Xinhai Revolution Essay

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1 Richard McGregor, “Zhou's cryptic caution lost in translation,” Financial Times, 10 June 2011;

2Zaifu, Liu and Zehou, Li, Gaobie geming: huiwang ershi shiji Zhongguo (Farewell to Revolution: Looking Back at 20th-Century China) (Hong Kong: Tiandi tushu youxian gongsi chubanshe, 1995).

3 This is implied also in the title given by his English-language publishers to the translation of his selected essays: Hui, Wang, The End of the Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity (London: Verso, 2009).

4 A survey of key work published in China on the 1911 revolution in the decade 2000–09 is Kaiyuan, Zhang and Tong, Tian, “Xin shiji zhi chu de Xinhai geming shi yanjiu” (“Research on the Xinhai revolution at the start of the new century”), Zhejiang shehui kexue, No. 9 (2010), pp. 89–98. The aftermath of the centenary may provide more material for scholarly reflection. A major conference on the 1911 revolution is scheduled for October 2011 at the Institute of Modern History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, which is likely to produce a set of scholarly essays.

5Wright, Mary C., China in Revolution: The First Phase, 1900–1913 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), and Esherick, Joseph, Reform and Revolution in China: The 1911 Revolution in Hunan and Hubei (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976).



8 Zhongguo xinwenwang, 28 June 2011.

9; Zhongshan shangbao, 5 June 2011.


11 John Chan, “Beijing cancels debate on 1911 revolution,” World Socialist Website, 12 May 2011,

12, 18 July 2011. The survey is not explicit about its survey group, but its methodology strongly suggests that the respondents were based in the People's Republic of China.


14Yuhe, Zuo, “Xinhai geming de chenggong yu shibai” (“The successes and failures of the 1911 revolution”), Hongqi wengao, June 2011, p. 27.

15Fullerton, W.Y. and Wilson, C.E., New China: A Story of Modern Travel (London: Morgan and Scott, 1910).

16Tianshi, Yang, Zhoaxun zhenshi de Jiang Jieshi: Jiang Jieshi de riji jiedu (In Search of the Real Chiang Kai-shek: Interpreting Chiang's Diaries) (Taiyuan: Shanxi renmin chubanshe, 2008).

17Tianshi, Yang, “Ruhe pingjia Xinhai geming reng wu dinglun” (“How should we assess the Xinhai revolution when there is still no fixed verdict?”), in Zhonghua dushubao, 15 April 2011, cited in

18Tianshi, Yang, “Xinhai geming bainian huiwang” (“Looking back at the hundred years since the Xinhai revolution”), Liaowang, 27 April 2011.

19Zhang, Kaiyuan, “A General Review of the Study of Revolution of 1911 in the People's Republic of China,” Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 39, No. 3 (1980), p. 525.

20Kaiyuan, Zhang, “Wufa gaobie geming” (“No way to say farewell to revolution”), interview with reporter Liu Wei, Liaowang, 17 May 2011.

21Kaiyuan, Zhang, “Xinhai geming xu tansuo shangxia san bainian” (“We need to explore the three hundred years around the Xinhai revolution”), Fenghuang wang zhuangao, 8 October 2010.

22 A variety of reports from Chinese and western media, including details of Yuan Weishi's actual comments, can be found at

23Judge, Joan, Print and Politics: “Shibao” and the Culture of Reform in Late Qing China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996).

24 Yuan Weishi, “Xinhai geming shi yi chang shengda de jiamian wuhui” (“The Xinhai revolution was one great masquerade”), Fenghuang wang zhuangao, 8 October 2010,

25 Zhang Pengyuan, “Kuada Xinhai geming bu heshi” (“It's not appropriate to exaggerate the significance of the Xinhai revolution”), Fenghuang wang zhuangao, 9 October 2010,

26Harrison, Henrietta, The Making of the Republican Citizen: Political Ceremonies and Symbols in China 1911–1929 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), ch. 6.

27Kai-shek, Chiang, “Fayang geming lishi de guangrong baowei geming genjudi de Wuhan” (“Protecting the revolutionary base of Wuhan with its glorious revolutionary history”), Zongtong Jiang gong sixiang yanlun zongji (Collected thought and opinions of President Chiang) (Taipei: Zhengzhong, 1956–59), p. 411.

28Zedong, Mao, “On New Democracy,” in Schram, Stuart R., Mao's Road to Power: Revolutionary Writings, 1912–1949 (Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1995), pp. 333–34.

29Smith, R. B., Changing Visions of East Asia, 1943–93: Transformations and Continuities (Abingdon: Routledge, 2007), ch. 1.

30 See, for instance, the essays in Brown, Jeremy and Pickowicz, Paul, eds., Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People's Republic of China (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).

31 See for instance Frazier, Mark, The Making of the Chinese Industrial Workplace: State, Revolution, and Labor Management, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

32 See, for instance, the special edition of The China Quarterly (June 1997) on “Reappraising Republican China.”

* I would like to thank the executive committee of The China Quarterly for their invitation to address the topic of 1911; the two anonymous readers for the journal for their helpful suggestions; and Dr Annie Nie for her input and suggestions.

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