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the reform party headed by Kwang Yu Wei and Liang Chi Chao decreed such a series of ultra-radical reforms that it soon resulted in the famous coup d'état. This reaction blindly led to the painful experience of 1900 but when the Manchurian leaders of the Boxers were banished from the court, the pendulum began to sweep back and the cause of reform again developed a brighter prospect. The late Empress Dowager was convinced of the necessity of reform and she had the direction of Yuan Shih Kai who as the Viceroy of Chili carried out a very successful series of reform measures. However, the pendulum reached the limit at the deaths of the Empress Dowager and the Emperor when Yuan Shih Kai and Tuan Fang, the two most promising statesmen of the day, fell. Since then, the retrogression was rapid. The people agitated for an immediate parliament but the government resisted the demand stubbornly. With this public disappointment, with the vacillating and insincere policy of the government, with the ever present economic factor of industrial revolution and non-employment, plague, famine and financial stringency, all the symptoms of a revolution were present. Added to all these, internationally, there were the constant acts of aggression in the form of wanton grabbing of territory and provoked and unprovoked military demonstrations on our frontiers. So since 1910, the bubbling cauldron of discontent and impatience was ready to boil over at any moment. Under such conditions, the returned students as representatives of advanced thought could not but ascribe such consequences to the existing political corruptions and diplomatic blunders and wishing sincerely for a better state of affairs, not a few of them raised the cry, "On to Peking!"

When the students returned from America in the early eighties, they were despised, suspected and watched by the officers of the Manchu government. For the first few years, they were given a thorough drilling in Chinese literature so as to win them over to the conservative attitude of looking at things and when sufficiently purged of their revolutionary ideas, they were left to shift for themselves for the government had no use for such "semi-foreigners." But

beginning with the reformation after the China-Japan war, a number of reformers from the old school went to court as advisers and not a few returned students from America were given appointments by high officials. However, it was not until after the Boxer uprising that a number of them through the recommendation of Yuan Shih Kai were given responsible positions in the government. Among them were the ex-secretary of state, Liang Tung Yen, the ex-premier, Tang Shao Yi, Admiral San Chen Ping, ex-minister Wu Ting Fang, Sir Liang Cheng, Railroad Director Liang Mun Ting, Chief Engineer Jeme Tien Yu, etc.

The prospect of a successful reformation was quite evident while Yuan Shih Kai remained in power with the students giving suggestions and rendering very creditable service. Modern systems of police, of popular education, of judiciary and army were organized; railway management was systematized, foreign relations improved and a constitution recommended. Several military maneuvers were held and foreign critics were actually discussing the ever-recurrent bug-bear of "Yellow-Peril." This state of affairs was too good for the Manchus for they could not follow the course of development intelligently, so ere long "the strong man of China" was degraded and with him a number of painstaking returned students. Once placed in responsible positions, they saw the hopeless way the insincere government had been hood-winking the whole nation and at once entertained revolutionary ideas to upset the whole government and build a new structure in its place.


The abolition of the old imperial literary examinations was succeeded by the new educational system based upon the Japanese and American institutions. It emphasized a liberal scientific education. When the many forms of schools sprang up throughout the nation like mushrooms, there was a great dearth of modern teachers. For a time the scholars of the old school attempted to supply the demand but as the curriculum was so up-to-date, they found the

desires of the students to be above their ability to satisfy. Indeed, many of these teachers devoured all forms of modern text-books and translated literature so that for the primary and middle grades they taught with fair success, but the more advanced students became uncontrollable which accounted for the innumerable strikes and lock-outs. This unsatisfactory state of affairs together with the recent successes of Japan in her war with Russia, induced the government to send thousands of students to Japan. At one time, the exodus reached 15,000 and Japan had to open special institutions to accommodate them.

In the meantime, the government demanded more upto-date officials and following the traditional method of testing them, competitive examinations were held for the returned students. The successful candidates were conferred the same honorary degrees according to the old nomenclature of "Hanlin" (doctor of philosophy), "Chin-shih" and "Juren." This recognition of the returned students on the part of the government increased their influence and prestige throughout the whole educational world. While large numbers of the students in schools aspired to be educated abroad, the greater part had to be satisfied by being taught by the returned students whose direct influence upon this new student class proved to be a very potent factor for the revolution.

