Commemorating the Nanchang Uprising: How the Chinese Communist Party Legitimized Its Use of Force, 1933-1953 Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Bush, Sara M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • Drawing upon theoretical concepts from the field of memory studies, this thesis argues that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders emphasized doctrinal priorities, mobilized troops, and legitimized their use of military force in part through annual commemoration of the August 1, 1927 Nanchang uprising, which they declared to be the founding event for the armies that became the PRC's armed forces. Tracing the evolution of the Nanchang uprising narrative between 1933, when CCP leaders first officially commemorated the event, and 1953, when Chinese involvement in the Korean War concluded, reveals new insight about how the Communist leaders used collective memory to recruit support for its continued use of military force, even as strategic priorities evolved. Official party documents and party-authored editorial articles directed at the public from 1933 to 1953 suggest that party members constructed a commemorative narrative about the 1927 uprising that they saw as legitimizing the party's military actions.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History."
  • Tsin, Michael
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  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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