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Chapter Seven "Modern Spirit," Institutional Change and the Effects of Warlord Government Associations in the Early Republic
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"Modern Spirit" and the Restructuring and Proliferation of Native-Place Organizations

Although huiguan remained active throughout the Republican period, preexisting native-place institutions did not merely persist and adapt. In the political and social ferment surrounding the 1911 Revolution, the disclosure of China's acquiescence to Japan's Twenty-One Demands in 1915 and the May Fourth Incident of 1919, native-place sentiment experienced both rebirth and "modernization," if such a term may be applied to an old cultural tradition. It is precisely this reformulation of an old cultural institution that makes the study of "traditionalistic" social forms important for understanding Chinese modernity.

In the early Republican period new types of native-place associations (tongxianghui ), which rejected the elitist outlook of the older huiguan , appeared. Spurning the religious and oligarchic rituals of huiguan , the new associations noisily adopted rituals of democracy, publishing voting procedures, notices of meetings, correspondence and finances and vying with the Beijing government for the numbers of times they revised their constitutions.[7] Rejecting the traditional architecture with its central altar, stage and courtyard, the new native-place organizations chose for themselves secular high-rise Western-style buildings with lec-


ture halls, product-display rooms, newspaper-reading rooms, recreation rooms and offices built over shopping arcades.

The founding constitution of the new Shaoxing association indicates the political models which informed the organizational change.[8] The Shaoxing Lü Hu Tongxianghui was established in 1911. Following the forms and rhetoric of republicanism, it organized itself with an "assembly" (yishihui ) and a "speaker" (yizhang ). If the new organization and terminology were more democratic than were huiguan , stipulating such things as "public elections" of officers, limited terms of two years and majority rule, it is important to suggest the limitations of what these features could mean in practice. Tongxianghui were certainly more inclusive organizations than huiguan : whereas huiguan meeting notes generally list from ten to sixty members present at meetings (and did not have a specified membership, because it was obvious to the merchant elite who should enter and who should not), published lists for tongxianghui range from several hundred to as many as ten thousand members. Nonetheless, not everyone could join. The constitution stipulated that the association was limited to adult male sojourners "of good character" from Shaoxing prefecture who were introduced by members of the association and approved by the association. Such conditions obviously omitted all women and most likely the unemployed and the poor.[9]

Although these stir-consciously modern associations rejected "traditionalistic" aspects of older native-place associations, in particular their


elitist leadership and customary procedures of governance, they did not reject the principle of organization according to native-place origin. Contrary to the presuppositions about the withering of "particularistic" and "traditionalistic" ties we have imposed on our understanding of this period, contemporaries did not view native-place ties as an obstacle to strengthening China as a modern nation. Rather, they reaffirmed the importance of native-place ties, fashioning their image of modernity out of the protean raw material of native-place community. A history of the Jiangning Tongxianghui presents a typical contemporary critique of old-style huiguan and explains the development of tongxianghui :

The functions of huiguan and gongsuo are to store coffins or ship them back to the native place, as well as to worship gods and perform jiao rituals. As for modern spirit . . . certainly they were insufficient as organizations. In this century, thinking about popular government increased and the spirit of organization also became more common. People with some modern knowledge all desired to associate in social organizations, solidify native-place sentiment and perform necessary acts to benefit the public. . . . Therefore the Jiangning Tongxianghui was formed in 1913.[10]

Although the rhetoric and formal institutional structure of new native-place organizations suggested a clear break with "traditional" associations, such distinctions were less clear in practice. The decade after the Revolution of 1911 witnessed growth in social organizations of all sorts, some traditional in form and function and some not. The overall number of native-place associations (huiguan and tongxianghui ) increased, as did the numbers of their members. During this organizational ferment native-place sentiment became identified with the goals of nationalism and modernization that were deemed necessary to save China.

