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The Power of PositionBeijing University, Intellectuals, and Chinese Political Culture, 1898-1929$
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Timothy Weston

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520237674

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520237674.001.0001

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National University under Siege

National University under Siege

(p.215) Chapter 7 National University under Siege
The Power of Position

Timothy B. Weston

University of California Press

The May Fourth Movement left Beijing University with two overlapping legacies as it headed into the 1920s, one intellectual and cultural, and the other political. Beida's prominence attracted political opportunists in search of a larger audience. Beida appeared to have its best opportunity in several years to begin to develop into the world-class university that Cai Yuanpei and his associates envisioned. Cai's resignation provoked a storm of outrage throughout Beijing's academic community that fed into a growing tide of radicalism across the country. Beida's student activists moved rapidly to merge the movement against Peng Yunyi with extra-university political and social struggles. A full-fledged movement aimed at bringing about Beida's restoration and autonomy got under way. Beijing University was not nearly as vibrant as it had been in the 1920s, and even in Beiping it was rivaled by Qinghua University academically and in terms of political activism.

Keywords:   National University, May Fourth Movement, Beijing University, Cai Yuanpei, Qinghua University, Peng Yunyi, political activism

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