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The petition movement asking for the immediate convocation of a nationa assembly in China early in the 20th century (1)
We know that a large scale petition movement asking for the immediate convocation of a National Assembly occurred in China. I have been interested in this movement, especially what kind of the movement it was, and how democratic it was. In this paper, I have tried to discuss the following two points. 1)The petition movement had four stages in its development. In this paper I deal with the first two stages and in the next paper I will discuss the remaining two stages. The first stage of the petition movement was promoted by the delegates of each Provincial Assembly(諮議局). At the second stage, many people, namely, Circles of "gentry, commerce, educational"(「紳・商・学」界), Eight Banners(八旗) and Chinese overseas(華僑) also joined the movement. At that stage many people organized the Association of Comrades Requesting the Immediate Opening of Parliament(請願速開国会同志会) which supported the opinion movement. The Society changed its name three times, but it finally became a nationwide organization. The headquarters of the Society moved from Shanghai(上海) to Beijing(北京). Most of the Provinces had its branch. (2)In the movemenet, we had seen many democratic factors. The followings are its two examples. a. The members of various associations held meetings and elected leaders of the association and petition delegates. b. While these associations grew bigger, their members tried to collect signatures for petition, they held meetings, made speeches and enlightened the necessity of constitutional government, distributing pamphlets and handbills in the simple languae.
広島大学総合科学部紀要. I, 地域文化研究