The Birth of Tongxianghui . A convenient index of social organizations in the early Republican period may be found in the successive editions of Shanghai zhinan (Guide to Shanghai).[11] In a section entitled "public enterprises" (gonggong shiye ), the guidebook listed the names and addresses of Shanghai charitable, educational, and religious


associations, hospitals, museums, cemeteries, huiguan, gongsuo and many institutions less easily categorized. As new associations developed, they appeared in this listing. Although comparison of these listings with other sources suggests that the guidebook was not complete and listed new types of organizations only after a delay of several years, it nonetheless indicates trends in the formation of associations.

The guidebook reveals the intense organizational activity of the period and the proliferation of social organizations in general, and a comparison of the 1910, 1914, 1916, 1922 and 1930 editions shows how this general organizational "bloom" was experienced specifically in native-place organization. Growth of native-place associations is indicated by the numbers of entries in the guidebook:

















These numbers not only reveal growth in native-place organizations, but show, moreover, that the traditional huiguan increased during this period, as did the newer associations called lü Hu tongxianghui (literally, associations of fellow-provincials sojourning in Shanghai). Tongxianghui , which numbered fewer than ten in 1911, do not appear in the guidebook until 1916, when twenty-one such organizations are listed. This pattern of dual growth continued into the 1930s. Although tongxianghui represented greater numbers of people, the number of huiguan continued to exceed the number of tongxianghui . The Commercial Directory of Shanghai (Shanghai shangye minglu ) of 1931, for example, lists sixty-eight huiguan and fifty-four tongxianghui .[12] These numbers reflect the growth of sojourning populations over most of this period, the increasing subdivision of the geographic native-place units and the persistent importance of huiguan . In fact, communities which did not formally organize until this period and first established tongxianghui went on to crown their efforts by constructing huiguan .[13]


Let us examine the origins of these tongxianghui , a new and distinct organizational trend of the Republican period. The first tongxianghui were born in the atmosphere of the late Qing reforms and the local self-government movement surrounding the Republican revolution. They continued to increase in number throughout the Republican period, growth spurts often coinciding with periods of popular social mobilization. In May and June 1919, for example, notices in the Shenbao announced the formation of at least ten new native-place organizations. Many of these added the goal of resisting foreign aggression to their statements of purpose.[14]

Different native-place communities gave birth to tongxianghui at different times, in response to differing circumstances. Among the earliest tongxianghui were those of Huzhou, Haining, Ningbo and Shaoxing (all Zhejiang prefectures) and of Gansu and Anhui province. Each of these associations was established before 1912. In some communities the impetus for the formation of tongxianghui came from workers. In other cases it was students who demanded new, more modern and more accessible forms of association. Because of these differences, it is useful to describe the formation of two contrasting associations.

The Ningbo Tongxianghui, which would be highly influential throughout the Republican period, developed after the politicization of the Ningbo community in the 1898 cemetery riot, an event which hastened changes in the internal power structure of the sojourner community. The rise of Shen Honglai and his well-organized artisan and worker constituency challenged traditional oligarchic huiguan rule. When huiguan directors accommodated Shen by incorporating him into the huiguan power structure as general manager in 1901, Shen used his new position to make the leadership more accountable. As a check on the entrenched group of directors, Shen organized a second managerial group, the gongyi lianhehui , composed of representatives of all occupational groups within the huiguan . As general manager for more than a decade, Shen succeeded in modifying but not radically restructuring the traditional huiguan .[15]

In 1909, while still serving as gongsuo manager, Shen shifted tactics


and directed his energies toward the creation of a new kind of native-place institution, outside the Siming Gongsuo. The new association Shen established, called the Siming Lü Hu Tongxianghui, was a more broadly based association intended to serve the needs of ordinary Ningbo sojourners.

