By David Strand
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Extra resources for An Unfinished Republic: Leading by Word and Deed in Modern China
19 In a revolutionary era one expects individuals, Strand, An Unfinished Republic 4/14/11 5:39 PM Page 17 Slapping Song Jiaoren | 17 ideas, and organizations to be set in motion as tradition is uprooted. In fact, late imperial China was already moving according to its own rhythms. Scholars traveled to attend school, take the ofﬁcial examination, and assume ofﬁce in the capital or a distant province. Merchants journeyed far in search of proﬁts. 21 Political activists in the modern era did blaze some new trails—to Moscow, for example, for training in Marxism—but they also followed the well-worn tracks of ofﬁcials and their agents, merchants, laborers, and mendicants of the imperial era while acquiring, reﬁning, and delivering their political message at an ever-accelerating pace.
40 About the same time in the 1930s that Tang Qunying was having her morose thoughts about what happened to the revolution, the writer Lin Yutang concluded that 1911 had succeeded only as a “racial revolution” against the Manchus. A. D. 42 His reaction upon returning to China so changed himself was very different from that of Yang Changji. ”43 As the scholar and political reformer Liang Qichao summed up in one of the lively metaphors he was known for: “It [the 1911 Revolution] was like when you open a bottle of cold beer—the foam quickly bubbles up to the surface and appears awfully busy.
The crowd responded with three cheers raised for President Sun, repeated and passed on through the mass of participants and spectators in a rising crescendo. Before electronic ampliﬁcation or radio and ﬁlm recordings, cascading voices like these conveyed imperial orders from the throne during such rituals. Ray Huang describes an impressively ritualized late-Ming use of the technique as the emperor gave the order from his Forbidden City throne that prisoners of war be taken out and executed. The reply from the throne—“take them there; be it so ordered”—could not have been heard by all present.