The “Anti-Hungry, Anti-Civil War” Movement at Yenching University


In May 1947, there was a student protest called “Anti-Hungry, Anti-Civil War” Movement, which played a key role in overthrowing the Kuomintang government, and instigating students to support the Chinese Communist Party(CCP). During the protest, Yenching University, as a Christian University, took full use of its advantages to participate in the protest unexpectedly. Yenching was once considered as a product of Western civilization, and a tool of invading China. But during the movement, Yenching became a main force of the protest and a helper of the CCP. 1. Why did it happen? Firstly, Yenching was no longer worthy of the fame of ’Noble College ‘ during the Civil War. Secondly, Yenching’s motive to be more Chinese, and the Yenching Spirit had shaped more patriotic students. Thirdly, America-backed Yenching had more free environment to fight with the local government. Fourthly, the underground CCP was very strong in Yenching. 2. What is the process of the movement in Yenching? It underwent 4 steps to promote the protest. 3. What is the attitudes towards the movement among different forces? The local KMT government did not suppress Yenching students’ protests in public. The U.S. Ambassador John Leighton Stuart, who was the first principal of Yenching, reacted paradoxically. The college officials and professors tried their best to protect students, and wisely communicated with the government and the Board of Trustees in New York. Most of the students supported the movement, but kept neutral in political standing.

Author Information
Meng Jin, Peking University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - History, Historiography

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon