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China, the greatest potential factor in the dawning Pacific Era. The strength of our own western coast as well as that of the British Pacific possessions may be measured with reasonable certainty; while both the power as well as the limitations of Japan are now understood; but the possibilities of China, when thoroughly awakened and organized on a modern basis, are almost beyond computation. The Chinese, who make up a fourth of the world's population, are one of the ablest known races, physically, mentally and morally. Their physical endurance surpasses that of Europeans and Americans, according to the testimony of foreign physicians; their mentality is proven by the standing of their students in Western schools; and their moral stamina is shown by their earnestness and their partial success at least in destroying the opium traffic. They have already left the ruts of their centuries-old civilization and begun to adopt the new customs and institutions of the West and of Japan; this is especially noticeable in their new system of scientific education. The revolution itself, considering the forces opposing it and the immensity of the country, has been carried out, notwithstanding the recent reaction, with a success which has surprised the closest students of Chinese conditions.
The outcome of the struggle to establish a stable, modern, somewhat democratic government in China is of great importance to the United States, for in the future these two countries are bound to exert a strong influence each upon the other, since they will remain, probably forever, the two most populous nations upon the opposite sides of the Pacific. We are now even closer to China than we generally realize. Worcester is today nearer in thought-by telegraph and cable to the capital of the Republic of China than it was to Boston in the days of Washington; it is today nearer to Peking physically-it takes less time to travel there than it was to Pittsburgh when our national government was founded.
Americans have already most profoundly effected conditions in China. The leaders of the present revolution have largely followed American ideas and ideals, and have taken as their heroes our own national heroes of the past. American schools have laid much of the basis upon which the new China has been built. With only a little exaggerationfor the important part played by Japan must not be forgotten one might write a history of the upheaval of the past two or three years under the title “The American Revolution in China."
When the Pacific Era shall have become an accomplished fact, the influence of the orient as a whole, and of China in particular, will be increasingly great. Even at present the majority of the vital diplomatic questions which have been before the American Government during the past decade, have been issues concerning the Pacific. But the Far East is bound to affect our country not merely in its diplomacy, but in its trade, its industry, its education and its modes of thought. The revolution in China deserves our most earnest study, not only because, if successful, this re-creation of one of the most numerous and the most able peoples of the globe will take its place in history as a world event of lasting importance, but also because it will exert a marked influence upon our own country as a neighboring Pacific power.
To consider these great changes now taking place, some thirty experts came together at Clark University, November 13–16, 1912, for a four days conference upon recent developments in China. Some of them knew the Manchu dynasty in its old days, and were decorated by the Imperial Court for distinguished service; one came into close personal touch with that almost unapproachable sovereign the Empress Dowager. Some, as teachers and missionaries, laid the foundation upon which new China is rising; one represents the modern physician in the westernizing of medical practice in China and has himself fought the plague in Manchuria with the bravery and by the methods of the West. Some, as long-time residents of China, have seen the revolution in its inception, its development, its outbreak; they have known its leaders and in some cases have taught them as students. Still others are authorities on the complicated international situation of China; some of whom have themselves taken leading parts in one of the most important events of the past couple of years, the loan negotiations. Still others are Chinese; some of them are students, while others have held important positions in the new Republic of China, and are living evidence of the influence of America in the Chinese revolution, for they themselves are graduates of American higher institutions of learning.
The addresses delivered in this Conference have already appeared in the different numbers of the Journal of Race Development but, in response to many requests, the University is issuing them in a single volume. While each address deals with a distinct topic, they have been so arranged that together they give the history of nearly every aspect of the world movement now taking place across the Pacific.
To the distinguished contributors the University wishes to express its grateful appreciation. It is their willing cooperation which has made possible both the conference upon recent developments in China and the publication of these addresses.
This volume is given to the public with the earnest wish that its pages may make more intelligible the underlying causes and the general progress of the Chinese revolution, and may create a more sympathetic understanding of the gifted race which is struggling to compress the natural evolution of centuries into the span of a few years, and whose national future, as a growing Pacific power, will be closely associated with our own.
G. H. BLAKESLEE. Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts,
November 30, 1913.
THE MEANS OF UNIFYING CHINA
By Charles W. Eliot, LL.D., President Emeritus of Harvard
I must tell the audience first that I am not an “expert” on China. I have only spent about two months and a half there. The country is immense; and when I was there it was in a state of prodigious confusion. I did not know a word of Chinese. So that I bring you tonight just the observations on China and its present condition of one American citizen who has had, during a somewhat long life, a good deal of experience in one form of administration-educational administration and who has been interested all his life in the social and industrial conditions of the community in which he has lived. To have been interested many years in the social and industrial conditions of one's own country, if that be a free country, is a pretty good fitting, or preparation, for a cursory inspection of industrial, social, and political conditions in another country. That was all my preparation for my visit to China. I should also say that I was in the Far East on a special errand, intrusted to me by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This was a strange year in which to be an envoy from a peace-promoting organization to study the conditions under which war breaks out or peace is maintained. I had no sooner started than the inexcusable attack of Italy on Tripoli took place. I had not been long in Ceylon before Russia invaded Persia with great violence; and Great Britain, Persia's neighbor on the south, calmly looked on. When I reached China that country was still in the throes of what had been a brief civil war, comparatively restricted in its areas, and yet a civil