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Breaking with the PastThe Maritime Customs Service and the Global Origins of Modernity in China$
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Hans van de Ven

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231137386

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231137386.001.0001

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Imperium in Imperio: 1914–1929

Imperium in Imperio: 1914–1929

(p.172) Chapter Five Imperium in Imperio: 1914–1929
Breaking with the Past

Hans van de Ven

Columbia University Press

This chapter takes the financial story up to the Nationalists' formation of a new government in 1928. It considers how Francis Aglen, Hart's successor at the Customs Service, accumulated financial power and became a protector of Chinese bondholders, including against foreign interests. It also explores how Gu Weijun, a leading Young China figure, made tariff autonomy, extraterritoriality, and control over the Customs Service into key demands of Chinese nationalism by his bravura performances at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the 1921–1922 Washington Conference. In the same way that the Customs Service was a key factor during the 1911 Revolution, it shaped the 1926–1928 Northern Expedition, which led to the ascendancy of the Nationalists. Aglen's refusal to raise promised additional Customs revenue for the northern government and the assistance provided to the Nationalists by Shanghai commissioner Frederick Maze tipped the financial scales in favor of the Nationalists and secured for Maze his succession of Aglen as Inspector General.

Keywords:   Chinese Maritime Customs Service, Francis Aglen, Chinese bondholders, Gu Weijun, nationalism, China, Inspector General, Nationalists, Frederick Maze

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