Chapter

Between the Old Culture and the New

Timothy B. Weston

in The Power of Position

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520237674
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929906 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520237674.003.0005
Between the Old Culture and the New

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Most of the radical ideas that captured the imagination of China's progressive intellectuals during the New Culture Movement began to crystallize after the catastrophic Second Revolution among a loose network of thinkers and political activists, most of whom were outside China. The extraordinary impact of Cai Yuanpei's reform program at Beida derived as much from the timing of his arrival in Beijing as it did from the content of his message. Cai's appointment of Chen Duxiu illustrates that his defense of broad-minded tolerance benefited those who sought to challenge the prevailing culture at Beida. Cai encouraged students to participate in educationally and morally uplifting extracurricular activities. He and the other new leaders of the university provided a crucial opening for professors and students who felt less ambivalent than he did about interpreting Beida's educational mission in an explicitly political fashion.

Keywords: Cai Yuanpei; Beida; New Culture Movement; Second Revolution; Beijing; Chen Duxiu

Chapter.  13865 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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