The influence of British political thought in China and India : the cases of Sun Yat-sen, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the impact of British political thought in China and India. It concerns the life and work of three of the most important nationalist leaders: Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) in China and Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) and Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) in India. The analysis connects the British aspects of their life and work, which are neither fully understood nor sufficiently appreciated, with their political thought. The first section surveys the existing primary and secondary literature, focusing on the life and work of Sun, Gandhi and Nehru, and outlines the relevant strands of British political thought. The following sections contain an analysis of the political thought of Sun, Gandhi and Nehru within the framework established in the first section, under the headings of nationalism, democracy and socialism. This thesis reveals a distinctive and profound collection of influences which further the understanding of Sun, Gandhi and Nehru's political thought and constitute an important consideration in assessing the cogency of that thought. Although some profound differences existed between India and China, and between Sun, Gandhi and Nehru, it is evident that there were a number of similarities in the impact of British political thought. Britain provided a rich heritage of political thought and wealth of experience regarding its implementation in practice from which Sun, Gandhi and Nehru could draw in constructing their own political thought. The sophisticated and measured incorporation of British influences tends to support a more positive assessment of Sun, Gandhi and Nehru, not only as nationalist leaders but also as political thinkers.