Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Golfo Alexopoulos, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Keese Boterbloem, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Iwa Nawrocki, Ph.D.


United Front, Modern China, Revolution, Mao, Jiang


The 1924-1927 United Front period has long been understood within a civil war context. The major revolutionaries of ethnic Han origins and the myriad of Comintern advisors that played significant roles have subsequently all been evaluated in those terms. My work decenters the civil war narrative in order to dislodge the rigid labels that have historically accompanied the identities of the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist Party. When re-evaluating the activities of the First United Front as a loosely defined tactical alliance, the White Terror -perpetrated by the GMD onto Communists and their affiliated members – then becomes a moment of permanent dichotomization of Communist and Nationalists groups. Analyzing the activities of the First United Front without rigid Communist and Nationalists labels, aids in clarifying the organizations actions. Moreover, when viewing these activities within the broader context of a global anti-colonial movement, the shared goals of the tactical alliance become more comparable to many of the ideological tenets driving self-determination in the twentieth century.

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