China's Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing

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University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2013 - Art - 316 pages
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When the Chinese Nationalist Party nominally reunified the country in 1928, Chiang Kai-shek and other party leaders insisted that Nanjing was better suited than Beijing to serve as its capital. For the next decade, until the Japanese invasion in 1937, Nanjing was the "model capital" of Nationalist China, the center of not just a new regime, but also a new modern outlook in a China destined to reclaim its place at the forefront of nations. Interesting parallels between China’s recent rise under the Post-Mao Chinese Communist Party and the Nationalist era have brought increasing scholarly attention to the Nanjing Decade (1927-1937); however, study of Nanjing itself has been neglected. Charles Musgrove brings the city back into the discussion of China’s modern development, focusing on how it was transformed from a factional capital with only regional influence into a symbol of nationhood-a city where newly forming ideals of citizenship were celebrated and contested on its streets and at its monuments. China's Contested Capital is an important contribution to the literature on twentieth-century Chinese urban history and the social and political history of one of China's key cities during the Republican period.

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