Chinese Revolution of 1911
We explain to you what was the Chinese Revolution of 1911 or the Xinai Revolution, its causes, consequences and main events.
What was the Chinese Revolution of 1911?
The Xinhai Revolution, the First Chinese Revolution or the Chinese Revolution of 1911 was the nationalist and republican revolt that emerged in Imperial China in the early twentieth century. It overthrew the last Chinese imperial dynasty, the Qing dynasty, establishing in its place the Chinese Republic.
This insurrection was known as Xinhai because 1911, according to the Chinese calendar, was the year of the mother branch of Xinhai (metal pig in Chinese). Although studied as one movement, the Xinhai Revolution actually consisted of numerous uprisings and revolts.
The so-called Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911, an event that triggered and precipitated the revolution, is considered its starting point . He had international support because Sun Yat-sen, an antitrust revolutionary and father of modern China, was currently in exile in the United States.
Background of the Chinese Revolution of 1911
The history of Imperial China during the nineteenth century was complicated, with abundant foreign interference that sought to profit from opium and that unleashed the First and Second Opium Wars against Britain and France, in which China always left very badly.
The same happened with the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895 and then with the Boxer Uprising (1899-1901). These conflicts greatly punished the Chinese people and demonstrated the deficiencies of the ruling feudal system, very technologically late with respect to the rest of the world .
China's opening to foreign innovations (factories, banks, machinery, etc.) was at the same time an opportunity to modernize the agricultural system, and an affront to traditional Chinese methods and customs, so that it was never fully achieved. The task of stabilizing the nation.
However, European influences brought republican ideas, which were embraced by Sun Yat-sen and his nationalist party, the Kuo-Min-Tang, which would begin formal functions in 1911.
Causes of the 1911 Chinese Revolution
The main cause behind the outbreak of the Revolution has to do with the conditions of misery and backwardness in which Chinese society, especially the peasantry, lived in the feudal society that sustained the monarchy in government.
To this is added the constant interference of foreign powers in local politics, imposing conditions that only favored their interests and concessions, as well as their commercial privileges. This resulted in numerous internal outbursts that were brutally suppressed by the aristocracy, which led them to operate in a clandestine and highly organized manner.
The explosion of the rebellion, however, was due to the misuse of resources by the Beijing government, destined to complete the Hukwang railroad tracks in central China, which unleashed an immediate malaise among the population.
Coincidentally, a conspiracy on the march was discovered in the army of Wuchang, due to the outbreak of a bomb in the city of Hànkou in 1911. The conspirators, instead of surrendering, resisted forcefully to the authority and thus lit the fuse revolutionary that spread throughout China, rising against the authority of the Qing.
Consequences of the 1911 Chinese Revolution
On October 11 the revolutionaries took Hànyáng and the next day Hànkôu. As the revolts were common in southern China, the authorities took longer than they should to react and, when they did, commissioning the work of appeasing the military Yuan Shikai, hero of the Sino-Japanese War, it was impossible to quell the uprising.
Twelve points of claim were sent to the Qing by promoting a parliamentary system, and thus Yuan Shikai himself assumed the position of Prime Minister of the Qing Empire. Achieving a consensus among the people was impossible, and on November 30, 1911, the Chinese Republic was proclaimed in Nanjing, whose first president was Sun Yat-sen, back from the United States.
Subsequently, on February 12, 1912, the last Emperor Qing, the boy Puyi or Emperor Xuantong, abdicated under the pressure of the Prime Minister himself, who in exchange for his cooperation went on to exercise the presidency of the Republic.
In March 1912, the Republican Constitution was promulgated, calling for parliamentary elections within a period of ten months. Thus the tradition of 2000 years of an Imperial China died, and the ephemeral Republic of China was born, from whose nationalist values come both the Popular Republic China (Mainland), such as the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Another important consequence was the creation of the Chinese nationalist party (Kuomintang) by Sun Yat-sen, which would play an important role in the Chinese Civil War to come.
In 1913, when the elections were held as dictated by the Constitution, the then president, the military Yuan Shikai, refused to abandon power and ruled de facto. In 1915 he restored the imperial character to his government, intending to establish himself in a new personal dynasty.
On January 1, 1916 Yuan Shikai ascended the throne, although only three months later he was forced to resign to power . He died on June 6 of that same year, abandoned by his followers.
Follow with: French Revolution