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-174 . Ella Laffey (McGill University): "The Economics of Dissidence: Piracy, Secret Societies, and River Transport in Southern KI.rangsi." ( i i ) "Ethnic Revolt and Han Response: the Chuang in the 5. Diana Lary York Un vers ty : Late 1920s and early 1930s." 6 Kent Smith (Connecticut College): "State Policy and the Internal Colonization of . c " the Southwest during the Eighteenth Century: Two ases. (Th B i St t Lib ) • 11 Frontier Protectorates in 7. Almut Tietze-Netolitzky e avar an · a e rary • Kwangsi Province during the Southern Sung Period." * * * URBAN RESPONSES TO REVOLUTION IN THE 1920s The following three papers on the republican period were delivered at the American Historical Association in Dallas, Texas, in December, 1977. The authors have submitted a synopsis only. Footnoted papers will appear in the proceedings, availabfe in September, 1978, from University Microfilms, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. (1) "MOBILIZED OR ORGANIZED? SHANGHAI WORKERS IN THE GREAT REVOLUTION" Edward Hammond, University of California, Berkeley The workers of Shanghai were a major force behind the Great Revolution of 1925-27. Their defeat on April 12, 1927 ended the revolutionary upsurge. How did this happen? Why. was such a vigorous movement so easily ended? Two lines of thought have emerged analyzing this issue. They were first articulated by Comintern writers in early 1928, then repeated by American scholars in 1951. MOre recently the French have revived the same arguments. By one line of thought, the defeat was due primarily to political mistakes made by the leaders; by the other, the movement was poorly organized and doomed to inevitable defeat. The present paper suggests that the Shanghai workers were mobilized, not organized, during the 1920s and thus .were unable to withstand the coup. Their problem was both political and sociological. The dimensions of this problem are shown by a review of Shanghai's "organized" labor movement. Prior to the May Fourth movement labor organizations were illegal; afterwards they had sporadic functional legality during periods of crisis when the workers were a major political force. The complex process of organizational development after May Fourth is discussed under three categories: the gangs, the moderates and the revolutionaries. The gangs operated in the industrial world through the labor contractor system and various extortion schemes. They retained a veneer of respectability through the philanthropy of the top men who identified themselves as businessmen. This and the mixed nature of the gangs prevented them from ever becoming significant labor organizations. The moderates emerged in opposition to the communists in 1922. ·For close to three years they were able to dominate the local labor scene and in 1925 claimed to have organ~ ized 37 unions with .30,000 members. Many of these were not legitimate labor unions, however , and the moderates were easily swept away in the revolutionary tide of 1925. The revolutionaries precipitated, then led, the May. Thirtieth movement. By July,., 218,000 workers were organized into 117 unions. But almost immediately afterwards, union membership declined 80% as the government began to suppress the labor movement. An unprecedented number of economic strikes and three insurrections followed, but the workers were not really free to organize until March, 1927, when 821,282 workers flocked to join 502 -18unions . This movement only lasted a few weeks before it was ended by the coup. Neither the gangs nor the moderates were able to replace it. Mobilization was a step toward organization but not the same thing. The workers were weak but they were not bound to fail. This provided important lessons for the Chinese Communist party later. (2) "REVOLUTION AND THE CHINESE BOURGEOISIE" Arif Dirlik, Duke University Dirlik's paper examined the views of the bourgeoisie regarding the problems that confronted Chinese society in the twenties--both underlying assumptions and preferred solutions . These views were· culled from the survey of four major business journals (Shanghai tsung shang-hui yiieh-k'an, Yin-hang ylieh-k'an of Peking, Yin-hang chou-pao of Shanghai, and Yin-hang ~-chih of Wuhan), the contributors to which included prominent businessmen as well as academics and government officials involved in the operation of the modern economic sector. The major obstacles to China's economic development that...


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