Ts'ai Yüan-p'ei tsī yüän-pā [key], 1867–1940, Chinese educator and intellectual leader. He achieved distinction as a classical scholar but later joined (1904) the anti-Manchu revolutionary movement at Shanghai. Ts'ai studied philosophy in Germany (1907–11). He returned to China during the republican revolution of 1911 and was appointed education minister in the early cabinets of Sun Yat-sen and Yüan Shih-kai. After further study in Germany and France (1912–16), Ts'ai was appointed (1916) chancellor of Beijing Univ. He encouraged a critical reevaluation of Chinese culture and promoted freedom of thought, thereby paving the way for the intellectual revolution (1917–21) known as the May Fourth Movement. After the establishment of the Nanjing government (1928), Ts'ai used his prestige as a Kuomintang party elder to promote civil liberties and oppose political control of the student movement.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Chinese, Taiwanese, and Mongolian History: Biographies