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The following program is produced under a grant and aid from the educational radio and television center and is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters. And. The University of Michigan. Brownlee presents one nation indivisible. Self-determination independence. Sovereignty. These are the catch words of one of the most powerful forces on march in the world today. Words which symbolize the desire of people everywhere. To be masters of their own political destiny. This is our story.
The story of nationalism in the twentieth century. Told in a series of 13 radio documents created by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. And now. One nation indivisible. Tom Palmer and you were hearing the actual words of an old Chinese in vocational. It has strange supernatural powers. This invocation Janet as you hear it now will stop an enemy rifle bullet. So they say this is their home town. Beezer Chang Paul and John Paul Johnson. Yeah yeah those who invoke the supernatural aid belong to a mysterious Chinese secret society that masqueraded as a boxing and judo club it was called the tune. Translation the writers how many fests we called them the boxers the now famous Boxer Rebellion exploded with a sudden frenzy a peaking in China in the year 900.
First target foreign Christians. A popular rage of pillage riot and murder quickly spread a bloody trail throughout the northern provinces within beaking itself. Foreigners who survived the initial arms locked took refuge in the walled league Asian quarter here protected by a handful of Legation guards including some U.S. Marines. They held out for 80 Days and Nights of Horror. Violence broke out on May 27. The railway to botting food was torn up the station house burned some of the employees were killed and others put to flight. So wrote Dr W A P. Martin director of the Imperial University at picking with eight members of the faculty including Dr. James soon to be killed by a sniper. Dr. Martin took refuge in the Legation quarter in Peking and there he stayed to report the fears the fortitude and the high adventure of the 80 day siege cooped up in these narrow bounds are one thousand people of fourteen nationalities and the ministers of 11 nations the Legation guards of eight different countries number not over 450 men and officers. Without them
defense would have been hopeless. At first our great danger was from fire missionary chapel and school structures and cathedrals were wrapped in flames kindled by the boxers lighted the lurid sky day and night. A great central gate of the city caught fire and was consumed firebrands fell in profusion inside of our walls. It's on all sides of us and at no great distance were trees and high buildings in which sharpshooters concealed the sounds. We dare not light lamps at night for fear of attracting the game of some hidden marksman. The ladies in our besieged community have responded admirably to danger. Most of them have made firm arrangements to be killed by their own men folk. If the boxers ever break through the wall. Meanwhile they tend the wounded so sandbags and inspire certain young men to heroic deeds in August of 1900 nearly three months after the siege began an international relief force fought its way up from the coast and lifted
the sea. The affair of Peking fired public imagination in America. It became the most sensational event since Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charge San Juan Hill two years earlier. But in America Few realize the fundamental difference between San Juan and the relief of peaking in the one we had based the dying power of the bankrupt empire of Spain. But in the boxes though few Westerners knew what we had encountered the first clumsy stirrings of a new spirit that would transform old China into a brand new nation. We must blanch back across the centuries to build an image of the old China which preceded the boxer revolution and all China which still colors the thoughts and action of the new China of the mid 20th century old China was wedded to a form of practical religion that was quite unique in the world. They called it Confucianism Confucianism is a system of morality and behavior. It worships no mysteries supernatural god.
