在中國近代史研究中，地方與中央的關係向來是熱門的課題。本文以教育會作為此一課題的切入點，探討地方如何因應中央政權的變化而作出調整。由於教育會掌握地方重要的資源，故在地方政治中扮演重要角色。在以往的研究中，往往只集中於江蘇一省之教育會。本文以鄰近上海的常熟作為探討對象，透過對1900 年以後常熟地區的地方教育會之探討， 對於地方菁英如何透過新政收攏地方資源推動建設，並形塑其在地方上的威望，有著更多的認識。士紳通過這些手段，得以在中樞政權不穩之時，成為穩定地方社會的一股重要力量。不過，無論在清朝或民國時期，為進行現代化的建設，地方士紳不可避免地會與既有的地方秩序產生衝突。士紳對地方社會的固有習俗(如迎神賽會等活動)多抱持排斥，惟其亦無法完全取代原有之秩序， 只能對其抱持欲拒還迎的態度。士紳利用近代國家體制的外形，以延續自身在地方政治的角色，是為觀察近代中國國家與地方關係的切入點。The relationship between the state and regions has long been a meaningful issue in modem Chinese history for many researchers, including the present author, who attempts to bring some new ideas to bear on it. It is based on the Diary of the Changshu elite Xu Zhao-wei (1867-1940), by clarifying the importance of education association in such local society during the late Qing and early republic period. From regional perspective, the forming of any education association could help the modem state to infiltrate into the life of local society. From the eye of Xu Zhao-wei, it could be showed that the following issues were involved: After the abolition of the Imperial Examination, how did the local elite face this tremendous change in Qing society? During the belated process of the implementation of new policies (Xinzheng, 新政), how did the local elite keep their relationship and power in local societies such as Changshu? During the period under consideration, both the relationship between education association (s) and local elite (s), as well as the establishment of the Republic could only have brought about some but limited influence on the local society. This study clarifies the point that the elites could handle the original norms of their local societies in semblance of the modem state.