Although the new institution became permanent, Shen's influence ceased with his death, which came shortly after he founded the association. Without Shen the tongxianghui floundered. It was revived in a coopted form in 1911 by Zhu Baosan, a powerful comprador-director of the Siming Gongsuo. Zhu raised funds for a new building on Fuzhou Road and renamed the association the Ningbo Lü Hu Tongxianghui. Zhu's action suggests that the huiguan elite found the organization of a popular native-place association under their patronage very much to their benefit. From this moment onward, relations between the new association and the old appear harmonious. The leaders of the tongxianghui were dongshi of the Siming Gongsuo.[16]

A division of labor developed between the two Ningbo native-place associations. The gongsuo became, increasingly, a center for ceremonial, religious and charitable activities and was somewhat remote from day-to-day business, family, and political affairs. The tongxianghui devoted itself to a broad and expanding range of social, economic and quasi-juridical functions. As tongxianghui developed in other sojourning communities a similar institutional division of labor occurred, though some communities—Jiangxi sojourners, for instance—never developed tongxianghui outside their huiguan .[17]


The new Ningbo Tongxianghui proved popular and soon outgrew its headquarters. In 1916 Zhu Baosan and other Siming Gongsuo leaders sponsored the construction of a grander building on land costing fifty-six thousand yuan on Tibet Road. This tongxianghui , a large, western-style five-story building, was completed in 1921, for an additional construction cost of one hundred fifty thousand yuan. It became the model for later tongxianghui . On the first and second floors were lecture halls used for meetings and rented out for tongxiang marriages. The third floor housed a library and reading room and a separate periodicals room with local and Ningbo newspapers. The fourth floor served to display Ningbo products and manufactures. The fifth floor offered an exercise room and space for genteel recreations—music appreciation, arts and letters. A Chinese-style hall was maintained on the ground level for ceremonial occasions (see Figure 8).[18]

The features of the Ningbo tongxianghui building suggest that, like the Shaoxing Tongxianghui, the Ningbo association accommodated a restricted clientele, consisting of the literate middle and upper classes. Although we might imagine that some petty urbanites could find their way into the building if they had connections, the building was clearly not designed for the use of workers, nor could it accommodate very large crowds.[19]

The tongxianghui displaced the Siming Gongsuo as a social center for the community. The primary concern and constituency of the tongxianghui (like the huiguan ) were Ningbo merchants and property owners in Shanghai. Nonetheless, the tongxianghui departed from huiguan social practice in significant ways. The tongxianghui took the service of the broader sojourning community in new directions. With the proclaimed goal of "spreading the spirit of local self-government," the tongxianghui sought not just to provide charity for those at the lower levels of the community hierarchy but specifically to improve and reform them. In the 1920S this involved the modern reformist and social-science-tinged practices of "investigating social conditions," "main-


Figure 8.
The Ningbo Tongxianghui on Tibet Road. Source: Shanghai
(Shanghai pictorial magazine) 6 (November 1985):38.

taining occupational statistics," "reforming social habits," "exchanging knowledge" and "promoting sanitation."[20]

The self-consciously modern social program of the Ningbo Tong-xianghui was not merely window dressing. In 1921 the tongxianghui managed five elementary and middle-level schools (with names like


"Ningbo Voluntary Republican School") for Ningbo children. This number increased to eight by 1927. The tongxianghui itself became an educational institution, offering a weekly adult lecture series on a range of topics concerning science, social progress and economic improvement. Among the lectures sponsored by the tongxianghui in 1921 (the numbers attending are noted in parentheses) were "Social Progress" (480); "Law and Morality" (352); "The Function of the Atmosphere" (220); "Epidemic Diseases" (189); "Social Darkness and Light" (450); "Product-Display Centers and Their Relation to Commerce" (285); "The Function of Coal" (293); and "The Key to Business Success" (257).[21]

In contrast to the Ningbo community, the socially more conservative Chaozhou sojourners did not establish a permanent tongxianghui until the late 1920s. As a result, although the Chaozhou Huiguan handled many of the new types of business thrust on native-place associations by the social problems of the Republican period, the organizational form and governing process do not appear to have undergone even superficial "modernization" or "democratization." Huiguan meetings were usually attended by ten to thirty directors. Although the directors deliberated as a group, the most powerful individuals among them routinely dominated discussion. Among these were the leader of the Shanghai pawnshop association, several wealthy businessmen with fortunes based originally on opium money but invested in diverse enterprises, and the director of the Mingxing Film Studio.

