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Airaksinen, Tiina Helena (2003) Love your country on Nanjing Road : The British and the May Fourth Movement in Shanghai. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The primary purpose of my research is to analyse the development of British reactions to and perceptions of the May Fourth Movement manifestations, especially in Shanghai during late 1910's and early 1920's. The aim is to study what kind of implications the British attitudes and reactions had on the development of the May Fourth Movement. Or in other words, the purpose is to identify the various forms of May Fourth activities that resulted from the foreigners' operations and so to determine the extent of the British influence on the May Fourth Movement in Shanghai. By researching the British reactions, the objective is to explore more profoundly their political, economic and cultural hegemony in Shanghai. The three major British groups that are researched here are the governmental and municipal officials, the business community and the missionaries. While I agree with earlier researchers' emphasis on both the ideological and political causes of the Movement and the need for China's democratic liberation, we also need to take account of power relationships between the foreign and Chinese communities. Hence, another purpose of the study is to assess Chinese May Fourth protagonists' activities in relation to the Shanghai foreign community. Accordingly, the focus is also on the dynamics of interaction between the British and Chinese and its impact on the development of the May Fourth Movement. The fundamental hypothesis is that the British reactions affected developments of the May Fourth Movement activities in Shanghai. When elaborated further, this assumption proposes that the contemporary British actions had a certain influence on a subsequent new wave of Chinese anti-foreign and anti-Christian movements. This approach supports the hypothesis that the succeeding outbreak of radical Chinese nationalism was partly influenced by the British reactions to the May Fourth Movement. This research is based on previously closed materials held in the Shanghai Municipal Archives and they are supplemented with sources from British Archives. These include the Jardine, Matheson & Company materials, especially its vast twentieth century correspondence and access to this material was not available until very recently.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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