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Monographic Studies【Font:Small Big

Ideal and Reality: Consciousness of the “People” in Intellectual Circles in the Qing Dynasty

Author:   Ke Jiming    Update Time:2015年06月02日

During the last decade of the Qing, the people"were regarded as the foundation and owners of the nation, the decisive factor in the prosperity or decline of the country and the major force in social reform, with a place in intellectual circles that they had never before attained. However, reflecting on the realities of China led many people to doubt whether the “people" of the time were up to the task. This meant that in late Qing intellectual circles there appeared a discrepancy between the “people" in name and in fact and between the level of the ideal and the reality. The “people" themselves, of whom so much was expected, also presented a new problem. Hence was born the idea of the new “people," but this was considered too slow a remedy for the critical situation. Thus a change of government began to attract more attention. The issue of the quality of the people had not been resolved by the time of the Chinese Revolution of 1911, and remained into the Republican era.



Institute of Modern History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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