Is 1911 Revolution Inevitable?

Daren Ruan

100 years of Chinese Revolution Lecture Series

Working Language: Chinese
A lecture followed by discussion.  Soft drinks and refreshments provided.

In view of the Han vs. Manchu discord, the 1911 Revolution is a nationalistic revolution of the Han people against Manchu rule. But had the Qing Dynasty been a Han Chinese regime, then would the 1911 Revolution still break out? To what extent and in what sense, we can regard the 1911 Revolution as a “historical accident”? Still, toward the end of the Qing era, China was facing a crucial situation of drastic change unprecedented in three thousand years. The backward and malfunctioning Qing political system no longer satisfied the new needs of Chinese society and failed to resolve the socioeconomic contradictions triggered by the transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society. As such, was the 1911 Revolution one of the inevitable milestones of great historical change? What is the real historical meaning to the new Chinese elites of the current age? Now 100 years  after the 1911 Revolution, has the China of today already accomplished this great historical transformation? Or rather, is contemporary Chinese society approaching another critical juncture in the great historical transformation, not unlike a century ago? The lecture will last an hour, to be followed by Dr. Ruan’s discussion with the audience on the causes and contemporary relevance of the 1911 revolution.

Daren Ruan, after B.S. graduation from National Taiwan University, came to the United States in 1965. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Notre Dame University, MBA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford. He taught at various universities, and also worked in the Silicon Valley high-tech sector and also in banking. Dr. Ruan belongs to a prominent family of Kuomingtang elite. His grandfather witnessed the 1911 Revolution as a Tongmenghui (Revolutionary Alliance) member. Buttressed with his family background and wide-ranging interests, Dr. Ruan has devoted himself to the study of the republican era Chinese history, with particular expertise in the leading personalities and their anecdotes. He has been a long-term contributor to the Biographic Literature published in Taipei. A vivid public speaker with superb command of historical sources and collaborative references, Dr. Ruan is held in high regard by specialists in modern Chinese history who often rely on his knowledge and always enjoy his company. 


Thursday, October 06, 2011 | 7:00 pm — 8:30 pm
Nitery Building in Old Union - Room 209

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