To renovate the people of a nation, the fictional literature of that nation must first be renovated…..to renovate morality, we must renovate fiction, to renovate manners we must first renovate fiction….to renew the people’s hearts and minds and remold their character, we must first renovate fiction. ~Liang Qichao
The Chinese Enlightenment of the 20th century was initiated in 1915 by intellectuals that united together in an effort to turn their shared ideas of a cultural awakening into political action demonstrated through protests, literature, and organized societies. The May Fourth Revolution during 1919 connected science with democracy, and this challenged past traditions of filial devotion to parents, subservience to the state, and cultural superstitions in China. The use of writing, literature, and protest activities were vital tools used by student demonstrators to awaken society to critical thought with a hope of leading China towards a more democratic state among the other nations of the world.
China’s inability to consolidate power after the 1911 Republican Revolution re-opened the door to imperial restoration, authoritarian politics, and warlord militarism. Between the years 1911-1920, the country’s cultural history was challenged by ideas of the Enlightenment that fostered concepts of democracy, science, and critical rationality. Confucianism, filial devotion, and superstitions were being challenged as backward thinking. Delivering the ideas of the Enlightenment to the masses was a great struggle for the May Fourth activists. The activists realized literature was the way to change the minds of the masses and a way to implement democratic values into Chinese society. Literature was used as an instrument of the Enlightenment to help change a country’s identity.
The problematic and often tragic relationship between leaders and student protestors has led to progressive policy that moved China away from its feudal past and towards a developing democracy. China has relied on a delicate and well-balanced power struggle between leaders and protestors since before the May 4th protest on May 4, 1919. The current political balance between the protestors, the party leaders, the government, and the military encouraged democratic tenets to develop, but not without party consent and not without a large human death toll. During the years 1979-1989, China’s leader of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, Deng Xiaoping, exemplified the daunting and ambiguous relationship between China’s leaders, its military, and its citizens of the nation.
China’s leaders have often listened to the request of student protests. Under Confucianism, “the literati had a responsibility to speak out against abuses of power and to resist despotic rulers. They were to expose and criticize wrongdoings of officials even at the risk of their own lives.” This type of relationship between literati and rulers helped hold a leader accountable for the welfare of the people. Confucianism gave people the right to remove an unconcerned or ineffective ruler through the Mandate of Heaven. The Zhou dynasty, 1046-256 BC, made the Mandate of Heaven an article of faith based on the ancient belief that things like “comets, eclipses, meteor showers, and violent or freak meteorological phenomena inspired a sense of awe or dread” and could indicate ancestral spirits were happy or displeased with an individual, and the mandate was further used to signal the legitimacy of a person. A legitimate ruler was seen as someone who had such a mandate to rule over the people, and a deposed ruler was an individual who had lost the mandate. The Mandate of Heaven is bestowed upon a reasonable and well-founded leader, and the mandate is believed to withdraw from a despotic ruler. In a mortal sense, the people “can judge the legitimacy of a ruler on the basis of the ruler’s performance, and their judgment can be called the mandate of heaven.” The history between literati and rulers led to the assumption that academics could speak on behalf of the people or for the benefit of the people, yet many adversaries were still punished for speaking against their leaders.
- Category: Home Page
The English empire engaged in planned military, religious and political conquests that elevated Protestantism in the American colonies during the years 1689-1690. During 1688, Lord Churchill’s military coup sparked a pursuit of religious and political dominance in England, and such a pursuit carried over into the colonies in America. As such, the military was a portal into political positions for soldiers. Furthermore, the English empire engaged in stringent military training, employed political positions based upon a system of meritocracy, and carried out the endeavors of the Crown nearly a century before the onset of the American Revolution.
According to known historian Charles M. Andrews, the American colonies were not the result of a planned English conquest. Additionally, Mr. Andrews further asserted that England became one of the world’s greatest colonizing powers without any “fixed policy, in fact, without any clear idea of what she and her people were doing.” However, to the contrary, the English empire has an extensive military history that rests upon a system of meritocracy; in fact, the military used planned tactics, combined with the support of the local provincial soldiers, to gain control of Boston and Maine during 1689.
The English empire used garrison government as a system that placed skilled soldiers into high-ranking military and political positions in England and America. The English empire was a combative body that used military garrisons as a representation of strength and organization to intimidate outside forces and enforce domestic order. The English empire used garrison government because it was a system that produced military and political dominance in pursuit of religious and imperialistic endeavors throughout Britain and the English colonies. “The army was the forceful and administrative foundation of the nation-state and its American empire.”