally the field of operations was extended to a vast area; and what I have related is only a fractional part of the occurrences and incidences of the whole campaign. I do not attempt to dwell on topics concerning happenings that I did not see for fear of misrepresentation or misinterpretation.
To an observer of this revolution, it is interesting to notice that the spirit of the people of every corner of the nation favored the revolutionists. It may be said that every citizen was a revolutionist. It was most wonderfully impressed upon the minds of the whole populace that the old government had to lose and the revolutionists had to win; that the question of success or failure was a question of the life or death of the country at large, not a question of individual interest. On hearing the firing of rifles or the cannonading of guns, even the ignorant country folks would yell from the bottom of their hearts "Woe to the government!" or "Hail for the people!"
How the Chinese, numbering one quarter of the human race, have been able to agree unanimously on the over
throw of the Manchurian yoke; how the revolution has been completed in so vast a country in so short a space of time with comparatively so small a cost of life is really a mystery that no one can yet fully explain.
Here I shall mention briefly some factors, which seem to me to be causes of the revolution. In tracing the remote causes, I must say that the general awakening of the conservative Chinese began in the year 1894 when China was defeated in the Chino-Japan war. The second period of awakening began in 1900 when the allied troops besieged the capital of the empire. Since then, the tide of new learning has rushed in with full speed until the minds of the scholars have been saturated with the translations from works of Montesquieu and of Rousseau, their brains have been permeated with the accounts of the lives of Peter the Great and of George Washington. It is the education that pushes the people ahead. Corruption of the government, however, was not a small contributing factor of this gigantic revolt. Everywhere the people realized the weakness and pessimism of the government which could never be trusted and would never raise the standard of the nation's prestige. Favoritism and bribery were almighty. The sluggish, selfish and oppressive nature of the Manchu government had led us to overthrow it entirely, after gentle appealings were unsuccessfully and ineffectively resorted to. One of the immediate causes was the railway riot in Szechuan. The government attempted to buy the people's bonds with the loans from foreign nations. The shareholders rejected this. The government applied force and oppression. Troops were summoned to fight against the disobedient people. This aggravated the revolutionary idea. Soon after, the revolution started in Wuchang.
One of the factors last mentioned, although by no means of least importance, was the activity of the newspapers. They preached political sermons, awakened the people and informed them of the aggressiveness of some nations against our country, and encouraged the revolution from the beginning to the end.
In conclusion, I would like to draw your attention to the
fact that the Manchus, although our enemies for awhile, yet as soon as they gave up their arms, have been looked upon as our own countrymen, having the same privileges and rights as enjoyed by the Chinese. In additon to the royal pension and that for the imperial clan, we are supporting them individually with regular monthly allowances, as was done previously, until they are able to earn their livings. So it is manifest that one-eighth of the whole population of China is living parasitically at the expense of the rest. It has been calculated that this enormous sum of money would be sufficient to pay the indemnities of the past years, if we simply abolish this imperial clan payment. This is a matter of generosity and love of brethren which has simplified the revolution and shortened its course.
As to the future of China, no observer has any doubt that the recent revolution marks the dawn of a new era. It would be only too natural that the country must take some time to recover peace and order. Soon a firm and responsible government will be established, the people united, integrity promoted, education enforced, natural wealth developed, industry improved and commerce facilitated every possible reform will be gradually carried out, and our relations with other nations will be more intimate and friendly, especially with the sympathizing Americans, who assist and understand us better than other nations. Like American citizens and patriots of one hundred and thirty-seven years ago, we fought for freedom, liberty, and self-government. May the Coasts of the Pacific Ocean be the regions of the two Republics everlasting! May we join our hands closer and closer to keep the world at peace to encourage arbitration and to do away with war!
THE RELATION OF THE RETURNED STUDENTS TO THE CHINESE REVOLUTION
By Y. S. Tsao, Secretary of the Chinese Students' Alliance in America
It is not without a considerable amount of misgiving that the writer ventures to trace the relation between the returned students and the recent revolution, as his residence in America might lead him into partial statements in favor of the returned students from this country or the underestimation of the rôle played by those from Europe or Japan. Moreover the topic called for specific treatment to the exclusion of generalizations, so it is the aim of this paper to study the returned students from a subjective standpoint at the outset, to be followed by concrete and typical illustrations of the part played by the returned students from the several countries.
It might be well, at the beginning, to divide the returned students into two main groups, namely those from Europe and America and those from Japan. It must be admitted that by far the largest part of the recent revolution, was accomplished by the returned students from Japan by virtue of their numerical strength and for other reasons to be accounted for later on. On the whole, all the returned students, wherever they hail from and whatever political views they hold are destined to play the part of leaders on account of their superior training and breadth of vision. It has been estimated that America has 5 per cent college men and they will eventually become the leaders of the nation for even if they do not all become men of great influence, they will always be looked up to in every community as leaders of public opinion for the same reasons. Only in the case of the Chinese students they have better opportunities of duplicating themselves in this rapid transitory period of China's history.
INFLUENCE OF WESTERN EDUCATION FOR REFORMATION AND REVOLUTION
A recent writer has observed pithily that if you change the ideas of the Chinese their policy will change, which is no more and no less than granting our people with the credit for being rational. Of the many factors leading to the modification or reversal of ideas the influence of western education has achieved the most far-reaching results. The contrast between the social, economic, political and religious institutions of the West and those of the East is too obvious to escape the attention of even the most unobserving student. While much of the good in the old institutions should be conserved, every student cannot but desire to see the adoption of many modern ideas that have been slowly developed in the west. This is strictly true to the students who have left China for a stay of from five to eight years of study in a foreign land during the formative period of their lives. The experience of living in a different atmosphere is interesting and the impression correspondingly deep. In a word, they form a bridge across the broad expanse of seas, on which new learning, new ideals and new institutions are constantly conveyed to China. Fully saturated with new ideas and ideals, filled with the zeal of new ambitions and aspirations and kindled by a new sense of patriotism as a result of travel, these liberated individuals return to do and dare. From this very spirit the seed of revolution is bound to germinate. In the early seventies, some one hundred and twenty students were brought over to America by Dr. Yung Wing of Yale for a course of twelve years' training but they were recalled in 1881 being accused for harbouring revolutionary ambitions. The apprehensive Manchu government was not far from the truth.
Another important factor which helped immensely to develop the revolutionary spirit was the recent political history of China, both nationally and internationally. Ever since the China-Japan war, the country has been in a state of unrest. The reverses of that war caused a rude awakening and the late Emperor Kwang-Hsu with the assistance of
THE JOURNAl of race dEVELOPMENT, VOL. 4, NO. 1, 1913