While the handful of returned students from Europe and America were busy occupying themselves with official life, teaching and engineering, a few of them translated the works of John Stuart Mill, Huxley, Spencer, Darwin, Henry George and other modern writers. "The doctrine of the survival of the fittest has been on the lips of every thinking Chinese, and its grim significance is not lost on a nation that seems to be the center of struggle in the Far East." However, the greater part of the modern ideas came from Japan through the students there who after a few months of training could easily transcribe Japanese translations of western books into Chinese. The rapid multiplication of patriotic newspapers and magazines helped immensely to disseminate modern political ideas along with scientific knowledge

throughout the length and breadth of the nation The biographies of such statesmen as Washington, Bismark, Metternich and Gladstone, such leaders as Napoleon, Cromwell and Lincoln, such patriots as Mazzini, Garibaldi were literally devoured. The doctrines of Rousseau, Montesquieux and Voltaire were expounded and a weekly known as The People based upon the principles of "Young Italy" was started. It had a circulation of 150,000 before it was finally suppressed by the Japanese government upon the request of the Manchu government.

The publication of radical papers and magazines liberated the individuals and inspired a new national feeling. Patriotism developed a new significance and nationalism bred impatience and self-assertion. Constitutionalism and republicanism were keenly discussed. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity was the slogan of the day. According to a Japanese writer, "Every mother's son of the returned students from Japan is a cheerful, reckless, vociferous, flaming torch for the revolutionary movement."

Intense patriotism and the realization of political dangers at once reversed the old adage of "Good iron is not used for making nails and good men are not meant for the soldiery." Many students joined military institutions at home and several hundreds of them went to Japan and Germany for such training of their own accord and often against their parent's wishes. Many of them were supported by the Manchu government and it was the insincerity of which finally turned them against it and destroyed it.

With the revolutionary spirit in the atmosphere, the earlier reformers and revolutionaries saw their opportunities. There existed at least, three distinct parties. The first aimed to preserve the Empire which meant the restoration of Emperor Kwang Hsu's reform program; the second desired to see the early adoption of the constitutional government; and the third had their object in the overthrow of the alien dynasty. The leaders of the first two parties, Kang Yu Wei and Liang Chi Chiao obtained some funds and support from the Chinese settlers abroad but it was Dr. Sun Yat Sen who as the leader of the republican movement

captivated a large number of students in Japan by the organization of the "Tung Men Hwei."

The aim of the said "Tung Men Hwei" society was to alienate the feelings of the people and to stir up a revolution against the Manchu government. The weekly called The People was published by them which contained articles depicting the corruption, tyranny and impotence of the Manchus. It was a short-lived paper for the Japanese government, seeking to strengthen her friendship with China, suppressed it. Another department of the "Tung Men Hwei" was called the "Kung Ching" which undertook to send agents to the various provinces of China to convert the officers and soldiers to become revolutionaries, while others were sent to the Chinese settlements to raise funds for the same cause. They also manufactured bombs and threatened to kill those soldiers who refused to join them. Among these, Hwang Shing, Liu King and Sun Wu were the greatest leaders. In Europe and America, there were no special organizations of that character. Quite a few, however, were members of the "Tung Men Hwei."

In Europe, a revolutionary publication called Le Nouveau Siècle was published at Paris, but no secret organization was known to exist.


Previous to the revolution of October 11, 1911, several preliminary plots were attempted under returned student leadership. The earliest one on record was in 1900, directly after the Boxer uprising, when Dr. Yung Wing was elected president of a secret organization at Shanghai, consisting of leading officials, merchants and students who were exasperated at the most stupid political blunder of the Manchu government in making use of patriotic fanaticism as a means of stemming the onslaught of western nations. This plot was soon detected and ever after Dr. Yung Wing lived an exile at Hartford, Connecticut until his death last year.

In 1907, there was a plot at Ping Shang in Anhui Province; in 1909, the Governor of Anhui was assassinated at An

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