China / Edition 1

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With Chinese nationalism a vital ingredient of both the domestic politics of the People's Republic of China and its international relations, this book explores how China came to be a nation, arguing that from early times China had all the features of a nation state- a common language, culture, and bureaucracy- and that China as it exists today was invented through the construction of a modern state.

The book describes the attitudes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Chinese towards identity and ethnicity and how these factors affected the structure of the state. The Chinese efforts to build a modern nation state that could resist the Western imperial powers are also documented as are the efforts in the twentieth century to spread nationalism from the cities into rural China.

The book argues that China has not been an exception to the process of the invention of nations. Instead, its differences arise from the complexities of the relationship between nationalism and imperialism. Moreover, the role of imperialism was not limited to Western empires: the Manchu Qing empire played quite as significant a role in the construction of the modern Chinese nation state as did imported European ideologies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780340741344
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 8/31/2001
  • Series: Inventing the Nation Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Henrietta Harrison is Professor of History at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
General editor's preface
A map of China
Introduction 1
Pt. I Pre-modern Chinese identity
1 A common culture 9
Structures of the Chinese state 10
The interaction of elite and popular culture 20
2 The Manchu empire 33
The Qing as a non-Han dynasty 33
The Han and the universal empire 44
Pt. II Constructing a modern nation
3 The world of nation states 55
Changing models of foreign affairs 55
The new modernisers and the origins of nationalism 70
The Boxer Uprising 77
4 The creation of modern nationalism 88
Education 89
Nationalism and revolutionary thought 101
Newspapers and the growth of public opinion 111
The army 118
5 Ethnicity and modernity in the 1911 Revolution 132
The Han nation 132
National identity and the non-Han peoples 139
The five-nation republic 144
6 Nation, modernity and class 150
Clothing and etiquette 153
Time 158
Women as citizens 161
Pt. III Nationalism and imperialism
7 The growth of nationalism as an ideology 169
Student nationalism: the May 4th Movement of 1919 170
Working-class nationalism: the May 30th Movement of 1925 176
The growth of the Nationalist Party 184
8 Nationalism and the party state 190
The rise of the party state 190
Spreading a modern national culture 200
The limits of Nationalist Party rule 203
9 War, nationalism and identity 207
Responses to Japanese aggression 207
The outbreak of war and the rhetoric of national unity 215
The convergence of popular and modern nationalism 219
10 State-building and nation-building 226
Depicting a Communist China 226
Defining the nation 237
Pt. IV Chinese national identity today
11 The emergence of alternative nationalism 251
Politicised nationalism 252
Redefinitions 257
The end of empire? 264
Bibliography 269
Index 277
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