Three revolutionaries of the Chinese Republic: Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu Bingchang [三位民国时期的革命者: 何启,孙中山与傅秉常]

Foo, Yee-Wah (2012) Three revolutionaries of the Chinese Republic: Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu Bingchang [三位民国时期的革命者: 何启,孙中山与傅秉常]. Studies on Republican China, 21 . ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This paper traces the crossing of paths at certain times between the lives of three great revolutionaries of the Republic, Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu Bingchang. The aim of this paper is not to describe the life of Sun Yatsen, but rather to introduce the relatively unknown characters of Ho Kai and Fu Bingchang, for unlike the well chronicled life of Sun, far less is known about either Ho Kai or Fu. Fu was related to Ho Kai by marriage. I believe the connections between these three gentlemen are important because, as this paper will show, each one was influenced or influenced by the other, quite significantly. Indeed, the connections between Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu were based on a number of different levels, each of them noteworthy: family connections, friendships, teacher versus student connections, business links - and most important of all, the revolution itself. By 1869, the second generation of missionary trained Chinese, such as Ho Kai, combined liberal western views with a sound knowledge of China and sympathy with Chinese aspirations. They spoke English fluently, and had experienced western methods of business and politics. Men such as Sun Yatsen listened to many a lecture on democracy from his teacher at the Hong Kong College of Medicine, Dr. Ho Kai. The Ho family had profited from their religious education because they were able to use the knowledge they had learned to deal effectively within the colonial world. Missionary schools were a gateway to a new and inviting culture, that of the west. Although Ho Kai was known as a reformist, he was actually much more active in helping Sun and the revolutionaries. Sun was sufficiently influenced by Ho Kai to entertain the idea of joining the reformist group at first, but changed his tactics after he had made some unsuccessful approaches to the reformists with his letter to the Viceroy Li Hongzhang. After this, Ho Kai went over to Sun’s side. Sun acknowledged his intellectual debt to Ho Kai, and indeed had hoped to use Ho Kai as an envoy to the west after the republic was established. When Sun was organizing his uprisings he needed money and troops. These were provided in large part by Fu Bingchang through his connections in the Prince’s Clique in the Maritime Customs and the wealthy merchants of Hong Kong. The Prince’s Clique was a network under the leadership of Sun Ke, the eldest son of Sun Yatsen. Inspired by Sun and the revolution, Fu would go on to play a big part as a legal advisor in the repealing of the unequal treaties – unquestionably closing one of China’s most humiliating chapters in history.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This paper traces the crossing of paths at certain times between the lives of three great revolutionaries of the Republic, Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu Bingchang. The aim of this paper is not to describe the life of Sun Yatsen, but rather to introduce the relatively unknown characters of Ho Kai and Fu Bingchang, for unlike the well chronicled life of Sun, far less is known about either Ho Kai or Fu. Fu was related to Ho Kai by marriage. I believe the connections between these three gentlemen are important because, as this paper will show, each one was influenced or influenced by the other, quite significantly. Indeed, the connections between Ho Kai, Sun Yatsen and Fu were based on a number of different levels, each of them noteworthy: family connections, friendships, teacher versus student connections, business links - and most important of all, the revolution itself. By 1869, the second generation of missionary trained Chinese, such as Ho Kai, combined liberal western views with a sound knowledge of China and sympathy with Chinese aspirations. They spoke English fluently, and had experienced western methods of business and politics. Men such as Sun Yatsen listened to many a lecture on democracy from his teacher at the Hong Kong College of Medicine, Dr. Ho Kai. The Ho family had profited from their religious education because they were able to use the knowledge they had learned to deal effectively within the colonial world. Missionary schools were a gateway to a new and inviting culture, that of the west. Although Ho Kai was known as a reformist, he was actually much more active in helping Sun and the revolutionaries. Sun was sufficiently influenced by Ho Kai to entertain the idea of joining the reformist group at first, but changed his tactics after he had made some unsuccessful approaches to the reformists with his letter to the Viceroy Li Hongzhang. After this, Ho Kai went over to Sun’s side. Sun acknowledged his intellectual debt to Ho Kai, and indeed had hoped to use Ho Kai as an envoy to the west after the republic was established. When Sun was organizing his uprisings he needed money and troops. These were provided in large part by Fu Bingchang through his connections in the Prince’s Clique in the Maritime Customs and the wealthy merchants of Hong Kong. The Prince’s Clique was a network under the leadership of Sun Ke, the eldest son of Sun Yatsen. Inspired by Sun and the revolution, Fu would go on to play a big part as a legal advisor in the repealing of the unequal treaties – unquestionably closing one of China’s most humiliating chapters in history.
Keywords:Fu Bingchang, Sir Kai Ho Kai, He Chi, Sun Yatsen, Chinese Revolutionaries, Chinese Republic
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V241 Chinese History
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:6520
Deposited By: Yee-Wah Foo
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 13:03
Last Modified:16 Nov 2012 13:03

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