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Ferlanti, Federica (2010)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: BR, HX, DS
This paper discusses the origins and the implementation of the New Life Movement (NLM) in the Jiangxi Province between 1934 and 1938. Based upon primary sources produced during this period, it explores how the Nationalist Party utilised the NLM for the purposes of national reconstruction and social mobilisation. The first section analyses how elements of anti-communism, Christianity and state Confucianism came into play in the NLM; the second section analyses how the Nationalists reinforced the idea of ‘hygienic modernity’ by projecting it into the realms of state building and mass mobilisation; the third section discusses the changes introduced in society by the Nationalists with the creation of semi-governmental organisations; and the fourth section examines the involvement of the NLM with preparation for the war against Japan (1937–1945). The paper argues that the NLM had a lasting impact on Chinese society, and it contributed to shape citizenship and national identity.
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    • Han-ming), New Life for Kiangsi (Shanghai: The China Publishing Company, 1935),
    • pp. 175-176. 7 'Jiang Jieshi: Xinyun zhounian jinian gao quanguo tongbaoshu [Chiang Kai-
    • Movement]', 19 February 1935, in Zhongguo di'er lishi dang'an guan (ed.), Zhonghua
    • hereafter ZMSDZH], ser. 5, pt 1, Politics (5 vols.), (Nanjing, China: Jiangsu guji
    • chubanshe, 1994), vol. 5, pp. 774-775. 8 Douglas R. Reynolds, China 1898-1912: The Xinzheng Revolution and Japan,
    • (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 62. 9 Quoted in Ibid., pp. 62-63. 23 By July 1934, Yang Yongtai's position seemed to be further strengthened and
    • destroying 10 Italian planes at the Nanchang Airport in June 1934 to cover up a case
    • of embezzlement. Sun Caixia (1997), pp. 218-219, 225-226. 24 Xin shenghuo yundong cujin zonghui (ed.), Minguo ershisan nian Xin shenghuo
    • yundong zong baogao (General Report on the New Life Movement, 1934), (Xin shenghuo
    • yundong cujin zonghui chuban, 1935), p. 112; hereafter XSYB-1934. 25 XSYB-1934, pp. 112-113. 26 Ibid., pp. 140, 143, 144. 27 Ibid. Figures gathered from table 4, pp. 43-51. 28 Xin shenghuo yundong cujin zonghui (ed.), Minguo ershisi nian quanguo Xin shenghuo
    • yundong (The New Life Movement throughout the Country, 1935), (Xin shenghuo
    • yundong cujin zonghui chuban, 1936), p. 753; hereafter XSYB-1935. 32 http://www.rotaryshanghai.org. See the section on history: RC Shanghai
    • Rotary Review, November 1939. 33 'Tongji Hukou xian Wutongling bangfei yudang [Order of Arrest for the
    • (Jiangxi Provincial Government Gazette), no. 2, (2 October 1934), p. 15. 34 Ibid., pp. 14-15. 35 According to Stephen Averill, the Brave and Righteousness Corps for Communist
    • Jiangxi recovered by the Nationalists. Averill (1981), p. 603. 36 Similar occurrences took place in Manchuria after 1931, where some bandit
    • China, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 192-194. 37 Ibid., pp. 29-31, 132-142. 38 By the term Christian community I intend the National Christian Council of
    • China, the YMCA and the missionaries. 39 The Nanchang YMCA branch first opened in 1918. By 1925 the new building
    • (1987), pp. 26-27. 40 Deng Shukun (1984), pp. 71-73. The author refers here to the Lichuan project
    • which is described later. 41 Copy of 'China Mail File No. 146', January 8, 1935, YMCA, WS 27a, China
    • 1935, quoted in Thomson (1969), pp. 164-165. 42 'Hanfa qingnianhui ji gejiaohui shenghuo fuwutuan zuzhi jianze [Letter
    • to the YMCA and Every Church]', 1935, in XSYB-1935, pp. 248-249. 43 'Zhonghua jidujiao qingnianhui ji jidujiao ge jiaohui Xin shenghuo fuwutuan
