본문 바로가기
  • Home

The Open Ports and Late Qing Formation of 'Nation-state' Conceptions -Focus on Birth of Modern 'Chinese National History' as National History-

  • 중앙사론
  • 2008, (27), pp.47-85
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Chunbok Lee 1

1중앙대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Late Qing birth of ‘Chinese National History(中國史)' as National History(國家史 or 國史) was closely related with the process of the nation-state building in modern China since the concept of the modern ‘Nation-state' of the western world was first introduced during the 10 years of the beginning of the 20th century(Xinhai(辛亥) Revolution period) Based on this understanding, this essay places its focus on the formation of ‘nation-state' and the birth of ‘Chinese National History(or Chinese History study)' -both of which are crucial in understanding modern Chinese history, at the same time attempting to examine a historiographical side of ‘the genealogy of National History. Historical backdrop of the appearance of ‘Chinese National History' is closely linked to the breakdown of the traditional Chinese word-view(天下觀) and new formation of nation-state concepts. As they felt the collapse of the Chinese world-view, the racial extinction and national fall very imminent, late Qing intellectuals tried hard to seek an alternative. They finally accepted ‘nation-state' theories as a new political community appeared. However, considering that late Qing historians' ‘nation-state' concepts came from the diverse and mutually different sources like J,J. Rousseau's ‘social contract theory' and J.K. Bluntschli's ‘state theory', it's natural that Qing intellectuals' 'nation- state building' models were divided in two kinds. The process of nation-state building and the formation of national identity which appeared in late Qing period interrelated with the birth of 'Chinese National History(or New History studies)'. The 'New History studies', which in the beginning of the 20th century, criticized the Chinese traditional history studies, provided the basic system and directivity of 'Chinese National History' as 'National History'. It did this through 'history revolution' and 'history reform' advocated by historians which accepted modern conceptions of 'people' and 'state', etc. In the new structure of 'National History' were included national name 'China' instead of dynasty names, national History name 'Chinese National History' instead of Dynastic history. and additional writing and publishing of 'Chinese National History', and so on. History involves a common memory, and its structure can be determined from the genealogical evidence. This genealogy of national history related to the origin of modern nation-state was usually an invention of late Qing age. Nationalist historians then transformed the Yellow Emperor into the earliest ancestor of the Chinese nation, and then transformed persons of pre-modern into modernized national heros. However, the Yellow Emperor and national heroes in the pre-modern age was reconstructed and embellished by the historians who accepted the modern western concepts of the 'people' , 'nation state' and so on. In fact, their national histories mirrored their national-state consciousness formed in the 20th century.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.