No is a concern was devils or Buddhists or Angelus SOS or spirits. We Chinese think of Confucius simply as a wise man a sage by diligence study and live application to the task. We hope to achieve his sagacity ourself. Indeed the greatest goal with men is to become a sage. Confucianism sets all things in the proper perspective. First loyalty media family a father and mother grandparents whatever else happens the family's interests must come first. That was Confucianism rooted deep in the Chinese scheme of things. Another facet of all China is even more important than Confucianism but considerably more difficult for the Westerner to understand a Westerner can hear the words to describe it. But can he truly comprehend the deep conviction that it holds for the Chinese. Since time began China has been the center of the world. China is not a nation. But a civilization surrounded by a world and
boy an ambassador from other nations expected to acknowledge celestial the sun of heaven as true to show homage to those I am was most always at. This was the famous kowtow. It was demanded from all and symbolize China's supremacy. A man was either a Chinese or a barbarian. There was nothing in between that to illustrate this attitude with one of the most classic mandates ever sent by the head of one state to the head of another. At the end of the eighteenth century Great Britain sent Lord McCartney as the envoy to Peking his purpose to make official arrangements for trade with China. Listen now to the words of the Emperor chin Leung addressing his answer to the king of England. You old king impelled by a humble desire to partake of the benefits of our civilization have dispatched a mission respectfully
bearing your memorial. The earnest turns in which it is couched reveal the respectful humility on your part which is highly praised by the dynasties majestic virtue has penetrated into every country under heaven. All nations to send tribute as your ambassador can see we possess all things. I have no use for your country's manufactures history fails to record the reaction in Buckingham Palace when that fascinating communique arrived. The British looked upon their king as Emperor of half the world. But in the eyes of the man he was but a vassal king and a small and barren island far off in the western sea. There are many other things we could recall about old China for example Chinese people first develop an exploding dust car fire medicine today we call it gun powder. We Chinese use it to my make firecrackers for celebration and to frighten away
demons. We Westerners used it among other things to invade China. We Chinese first developed writing paper when they did we in the West were still writing on the skins of animals not in a time then Ice-T when inventing a way of carving out Chinese characters and bags of wood which can then be used in printing and many centuries later Herr Gutenberg became the first westerner to use movable type run counter centuries when a man received a bad burn on his flesh. We Chinese applied and only some twenty years ago our medical researchers discovered the tannic acid was an excellent treatment for burns. And where does one find tannic acid in wet tea leaves. We use power that on balance to cure almost every disease known to man. Frankly this one has a stopped to this day Chinese pharmacies still sell their precious dragon bones. But in the West we can see that there are any good at all. But suffice it to say China old china and the new has never been quite as indolent and stupid as we in the West thought it was now or never quite as wise and profound as we were afraid it
was. What we have just given you is a picture far from complete of certain fundamentals of Chinese thought and habit. There is a Chinese culture and a Chinese Confucianism and the altogether Chinese persuasion that they form the one and only focus of civilization in the world. From such ingredients you might think the feeling of national unity would spring in full blossom. But for some curious reason it never did. Something was missing. The great the tragic missing link in the growth of Chinese nationalism was political unity. There had not been a Chinese emperor at the head of the country since the Ming Dynasty for almost three hundred years China had been ruled by the Manchus and not being Chinese the Manchus themselves were barbarians. But within the past century three major developments started China on the road to this elusive political entity. She so sadly needed. These were the Taiping Rebellion the Boxer Rebellion and the revolution of sun yet sent from 1832 to 1858 the great Taiping Rebellion
stormed across China. It was Chinese versus men Jews. A British secret agent named Thomas T Meadows happened to join the Taiping rebels on a mission for Queen Victoria Meadows left the world one of the most precise and colorful reports of that hectic era in his official report to the Queen Meadow says this. The mantra was still maintain a large top to get a sun net peaking under numerous important points in the provinces. The male sight of these garrisons has been a constant reminder to the Chinese. All that being under the domination of an alien barbarian race the Taiping many first a decidedly friendly feeling to Westerners. And although they apply to us the barbarian there still remains the essential circumstance that they call us barbarian brethren in which the first word is much modified by the second. The typings had revolted against the nine Chinese on the throne and this we now think was a first step toward nationalism. They had made a careful distinction between those who were and those who were not
