2006 UCSB Hist 2c TA Heidi Marx-Wolf prepared this handout to help her sections prepare for the source analysis on the midterm exam. She agreed to give the whole class access to this model of what the answer to a source analysis might look like. [Week 5=May 1-5, 2006; midterm on May 4]
Prof's note, 5/3/06, 11pm: I've added my own sample 10-minute answer to the question, in the right-hand column, below.

2C Section Homework – Week Five

Your assignment was to do the following source analysis. I know that you did not do the reading in the textbook yet for Sun Yat-Sen. It comes in Chapter 9, pp. 336-38. But one thing to keep in mind is that you can always look ahead if you’re confused about the significance of a specific reading in the reader. The textbook segments are usually only a couple pages long.

The text between the horizontal lines below is from the 2003 midterm study guide:
In 1923 Sun Yat-Sen wrote:

"In the age of autocracy, the masses of the people were fettered in spirit and body so that emancipation seemed impossible. Those who worked for the welfare of the people and were willing to sacrifice themselves for the success of revolution not only did not receive assistance from the people but were also ridiculed and disparaged. Much as they desired to be the vanguards, they advanced without reinforcement. It becomes necessary that, apart from destroying enemy influence, those engaged in revolution should take care to develop the constructive ability of the people. A revolutionary program is therefore indispensable."

In this text, what does Sun Yat-Sen see as the forces (causes) preventing the revolutionary liberation of the people of China? How do these causes compare with what a Marxist revolutionary would see as the basic determinant of revolution? What strategy does Sun Yat-Sen suggest to propel the revolution to success? In light of what we now know about the success of his movement, was his assessment of the situation correct? (Hint: use the EIEIO mnemonic.)
Professor's note, 5/3/06, 11pm: In the left-hand column below is Heidi's answer that she discussed in her sections based on several questions, including 'what part of the prompt did the author not answer?' (answer: the strategy Sun Yat-Sen suggests). After listening to the discussion in section, I offered a simpler (well, in my professorial opinion at least) answer that I would find acceptable, that relies more on a careful reading and interpretation of the text. In the right-hand column is my 10-minute answer to the source question.

This question asks you to compare Sun Yat-Sen’s idea of a political revolution, a total change in governmental structures and systems, with the Marxist idea of a revolution. The main point of comparison is what role the majority of the people must play in a revolution. So as far as you EIEIO mnemonic goes, you want to focus on the relationship between leadership and the people. Here’s my attempt to do the assignment.

In this text, Sun Yat-Sen sees lack of assistance or popular support by the people as the main force preventing the revolutionary liberation of the people of China. Sun Yat-Sen was a nationalist revolutionary who wanted to create a new, modern China under republican, or eventually democratic, leadership. Hence, it was vital for him that he garner popular support. He based his nationalist ideas on racial categories that distinguished between the "true Chinese", the Han, and other ethnic/racial groups like the Manchus. For a few centuries, the Manchu Qing dynasty had ruled China. Sun Yat-Sen played an important role in the eventual demise of this dynasty. But, as the quote indicates, Sun Yat-Sen seems not to have felt much support from his fellow Chinese within China. In fact, most of his support came from ex-patriot Chinese living elsewhere in the world either in exile or as a result of immigration under population pressures and economic hardship. His call for popular support and disappointment with the way the Chinese people actually disparaged and ridiculed revolutionaries like himself is closely parallel to Marx. Marx felt that his economic and social revolution had to happen as a result of a popular uprising as well. It was the Proletariat, the working classes, which had to rise up and seize control over the means of production. The most important difference between the two revolutionary thinkers, however, is that Marxist communism doesn’t subscribe to any kind of nationalist ideology, and in fact thinks that nationalism is counterproductive to his own kind of revolution because it creates a conflict of interest. In other words, he wants people’s main commitment and identification to be to their socio-economic class – the Proletariat - and not to their nation. In the case of both Sun Yat-Sen and Marx, the case could be made that both revolutions happened without the kind of popular uprising both felt they needed. In fact, it was people like Sun Yat-Sen and Lenin, intellectuals and people who traditionally came from the middle, educated classes who tended to lead the revolution.

Professor's 10-minute answer:

Sun writes that the "masses of the people" did not possess the right mindset ("fettered in spirit") or ability ("...and body") to realize that they should follow the elites who wanted to lead them to emancipation. In fact, they actively rejected those elites. For their part, the elites did not realize they could not overthrow the oppressors on their own, but needed the support of the oppressed masses. Those oppressors are the Qing Manchus--foreign conquerors (they could be considered an international factor) of the Han Chinese. In terms of the EIEIO mnemonic, the Elite revolutionary vanguard failed to gain the support of the mass of the pOpulace to Oppose the International occupying dynasty, because that pOpulace did not have the right Ideology. Sun suggests education ("develop the constructive ability of the people") as the strategy to employ for success. [However, if you remember the full source text from the reader, you would know that nationalism is the ideology he thinks will unite common people and Han elites.]

A Marxist would have said that the "masses" did not follow the revolutionary vanguard because of Economic reasons--they did not share the same interests because of their different relationship to the means of production.

[In order to answer the last part, you would have to have read the textbook pages in chap. 9, as Heidi notes.]
Ultimately, not nationalism but socioeconomic changes brought down the Qing empire. New economic elites (urban merchants and entrepreneurs) and economically motivated mutinies brought down the old empire in 1911-12 and enabled Sun to come back to China and set up his vision of a multiracial state.

[back to 2006 midterm study guide]

Reading Questions: [for Heidi's week 5 sections]

  1. What is nationalism? How might it be a legacy of the French Revolution? How does it come to function as a kind of new identity category in the period we are studying?
  2. According to Bolivar, what have been the worst aspects of Spain’s rule in Latin America, and what are the chief grievances against the Spanish?
  3. What type of government does he think will work best after independence?
  4. Does he want one large country or several smaller and separate ones? Why do you think things didn’t go the way he wanted?
  5. What class do you think Bolivar belongs to? Who is he advocating for? Who is he not concerned about?
  6. Why would Mazzini’s father have hid French newspapers?
  7. How and why does Mazzini’s account resemble a religious conversion? How is nationalist identity replacing religious identity in this period?
  8. What are the similarities and differences between Mazzini’s nationalism and the nationalisms found today in various parts of the world still undergoing nationalist and independence movements?
  9. Against which other political and economic doctrines or ideologies does fascism define itself?
  10. What is fascism? Can you find a quote in Mussolini’s piece that gives us some idea?
  11. How is nationalism related to fascism? How are both different from Marxism or the Erfurt Program of the Social Democrats in Germany?

Handout by Heidi Marx-Wolf, May 2, 2006; prepared for web by H. Marcuse, 5/2/06
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