Li Ta-chao

Li Ta-chao:

see Li DazhaoLi Dazhao
, 1888–1927, professor of history and librarian at Beijing Univ., cofounder of the Chinese Communist party with Chen Duxiu. He was the first important Chinese intellectual to support the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
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Li Ta-Chao


Born Oct. 6, 1888, in the district of Laot’ing, the province of Hopeh; died Apr. 28, 1927, in Peking. The first Chinese propagandist of Marxism. One of the founders and leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

From 1907 to 1913, Li Ta-chao studied at the Peiyang School of Politics and Law in Tientsin, and from 1913 to 1916 he studied at Waseda University in Tokyo. He became involved in the democratic struggle during the Hsin-Hai Revolution (1911–13). In 1916 he began his collaboration with the progressive journal Hsin ch’ing-nien (New Youth) and several other publications. He was active in the democratic movement for a new culture, a movement begun in 1915 by the progressives among the Chinese intelligentsia. In 1918 he became the director of the library of Peking University; he also lectured on political economy and subsequently on a number of subjects at the university. In 1918 he published articles hailing the victory of the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, which influenced him to become a Marxist and to begin spreading Marxist ideas in China. In 1918–19 he was active in the creation of student organizations and their press organs. In 1919, Li Ta-chao was the ideological leader and one of the organizers of the May Fourth Movement. In March 1920 in Peking he organized the Society for the Study of Marxism. Active in establishing the first Communist circles, in 1921 he helped found the CPC. He was the director of the North Chinese Bureau of the CPC and a member of the Central Committee of the CPC (from 1922). In February 1923 he was one of the leaders of the strike by the workers of the Peking-Hankow Railroad.

Li Ta-chao played an important part in establishing cooperation between the CPC and the Kuomintang, led by Sun Yat-sen, in 1923–24; in developing a new program for the Kuomintang; and in creating a joint revolutionary front based on cooperation between the CPC and the Kuomintang in 1924. He was then elected a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang. Li Ta-chao compiled a biography of V. I. Lenin in Chinese. In the summer of 1924 he headed the delegation of the CPC to the Fifth Congress of the Comintern in Moscow. In April 1926 he was forced to go underground because of persecution by Chinese warlords. He was arrested and executed in April 1927.


Izbrannye stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from Chinese.)


Chang Tz’u-chi. Li Ta-chao hsien-sheng chuan (Biography of Li Ta-chao). Peking, 1951.


References in periodicals archive ?
Before his conversion to Marxism, Meisner claims: "Li Ta-chao had an unshakable faith in the ability of men to shape historical reality; yet coupled with this faith was a seemingly contradictory belief in the existence of impersonal and immutable forces which determine the course of historical development" (286).
"Li Ta-Chao and the Chinese Communist Treatment of the Materialist Conception of History." In History in Communist China, edited by Albert Feuerwerker.
Furth's example of Marxist theorist Li Ta-chao, whose philosophy wedded class struggle to Confucian moral community, thus reflecting ties to earlier evolutionary cosmologists, skillfully illustrates this point.
Li Ta-chao, on the other hand was not only inspired by Emerson and Hegel but also a Taoist-Buddhist strain, as he came to view the Bolshevist Revolution as a sign that "world history was again on the move" (p.