Chapter

The Insistent Pull of Politics

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/9780520237674.003.0006
The Insistent Pull of Politics

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Cai Yuanpei clearly believed that fundamental cultural and social reform was a long-term process built on a foundation of new and reordered knowledge, but he also believed that intellectuals were the rightful leaders of the nation in a broader, moral sense. The months leading up to the May Fourth Movement witnessed a notable acceleration and expansion of the New Culture group's campaign to shape public opinion. Cai refuted Lin Shu's attacks one by one, pointing out that Beida still taught classical Chinese and that many professors were admirers of Confucianism. The May Fourth Movement was both “overdetermined” and contingent. This Movement demonstrated to Cai that they were in fact more difficult to balance than he had realized, and that he had to be clearer as to his vision for the university.

Keywords: Cai Yuanpei; May Fourth Movement; Beida; New Culture; social reform; cultural reform

Chapter.  15313 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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