This concluding chapter sums up the key findings of this study on the history of Republican Beijing. It argues that Republican Beijing, despite its imperial structures, was definitively a modern city, especially if modernity is understood to be a condition of existence structured by large-scale capitalist-industrial production in an integrated world characterized by bureaucratic nation-states and a people's consciousness of and actions to define their position in this integrated world. The chapter explains that the approaches of the people of Republican Beijing to both the past and the future were marked by a sense of selectivity. They actively dealt with and gave meaning to the present in which they were living, believing in its significance for the future rather than waiting to shed tradition and embrace a future defined in Western terms.
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