Public Works, Modernity, and Chinese Nationalism in Shanghai, 1911-1941
Gao, James Z
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This thesis focuses on the roads and public services created by the SMC because they are a topic which clearly illustrates the ambiguity of colonial modernism in Shanghai. This colonial modernism, which in Shanghai was largely instigated by the SMC, is a process which not only made the Chinese victims of colonial modernity, but also taught the Chinese the value of this Western modernity. This thesis explores these thoughts in terms of the actual use of land in Shanghai to build roads and the administration of these roads, but also includes the use of land for other public services. While much of the recent literature on Chinese modernity has moved to cultural areas such as film, architecture, and fashion, this essay will attempt to re-examine the urban expansion of Shanghai by focusing less on the diplomatic aspect of this topic and instead on examining the use of each parcel of land as a part of the urban infrastructure and how this affected the modernization and nationalism in China. It will do so by exploring the urban expansion of Shanghai, especially the building of roads and other public services, during the majority of the Chinese Republican Period. The essay is divided into four chapters based on major changes in the expansion of the International Settlement and the relationship between the SMC and its Chinese and other counterparts. The first chapter discusses the time period from 1911-1915 when the SMC continued to expand as they had previously done during the Ch'ing dynasty. The second chapter focuses on the years 1916-1927 when formal expansion was no longer a viable option and the SMC turned to building extra-Settlement. The third chapter discusses the years between 1928-1936 when the KMT created a new administration in Shanghai and the SMC slowly began to lose control of the roads to the new Chinese administration. The final chapter discusses the disruption of urban expansion during the Japanese war and occupation from 1937-1941. This essay will attempt to examine the urban expansion of Shanghai by focusing less on cultural aspects and instead on use of land, construction of roads, and the development of urban infrastructure, which gave rise to colonial modernism and Chinese nationalism.