Chinese but gradually the typings faded and China ended another long period of somnolence. Which would be shattered finally by the Ho-Chunk. The boxers during the latter half of the 19th century the onslaught of the West had been as irresistible as a type of incredible pressure forced the man to lose to grant one concession after another to the Western powers because of indignities and loss of life to citizens of the right. Germany need an indemnity in 0 0 and our commercial ties to the part of Jo-Jo in 1897 Chouteau was awarded to the Germans. The empower yellower Crofton government demands the full privilege of part after. And they allowed tongue turn young in 1898. Now dong and Port Arthur went to the Czar each gram for each payment served to provoke additional real or imagined incidents by which the Westerners could demand further concessions. China became a living example of the goose that laid the golden egg. Her Majesty's government demands economic and trade concessions that were a highway
and a 99 year lease on call on 1 10 because she she never tried to break the falls. France Britain Russia Germany the Western nations every slice China to pieces. As for the man she was they didn't like it of course. But once the first concession had been given it was somehow easier and less dishonorable to concede again. But in 1894 there came a demand from an unexpected quarter being a logical extension of the negro archipelago. The island the Formosa and the Pescatore as Popery belonged to the Empire of Japan. This shocked even the men choose Japan an Oriental country a one time vassal of China by Confucian doctrine. It was sacrilegious for a vassal to strike against his master. So this time China decided to fight. But she had taken a tiger by the tail and Chinese armies were smashed by the vigorous upstart in the land of the Rising Sun. John I recoiled back into its shell and pondered and trembled. Now that former vassals could force concessions from their master all was in sich confusion heaven earth fire and water had lost
their positions in the scheme of things and the yen and the young had reversed themselves without forewarning but not all Chinese were modeled by their traditional metaphysics. Some There were the intellectuals who began to sense a pattern among the barbarians. A pattern utterly lacking within China itself these Western nations they saw had a tight political unity and an aggressive national spirit Japan to calmly and methodically these intellectual set out to create something of the same sort for China. They knew it would take time. But what they did not know was that China had no time left. The fuse to the powder keg was already burning and the fire had come to close. The word cache was originally the name of a Chinese coin in circulation at the turn of the century. And cash was to be the root of China's destruction. Financial leaders up in Peking the Forbidden City had the power to give away Chinese cash as indemnities to the Western nations. But is that imams quickly exceeded the supply.
The man Jews knew only one way to get more mustard much gas. The Empress Dowager head of the mandrel government simply told her minister. More castors replied the bureaucrats in the provinces. We are required to raise more because of all the Forbidden City who simply passed the word along to the head men in the villages. More money for the government. And I had told the coolie in the rice field. But here the system broke down for the coolie could tell no one. I want Phil to each speak in this fashion. Oh Rice where before you grow but one stock. Now or henceforth you must go three if I am to pay my taxes. But alas no matter how I plead the rice continue to grow as he always has. And so the squeeze was on. The coolie had several alternatives but each was born of pure
desperation. He could very simply starve to death. Or he could sell his children into slavery or he could die in an effort to throw the barbarians out of China. Then with this dangerous situation developing throughout all of China in walked the society of the harmonious fists and China took at second major stride toward national unity. The Boxer Rebellion better than half a century has passed since the boxer uprising of 1900 and it is still difficult for historians to measure exactly what happened and why. But listen to James II Crump professor of Chinese at the University of Michigan. Though the emotions and reasoning behind the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 are complex there is little doubt that it was the first nationalist explosion in China of any consequence in one way it set the pattern for the next 50 years. It expressed a national sentiment even though in its most negative form. That of reaction against things and people non Chinese. Nothing was settled by the uprising but two Chinese immigrants throughout the world there
began to emerge a picture of China as a national entity not yet a state which could defeat the ever victorious Western powers. But one which could inflict a deep wound upon them and could be guided someday to a position of equality. There were several spokesmen for this new vision. One of them was a famous expatriate. Even then touring the world and making fiery speeches to students and merchants and Chinese overseas settlements. Why do you wear a queue. It's a sign of natural supremacy not to wear one in China. It would be your decapitation. This man was Sun Yat sen intellectuals and claimed that the changes toward which China was striving the achievements of their elusive political unity could be gained through a program of gradual reform. But to son yet son there was but a single promising course. He stated thus we must overthrow the monarchy by force even though the Emperor were Chinese instead of Manchu. We should still have to overthrow the monarchy but only Republican China will be able to bring