    • Church's New Life Service Corps]', 1935, Ibid., pp. 263-264. 44 'Fascist Methods of Salvation', The North China Herald, 18 April 1934; William
    • Paton, Christianity in the Eastern Conflicts (London: Edinburgh House Press, 1937),
    • p. 57. 45 The Xi'an Incident in December 1936 would contribute to a change of attitude
    • of the Christian community towards Chiang Kai-shek. Also by May 1937 'four of
    • the movement's top executives were former YMCA secretaries'. Thomson (1969),
    • pp. 190-191. 46 Ibid., pp. 85-86, 173, 174; Young (1935), pp. 76, 87. 47 Young (1935), pp. 55-56. 48 Thomson (1969), pp. 111, 119-120. 49 At the end of 1935 the General Association moved to Nanjing and during the war
    • late 1937 and to Chongqing in 1938. It moved back to Nanjing in 1945. The movement
    • continued as long as the Guomindang stayed in power. Xiao Jizong (1975), pp. 198-
    • 207. 50 On Shepherd's involvement in the NLM in mid-1930s, see Thomson (1969);
    • Ibid., pp. 175-184, 194-195; on his experience on rural reconstruction in Jiangxi,
    • vol. 26, no.102 (April 1937), pp. 167-176. 52 On the changes in society introduced by the Communists, see He Youliang,
    • Soviet Areas), (Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo shuju, 1996). 53 On this aspect, see Stephen C. Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China's
    • Jinggangshan Base Area (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), pp. 109-123. 54 Wei (1985), pp. 137-138. 55 'Minguo yuan nian zhi ershiliu nian jiaoyu wenhua jingfei yilanbiao'
    • (Comprehensive Tables on the Expenses for Education and Culture from 1912 to
    • 1937), 1937, in ZMSDZH, ser. 5, pt 1, Education (2 vols.), vol. 1, p. 118. 56 Jiangxi elementary schools in 1934 enrolled 390,750 students in 8,699 schools
    • and 16,867 teachers. 'Ershisan niandu Jiangxi sheng ge xianshi chudeng jiaoyu
    • County and City in Jiangxi Province for 1934), Jiangxi jiaoyu (Education in Jiangxi),
    • no. 19 (May 1936), p. 47. 57 'Minguo shijiu jian zhi ershisan nian ge shengshi jiaoyu jingfei gaikuang [Survey
    • on the Funds for Education from 1930 to 1934 in Each Province and City]', May
    • 1935, in ZMSDZH, ser. 5, pt 1, Education (2 vols.), vol. 1, p. 113. 70 GSG, Archives of President Chiang Kai-shek, 08A-02060, 'Quanguo xialing
    • Hygiene Campaign Nationwide]', 1935, p. 9. 71 Nanchang shi difang zhi bianzuan weiyuanhui (ed.), Nanchang shi zhi (Nanchang
    • City Gazetteer), (Nanchang: Fangzhi chubanshe, 1997), vol. 4, p. 401. 72 Yip, Ka-che, Health and National Reconstruction in Nationalist China: The Development
    • of Modern Health Services, 1928-1937 (Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Asian Studies,
    • 1995), p. 90. The 'Report of Director-General of National Health Administration' for
    • 1943 confirms that by then every county had established its health centres. Quoted
    • 3rd ed., 1944), Table I, p. 17. 73 'Jiangxi quan sheng weishengchu jinu¨ jianyan guize' (Regulations of the Health
    • Jiangxi sheng zhengfu gongbao, no. 46 (24 November 1934), pp. 5-7. 74 The Western Lens was the equivalent of the Magic Lantern in the West. 75 XSYB-1935, pp. 198-207. 76 It entailed the selling of newspapers and books and the writing of letters on
    • someone's behalf. 97 Ibid., p. 431. On the students' propaganda teams travelling from Nanchang to
    • Set [the Date of] the 30th to Set Off to Spread Propaganda), JMR, 28 March 1934. 98 XSYB-1934, pp. 437-438. 99 Ibid., pp. 470-472. 100 Ibid., pp. 268-269. 101 JPA 43-12-0220, 'Nanchang shi funu¨ fuwuyuan tuan jinxing gaikuang [A Work-
    • Promotion of the New Life Movement), no. 4 (20 September 1934), p. 26.
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