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The Everlasting EmpireThe Political Culture of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy$
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Yuri Pines

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134956

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134956.001.0001

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Imperial Political Culture in the Modern Age

Imperial Political Culture in the Modern Age

(p.162) Chapter 6 Imperial Political Culture in the Modern Age
The Everlasting Empire

Yuri Pines

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the modern trajectory of those major aspects of traditional Chinese political culture that discussed in the previous chapters. It shows that the concept of political unity remained the least affected by the advent of modernity. However, the principle of monarchism collapsed immediately with the advent of the new age, and the intellectual elite likewise saw a gradual erosion in their political power. Descending the traditional social ladder, the chapter arrives at two groups whose positions changed dramatically in the wake of the twentieth-century upheavals: local elites and the commoners. The first were, along with the emperor, the chief victims of China's entrance into modernity; the latter—now referred to in the modern parlance, as “the masses”—were supposed to be its major beneficiaries, and certainly gained a lot, though less than what might have been expected.

Keywords:   imperial political culture, modernity, Chinese political culture, political actors, Chinese history, modern China, political unity

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