about the betterment which is our aim. We must develop the spirit of nationalism among the Chinese Why not then too. In 1900 at the very time of the boxer siege of Peking. Sonia Sen organized a group of 80 Chinese revolutionaries in Japan and brought them by ship to the China coast near a moiety purpose the forceful Invasion and Conquest of the men Jews. Within twenty five days these remarkable men had attracted an army of twenty thousand followers. Ultimately the expedition failed now through lack of spirit nor absence of recruits but for a very mundane reason. It ran out of supplies. Nonetheless Sun Yat Sen had established his point. The Chinese revolution must be brought about by violence. In China however nothing ever happens quite the way it is supposed to happen. True there was violence in China or better than 10 years the warlords flexed their muscles against each other raiding and banditry became common. But in the year 1912 after two hundred sixty eight years of
being in power the Manchu dynasty simply rotted away and collapsed. There were no revolutionary battles no landings on Amoy no dramatic conquests no liberating hero Nothing like a building wracked with termites the time of the house of the man Jews had come and it simply fell in upon itself. They generalisable the Manchu armies at this time was general yeah. He had a large force of troops barracked at Hanco and powerful Garrison scattered throughout the empire or what used to be the empire discovering there were no more men to bosses to whom he must be responsible. And being by nature an opportunistic individual general Jaan modestly named himself president and head of the Republic of China. Then he waited to see what would happen. Curiously this change the greatest Chinese political upset in three centuries was greeted with monumental indifference by almost everyone in China and in the world.
General yon could establish the new republic but he could not make up for the loss of Mantua administrative power. A dozen more lords sprang into power and their intrigues and shifting alliances plunged China deep into chaos. At this hour any every western nation could have marched into China and seized the entire country. But by a remarkable coincidence that the moment of China's greatest weakness all of Europe became embroiled in a world war. The Westerners were far too preoccupied to see the golden opportunity for the conquest of China but the Japanese were not. In the opening months of World War One the men in Tokyo released the Black Dragon memorandum the ministers and government of Japan will bring to realize a Chanel a great imperial policy and shell specifically decide upon the course of action towards China which shall be practical in execution. The intent was clear with Westerners out of the picture Japan could plunder China. Japan was ready for the first step January 18th 1015 she abruptly presented the
new Chinese Republic with the infamous 21 demands. They demanded that China employ Japanese advisors demanded special privilege for Japanese railway construction in China demanded special economic priorities for Japan. The 21 demands were a direct challenge a studied provocation. John I could accept them or fight China accepted and at that moment of common tragedy the pulse beat of Chinese nationalism which had been dormant since the Boxer Rebellion began once more to flutter. Where all the greatest intellects of China had failed. What even the sages and revolutionists had failed insult finally succeeded the war in Europe ended and diplomats met at their side to determine the fate of Germany and its possessions at least of their problems was the disposition of the old German concessions that Shantung profits. These concessions were transferred to Japan and the negotiators moved to more important affairs. May 4th 1999 use of this transaction reached Peking and the Chinese
were inflamed. They consider the fate of sham Tilman utter betrayal. The night of May 4th Chinese students rioted at the palace gate in Peking. They attacked the Chinese minister to Japan and burned the house of a cabinet minister who had pro Japanese sentiments. The rioting spread from speaking to one call to Canton Shanghai and King it was taken up by merchants and labor unions and the people themselves. For the first time in Chinese history the peasant the scholar and the merchant had found a common cause. No sooner did the rebellion against Japan begin to fade than a new wave of rioting broke out. This time against Great Britain again there were riots and boycotts. The surges of national spirit were coming more frequently now. That was in one thousand twenty five. Then a few years later the Japanese conquered Manchuria and installed the last of them and Jews and as puppet governor a fresh tide of anti parent anger swept through China. Meanwhile as the Japanese armies advanced in all directions curious events were taking place deep in the heartland of China the Chinese warlords had spent less time attacking the Japanese than they
had attacking each other. A better struggle for power raged in the hinterlands. One of the most powerful warlords was general chunk I shuk who had sent a powerful army against the town of Sea on there to attack and destroy the army of another warlord named Miles that December 936 unaware of secret negotiations between his own commanders and the enemy general Moll Gen.. Chung personally went forward to witness the impending battle and was kidnapped for two weeks was held prisoner in the enemy camp. Finally on Christmas Day of 1936 Joan was released and returned to his own army. He brought a startling announcement. Henceforth Jones Kuomintang army and the Army of the Communist Mao dong would join forces against the common enemy Japan. The agreement had been forced at the point of a gun. But it did come none too soon. Columns of Japanese infantry were marching into the major cities of China. The expected collision came July 7th one thousand thirty seven Japanese troops on a night of exercise near the Marco Polo Bridge ran into a force of Chinese irregulars.