Although others in the Chaozhou community were nor powerful enough to overturn this oligarchy, challenges developed in the early 1920s. The huiguan was financially strained by increased public and private demands emanating from both Shanghai and Chaozhou. In 192l, struggling over scarce resources, the three constituent regional bang bickered over access to huiguan seals, and huiguan managers stressed the importance of unity in order to resist outside pressures for funds.[22] In 1923-24, financial pressures worsened and the dongshi resolved that no matter what group or government organ pressured them to fund military expenses, they would uniformly refuse.[23]

Challenges to huiguan oligarchic decision making came in the con-


text of competition for huiguan resources. In 1926 a group of Chaozhou students in Shanghai demanded the establishment of a more democratic native-place association. In that year the huiguan was considering what to do with a piece of property in the French Concession, formerly a burial ground, from which the remains had been removed to a newer cemetery. One influential huiguan member (whose wealth and power may be linked to opium) proposed the establishment of a hospital for indigent fellow-provincials. This traditional, conservative expression of benevolence was announced in the Shanghai newspaper as the decision of the huiguan .[24] Two days later a newly inaugurated Association of Chaozhou Students Sojourning in Shanghai published a counternotice calling for an immediate meeting of Chaozhou sojourners from all circles (gejie ) to meet and discuss the most appropriate disposition of the land. The students also sent this demand to the huiguan .[25]

Although this was not the first time the huiguan had received communications from students, it was the first time student demands were presented so publicly and so forcefully. The huiguan , accused of representing only the merchant elite, acceded to the student demand. In the meantime, probably at the instigation of the huiguan leadership, a no-rice entitled, "Repudiate the Spurious Association of Chaozhou Students Sojourning in Shanghai," appeared in the next day's newspaper. Signed by students outside the student association, it denounced the "bogus" student association as an improperly constituted minority faction.[26]

When the student association presented its case in huiguan meetings on November 13 and 21, the most outspoken representative was not actually a student but Zhang Jingsheng, a notorious fringe figure of the New Culture Movement.[27] Zhang put forth two "modern" lines of ar-


gument as to why oligarchic management of tongxiang property had to end. First, the huiguan leaders were undemocratic. Second, current practices were unprofitable: "In the past the dongshi have had total authority, but in these matters they need to ask people's opinions. I believe we should ask everyone to assemble for discussion and hear the decision of the majority of people from Chaozhou. The [dongshi plan for using the land] is secure but would only produce a limited amount of money. I think there is better way. [Building a tongxianghui ] would not just benefit the scholarly community, but would serve the interests of all Chaozhou people." When the reluctant dongshi argued that indebtedness from the construction of the new cemetery precluded consideration of the students' project, Zhang criticized the lavishness of cemetery expenditures, a criticism which reflects a generational and political conflict between "enlightened" students, impatient with money wasted on old, "superstitious" rituals, and the older leaders of the huiguan .[28]

The students plan for the greater social welfare of the tongxiang was modeled after the already well-established and powerful Ningbo Tongxianghui:

Chaozhou people in Shanghai are increasingly numerous and they don't yet have a recreational meeting place. Although there are three huiguan their scale is small. . .. The [new] huiguan will have four stories. The first two floors will have shops. On the third floor a large hall will be constructed which will be rented out for marriages, funerals and all kinds of meetings. The fourth floor will have the association offices and other clubs. The form will be like the Ningbo Tongxianghui. Although it won't be as large or magnificent, it will be as nice as we can economically afford.

