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The Revolutionary Movement And Vernacular Journalism

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Chapter Summary

Western scholars have not hitherto carried out systematic research on the vernacular journalism of the late Qing era. In Chinese scholarship, the "baihuawen movement" of the Late Qing period has often been named as one of the origins of the New Culture Movement of the May Fourth era. Most of the advocates of a "literary revolution" in the 1910s gained their first experiences with baihua writing during the last years of the Qing dynasty, a fact also mentioned in Hu Shi's autobiography. The year 1905 was not only marked by the foundation of the Revolutionary Alliance but also by more general changes in the newspaper market. If we compare the baihua journals of the revolutionaries between 1903 and 1905 with the general numbers of baihua periodicals for which we have evidence, it is clear that the revolutionary movement indeed contributed to an increase of baihua publications during 1903.

Keywords:baihua writing; baihuawen movement; late Qing era; literary revolution; May Fourth era; newspaper market; revolutionary movement; vernacular journalism; western scholars



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