Thus John I went to war against Japan. The spirit was rapidly building inside China. The spirit of national feeling in our Western tradition the great liberators men like Washington Garibaldi William of Orange. I don't spoken bluntly to their followers to warn of the trials and dangers that lay ahead. Listen. Ten days after the affair at the Marco Polo Bridge in his cooling declaration and while resistance is not an affair of six months or a year once the war is began it must be a war to the end. There can be no turning back to seek a piece of compromise it is the army to go in the greatest hardships and sacrifices that a people can hope to achieve final victory. Our war is that evolutionary war fought for national liberation. There should be no i accept final victory one month later Imperial Japanese naval forces landed at Shanghai surprisingly they were nearly hurled back into the sea by the furious Chinese. The battle for Shanghai raged for three full months and the Chinese defense corps out on
November 1st reported to his people their principle of China's resistance and the cost to all regions all down the rivers bind a vast interest. From that point of view of a strategy should not all but emphasize the importance of any particular point Austen. Russia received everywhere on all fronts. The armies of China have been on the march for nearly a quarter of a century now. Constantly fighting and marching. And fought Japanese Koreans Tibetans Burmese. They have deep within their homeland and out at the one time fringe of the Manchu empire. Always they have marched and fought and marched again. With this in mind we can better understand the words of one of modern China's greatest writers
like to lead you to. The story of China's birth as a modern nation is more tragedy than comedy. We were willing to preserve our old culture. But our own culture was not able to preserve us. China was an empire a civilization. A world by itself out of this civilization ruination. We entered a world where the right of a nation to exist is measured by the diameter of its gun and the speed of its bomb. So China has learned to fight. But she has not yet learned how to attain political unity for when Japan was defeated at the end of World War 2 this but within China cracked open again. It is still split today. We see in China that a modern example of a land still in the formative stages of nationalism measured by any Western model she is not yet a true nation. But she has many attributes of a nation a rich cultural heritage a philosophy of Confucianism for a common religion language all her own. Whether or not she will finally fuse into a nation and when this phenomenon might occur remains a
question for the future when Professor Crump once again quotes Dr Lin Yutang China is in the midst of a great historical epic comparable to those great epics in history like that of the contact of the Roman world with Christianity or that of Renaissance Italy or Elizabethan England. When man's mind was vouchsafed a new vision and his imagination was set free and inspired. I'm. One nation indivisible. One of a series of 13 radio documents on nationalism in the twentieth century.
Resource advisor for this program was James II Crum associate professor of Chinese at the University of Michigan. The program was written by William Bender Jr. and narrated by Lou Hamers included in the cast were Chinese students attending the university and members of the Wu awin radio guild. The program was directed by Williams and was produced and transcribed by the broadcasting service of the University of Michigan. One nation indivisible is produced underground in aid from the educational radio and television center. And is distributed through the National Association of educational broadcasters.
One nation indivisible
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University of Michigan
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
China: The ideal of national unity grows slowly under the impact of the West and is exploited by communism.
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A documentary series about nationalism in the 20th century.
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Global Affairs
Politics and Government
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Narrator: Hemmers, Lou
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-17-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:00?
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Chicago: “One nation indivisible; China,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 3, 2023,
MLA: “One nation indivisible; China.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 3, 2023. <>.
APA: One nation indivisible; China. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from