The shop and meeting-hall rentals would cover the operating costs of the tongxianghui . Any additional profits would support educational ventures and Chaozhou students in Shanghai.[29]

The students failed in their mission, but they damaged the dongshi claim to represent the larger community. Compelled to confront tongxiang who accused them of elitism, the dongshi finally argued that they had the authority to make the decision because they, not the broad community, had in fact purchased the contested land. The students chal-


lenged the huiguan leaders' preemptive action in court, embroiling the huiguan in troublesome litigation. Other groups of Chaozhou students also published notices expressing outrage at the unwillingness of the dongshi to meet with the greater tongxiang community. Forcing a modern democratic meaning onto the paternalist rhetoric of the Chaozhou huiguan , they argued that although the land was huiguan property, the huiguan was the institution of the Chaozhou people. Therefore, although responsibility lay with the huiguan , the overall authority lay with the Chaozhou people.[30]

The students' interest in native-place organization was both natural and calculated, heightened by their desire for access to huiguan resources. Three demands published by the student association—the first (involving foreign encroachments on Chinese territory) expressing nationalism; the second (involving a petition to Chaozhou officials in regard to land-rent matters) expressing involvement in native-place affairs; and the third calling for democratic measures contributing to their own well-being—together illustrate the compatibility in practice of multiple loyalties (native-place, national, and student) and old and new ideas.[31]

In its struggles with contending groups of fellow-provincials, the Chaozhou Huiguan held out much longer than did other huiguan .[32] Nonetheless, by the early 1930s the huiguan coexisted peacefully with a Chaozhou Tongxianghui, a broader-based, more overtly political association which threw itself into nationalist and anti-Japanese propaganda efforts, social welfare services in Shanghai and refugee relief.[33]

Student and Worker Native-Place Associations . Although huiguan and tongxianghui were the major forms of native-place association in this period, as the stories of tongxianghui formation demonstrate, they were not the only kinds of organization by native place. Both huiguan and tongxianghui subscribed to the rhetoric of an all-inclusive native-place community, regardless of class or social group.


They were, nonetheless, understood to have a primarily elite constituency, with the huiguan representing the business elite and the tongxianghui including a larger commercial community as well as journalists, educators and intelligentsia. The growth of these native-place institutions, associated with commercial circles (shangjie ), was accompanied by the development and growth of associations of sojourning students (lü Hu xueshenghui ) and coexisted with a variety of native-place trade and worker associations (bangkou, she, gonghui ). Precise trends in the formation of these associations are difficult to outline: because their native-place composition is often not revealed by their name, many of these associations escape detection.[34]

Student associations followed a pattern of development similar to that of tongxianghui , finding their origins in the early-twentieth-century reforms and new educational institutions. Twenty-four student associations, associations of sojourning students among them, appear in the 1916 edition of Shanghai zhinan . Often student associations are listed according to school, masking the fact that many schools (particularly trade and business schools) were sponsored by native-place associations or dominated by students from one or two regions. Beneath the school-level organizations which are listed in guides and directories, students belonged to native-place student associations which are often not listed. Although there was a Fudan University Students' Association, for instance, there was also a Fudan Chaozhou Students' Association. There were also overarching native-place student associations that transcended school boundaries—for instance, the Association of Fujian Students, which met at the Fuzhou huiguan (San Shan Huiguan), and the Association of Zhejiang Students Sojourning in Shanghai.[35]

Although students criticized huiguan as superstitious and traditionalistic, the fact that "modern" students did not find native-place organization in itself objectionable is evident in the prevalence of native-place associations at the radical Shanghai University (Shanghai daxue , hereafter Shangda). The most radical students participated in Shangda tong-


xianghui as a matter of course and as a matter of necessity.[36] A former Shangda student, Zhong Fuguang, who studied with the Communist labor organizer and party historian Deng Zhongxia, recalled the Sichuan tongxianghui as meeting both political and personal needs: "This was a form resulting from the party's method of organizing everyone into groups. At the time, if you didn't belong to an organization, there was no way to be politically active. Therefore there were many provincial tongxianghui at Shanghai University. Other schools were the same. The main activities of the tongxianghui were to bring together people's feelings and unite people. Everyone was studying outside his or her native place. If something came up it could be taken to the tongxianghui ."[37] Zhong's suggestion that the tongxianghui form derived from party initiatives is mistaken, of course, but it confirms that there was no perceived contradiction between native-place organizations and social revolutionary goals. Zhang's statement also indicates the usefulness of native-place sentiment and organization as vehicles for effective social mobilization.

