Sun Yat Sen in London

Lead: A failure at revolution, Sun Yat-sen, was given the exposure he desperately required by a Chinese government who ordered him kidnapped in London, a half a world away.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the wake of the crushing defeat Japan handed China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1895. A young revolutionary, born in south eastern China made his first attempt at bring revolution to China.

Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Chinese Revolution, was actually educated in Hawaii. His brother, a prosperous rancher and planter was an ex-patriot. He sent for Sun and paid for his education at missionary schools in Hawaii. It was there he began to be attracted to Christianity and after further schooling in Hong Kong, he was baptized in 1884. Though he studied medicine his real attraction was to politics and in January 1895, when the Japanese were making short thrift of the Chinese government forces, Sun saw his chance for a coup. It was a miserable failure and Sun found himself on the run (good pun). Pursued by Chinese agents across the Pacific and through the United States, the aspiring revolutionary leader was coming to know the deep frustration that failure provides for those who taste its bitterness.

 

Read more →

History’s Turning Points: America’s Chinese Obsession II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s great turning points – America’s Chiang Kai-Shek obsession.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In a 1927 match made in Chinese political heaven, ambitious General Chiang Kai-Shek, one of the founders of the Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, married Soong May-ling, the sister-in-law of Revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen. Soong was a Christian and was educated in the United States. She attended boarding school in Georgia and Wellesley College. Her personal ties to many Americans, stated inclination toward democratic institutions, and Chiang’s alleged conversion to Christianity won for them extraordinary support in the United States in the 1930s and during World War II. This was despite the clear corruption of his regime and the on-going struggle with the Chinese Communist Party for control. This power couple seemed for many Americans a formidable bulwark in favor of democracy and Christianity and against international Bolshevism and fascist Japan.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [115.60 KB]

History’s Turning Points: America’s Chinese Obsession I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Consider one of history’s turning points – America’s Chiang Kai-shek obsession.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the most fascinating diplomatic and personal alliances of the twentieth century was that between the people and government of the United States and Chinese strongman Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his fourth wife Soong May-ling.

Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

Download [116.00 KB]

Hong Kong II

Lead: In the early 1840s, to protect its merchants and their trading interests, Great Britain was seeking a trading base on the east coast of China. Captain Charles Elliot was in charge of the search.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the mid-1900s China, from ancient time the superior civilization in Asia, regarded all foreigners as barbarians. Concessions by Qing Dynasty of Emperors permitted European trade but only through the City of Guangzhou (or Canton). Foreign merchants had to stay in small enclosures called factories erected on the outside of the City. The British had been trying to secure diplomatic relations and a liberalized trade policy, but the Chinese rejected such overtures because this would have reflected equality. Dispute over the import of opium, however, gave the British the opportunity they needed. The Opium Wars demonstrated western military superiority and forced China to deal.

Read more →

Hong Kong I

Lead: Seeking a trading base on the coast of China, Britain used military and diplomatic muscle to acquire what was considered, at the time, a relatively useless island at the mouth of the Pearl River.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: European trade with China reached back to the adventures of the Polo brothers in the 12th century. After the publication of Marco Polo’s Le Devisiment du Monde, Europe’s fascination with all things Asian was insatiable. No fashionable London mansion, Parisian palace, or Milanese villa would be complete without Chinese porcelain or decorative art. Imported Asian spices became an essential part of the western European diet and Chinese silk an irresistible feature of clothing for even the lower classes. It was the huge popularity of oriental tea, however, that drew the great powers of Europe into direct intervention in the affairs of China and its neighbors.

Read more →

Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi II

Lead: Always reluctant to surrender power, Tzu-Hsi, Empress Dowager of China, the mother of Emperor Kuang-Hsu, in 1898 led a palace coup to defeat attempts at reform and modernization.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1852 Tzu-Hsi, a delivered his only son to the emperor of China. At the old man’s death in 1861 the widow assumed control of the nation as regent. When her son died 15 years later, quite possibly by her order, she installed her nephew as emperor and continued to rule behind the scenes. This was a ruthless and intimidating woman who had under her spell the young emperor his court who lived behind the walls of the Forbidden City that secret royal enclave in heart of Beijing.

Read more →

Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi I

Lead: Powerful, cunning and ruthless, Tzu-Hsi, Empress Dowager of China, effectively ruled the for five decades.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1852, at the age of seventeen, the young beauty Tzu-Hsi was conscripted from the lower middle ranks of Manchu society to become one of the concubines at court of the Emperor Hsien-Feng. Behind the walls of the Forbidden City she began to learn the arts of intrigue. There in sequestered luxury Chinese emperors lived among a vast retinue of submissive officials, eunuchs, concubines and servants. Tzu-His learned well. Through sheer force of character and cunning this ingenious woman became one of the most powerful women in the history of China.

Read more →

Fireworks

Lead: Brought from China by Italian traders over five centuries ago, fireworks are enticing, spectacular, complex and especially dangerous. We love them.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sometime in the ninth century of the Common Era, Chinese alchemists combined the enriching powers of potassium nitrate, or saltpeter, with charcoal and sulfur. Francis Bacon, the English philosopher, said the resulting wizardry revolutionized the world. Lacking a true gun, however, the Chinese could make little more use of gunpowder in warfare than fire lances and war rockets. Therefore, they used it primarily for entertainment. Not so the Europeans. When they got hold of gunpowder, the cannon soon became a vital component of continental militarism. The social and political landscape of Western Europe and then the world was changed.  

Read more →