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Republican Revolution in China Research Papers

Chinese history in the past Century included the important factor of the Republican Revolution in China. Research paper writers from Paper Masters can custom write you a project on China's Republican Revolution that includes the major leaders (Sun Yatsen and Liang Qichao) and the elements of the revolution as well as its outcome.

The Republican Revolution in China in 1911 was part of a cultural and historical process altering the traditional form of imperial and autocratic government.  The principal cause of the Revolution was the inability of the Imperial government to enact reforms, which became particularly apparent after the death of the Emperor Gaungxu and the Empress Dowager in 1908.  The regents governing the nation for the boy-Emperor Puyi were unable to deal with Western exploitation or enact changes in the governmental structure to accommodate the concepts of republicanism and democracy that has been imported from the West.  The revolution of 1911 was an expression of dissatisfaction with the Manchu dynasty, although there was no general agreement as to the form that a change in government should take.

Sun Yatsen was one of the leading figures in the revolution of 1911 and was named provisional president of the new Chinese Republic. Republican Revolution in China

  • Sun had been strongly influenced by the European ideas of social revolution. 
  • Sun hoped that revolutionary change would occur in China before the gap between rich and poor grew too wide. 
  • Sun believed that it was necessary to completely alter the existing form of the imperial government in China and replace it with a republican government that would be more responsive to the needs of the people.
  • Sun united the Chinese revolutionary groups to form the Tong Meng Hui, or Revolutionary League, which eventually became the Kuomintong.
  • Sun espoused a strong belief in democratic government, vigorous nationalism, and a socialist approach to government, which became known as the Three People’s Principles. 

The difficulty in his position, however, lay in his lack of a precise statement as to how such a democracy could be implemented in China.  Nonetheless, he believe that the sudden and rapid introduction of democracy into China would ultimately lead to the formation of a democratic government suited to the Chinese way of life and character.

To a large degree, the causes of the republican revolution in 1911 stem from the increased Chinese contacts with the west.  The Western powers had been exploiting China since the mid nineteenth century, and the Chinese government appeared powerless to limit this exploitation.  The young Chinese radicals who had studied and traveled abroad had come to understand that the strength of the Western powers and Japan lay in a social and governmental structure that was modern, efficient and based on the consent of the governed.  China, in contrast, was bound by tradition, continuing to use social and governmental structures that were not compatible with the realities of the modern world.  The contacts that China had with the modern and developed nations demonstrated that China could not insulate itself from the changing world.

The imperial government appeared ineffective in meeting the challenges posed by Western exploitation and modern ideas on its own initiative.  Although the Boxer Rebellion of 1898 prompted the Emperor Guangxu to issue a series of reforms, the changes were primarily aimed at the civil service and the rudimentary industry of the nation.  In addition, the conservative Dowager Empress effectively blocked reform, ultimately convincing the Emperor to dismiss, execute or imprison the more progressive members of the court.  By the time of the accession of Puyi in 1908, all hope of the imperial government enacting meaningful reform had vanished.

It was the growth of significant anti-Manchu sentiment throughout the land that brought together the different elements of China’s nationalists, revolutionaries and social progressives.  They did not share a common vision of China’s future, although they banded together to form the Revolutionary Alliance. They did, however, share the viewpoint that the existing governmental system was desperately in need of change.  In effect, the concept of nationalism had come to mean someone who opposed the existing government, no matter what type of government that individual advocated as a replacement.

In its execution, the 1911 revolution was a haphazard affair that lacked central control and direction despite its rapid spread throughout the nation.  Fighting was sporadic and uncoordinated, with revolutionary troops often finding themselves under the command of imperial officers.  This occurred at the initial outbreak of the revolution in Wuchang.  In some regions such as Guangxu, power was actually held by bandits who attempted to suppress the rising of the Revolutionary Alliance.  At the same time, many imperial governors were supporters and sympathizers of Liang.  This created an uncertain environment with no clear chain of command to the Revolutionary Alliance.  In addition, the loyalties and objectives of both supporters and opponents of the revolution could not easily be determined.  Because of these uncertainties, the mere act of establishing a provisional government after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty was insufficient to guarantee that the principles espoused by the more progressive revolutionary leaders would take root in China.

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