Among Shanghai workers, native-place organization developed from the moment they immigrated or were recruited to work in the city.[38] A variety of native-place bang —among the most prominent in Shanghai, the Guangdong bang , Ningbo bang , Shaoxing bang , Wuxi bang and local Shanghai (ben ) bang —organized Shanghai labor from the opening of the port in 1843 through the Republican era.[39] Just as the contributions of tongxiang merchants in support of education strengthened (though by no means explains) student organization by native place, patterns of recruitment, deployment and labor control strengthened worker organization by native place. The owners of Chinese enterprises


recruited tongxiang managers and foremen, who in turn recruited tongxiang workers. Foreign owners of Shanghai enterprises similarly relied on Chinese labor recruiters, who reproduced this pattern.[40]

Whereas regional groups monopolized specific trades in the late nineteenth century, by the early Republican period the shifting fortunes and populations of different groups led to a more complex situation of shared participation in specific trades and enterprises. That bang ceased to monopolize specific occupational niches did not mean that the various regional groups mixed or that the importance of bang diminished. Instead, labor and industry in the 1920s and 1930s were characterized by bang subdivision within the multi-bang work unit.

Shanghai textile mills were dominated by Shaoxing, Ningbo and Subei bang .[41] Workers at the British-owned Shanghai Tramway Company were divided between the Ningbo and Subei bang , which dominated separate divisions within the company. Shaoxing people, introduced by Shaoxing relatives and recruited by a Shaoxing forewoman, predominated in the leaf-packing department at the British-American Tobacco Company. Subei women worked in the more strenuous rolling department. Flour-mill workers at the Fuxin mills were divided between Hubei and Wuxi bang , each of which dominated different sectors of the machine room. Among those who worked on the riverfront, most of the dockworkers were from Subei; most of those who worked in warehouses, from Ningbo; and most of those who worked with cargo on the ships, from Guangdong.[42]

As with student associations, it is important to assess the social and political character of worker native-place bang. Bang divisions could


mean competition and rivalry, interethnic tensions, harassment and fighting.[43] In the same manner as student native-place organization, worker native-place organization occurred at levels which subdivided but could also transcend their institutions of work. In other important respects, however, the omnipresent native-place organization of workers differed from that of students. The leaders of worker bang tended not to be ordinary workers but foremen, labor contractors and even merchants and minor officials.[44] Moreover, membership and allegiance were more automatic than voluntary.

Communist labor organizers who surveyed Shanghai in 1921 noted that preexisting organic associations among workers—both regional bang and gang-type organizations—posed a major obstacle to the formation of worker unions. Nonetheless, although they viewed native-place bang as a kind of feudal tie which subjected workers to the manipulation of officials and compradors (not to mention retrograde gang bosses and contract brokers), in order to organize labor effectively party organizers learned that they had to work with the preexisting bang , making friends with their leaders and, through them, attempting to radicalize their members.[45]

Although native-place organization among Shanghai workers was enduring, this did not mean that worker organization did not change or "modernize." The continuity of the names of such organizations— bang, bangkou —as well as a variety of terms with religious associa-


tions—tang, she —suggests a certain continuity in the character of these worker associations, at least through the May Fourth period. Materials from the mid-1920s, however, reveal the growth of more secular native-place worker associations, often called lü Hu gonghui (sojourners' union) or zhu Hu laogonghui (association of laborers staying in Shanghai), reflecting both labor-organizing efforts and the increasing radicalization of the Shanghai proletariat.[46]

The Subdivision of the Native-Place Community . Some idea of the plethora of native-place associations coexisting in 1919 is provided by the partial listings of associations of Guangdong and Zhejiang fellow-provincials that appear in Tables 1 and 2.[47] These lists are not comprehensive and are meant only to suggest the range of associations within each native-place community.

This varied list of associations indicates several important developments of the early Republican period. First, it demonstrates a growing articulation of "social circles" (jie ); that is, the separation, both in language and in organizational identity, of layers of businessmen and merchants, students, workers and sometimes journalists. Whereas several decades earlier, general appeals to the tongxiang community did not normally specify groups within the community, now appeals to fellow-sojourners "of all circles" (lü Hu tongxiang gejie ) or to tongxiang "of commercial, student, worker and journalist circles" (shang-xue-gong-bao jie ) expressed the differentiation of separate interest, status or economic groups. In the May Fourth period, appeals to greater tongxiang community were still possible, though no longer with the suggestions of brotherhood or ritual equality that characterized the nineteenth-century tongxiang community.

Second, although the formation of new associations certainly meant a splitting off from the old huiguan , this splitting was not necessarily antagonistic. New associations lacking their own buildings (as was especially the case when these associations were not commercial associa-


tions) commonly met at the building of the older association. For instance, the pawnshop association met at the Chao-Hui Huiguan; the Hangzhou Tongxianghui met at the Qianjiang Huiguan; the Suzhou Tongxianghui met at the Jiangning Gongsuo; the Jiading Tongxianghui met at the Cake- and Bean-Trade Gongsuo; the Fujian Student Association met at the San Shan Huiguan; and Ningbo workers' associations held important meetings at the Siming Gongsuo.

Third, the proliferation of groups reflects increasing geographical fragmentation. As the populations of fellow-provincials in Shanghai increased, there was increasing subdivision Within the community according to smaller geographical units of native-place origin. Nonetheless, the interaction of these groups, viewed through the meeting notes of Ningbo and Chaozhou associations, suggests that this type of division did not mean competition or antagonism among newly subdivided units. Geographic subdivision of the native-place community resulted, rather, from growth in Shanghai's immigrant populations over the course of this period and each group's attainment of a "critical mass," a combination of numbers and wealth. In practice, on major issues groups from the same province combined forces and worked together, issuing joint telegrams and meeting together in the largest of the tongxiang meeting places.[48] At moments of political urgency the increasingly diverse native-place groups coalesced into overarching federations. As Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) headed northward in the Northern Expeo-dition, many Shanghai native-place associations gathered under provincial-level umbrella associations, organized to preserve peace in their native provinces and to support the formation of a Shanghai Municipal Government. Among these were the All-Zhejiang Association (Quan Zhe gonghui ) and the All-Anhui Consultative Committee (Quan Hui xiehui ). Multiprovince regional associations were also formed, such as the Three Provinces Federation (Sansheng lianhehui ), created by Ningbo, Shaoxing, Wenzhou, Jiaxing, Hangzhou and other tongxianghui . One announcement of the formation of an all-province association explained that such an organization was needed to integrate the diverse Anhui native-place groups into a systematic and overarching organization.[49] In practice the flexibility of the native-place tie provided both the convenience of local communities for day-to-day purposes and


Table 1.
Guangdong Associations in Shanghai (1919)


Guang-Zhao Gongsuo

Shunde Huiguan

Nanhai Huiguan

Chaozhou Huiguan

Chao-Hui Huiguan

Jie-Pu-Feng Huiguan


Zhaoqing Tongxianghui

jiaying Wushu Lü Hu Tonxianghui

Lü Hu Dapu Tongxianghui


Guangdong Club (Guangdong julebu)

Guangdong Sojourners' Reconstruction Association

Guangdong Sojourners' Commercial Association

Chaozhou Sugar and Miscellaneous-Goods Association

(Chao-Hui) Third-Class Pawnshop Association

Fudan Chaozhou Students' Association

Association of Guangdong Seamen

larger combinations with greater political clout when the issue was the nation.

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Chapter Seven "Modern Spirit," Institutional Change and the Effects of Warlord Government Associations in the Early Republic
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