The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, was made by bum

Self-Strengthening Movement[edit | edit source]


Huang Hsing, was the first army commander-in-chief of Republic of China

File:Li Yuanhong.jpg

Li Yuanhong in military uniform

The First Opium War is generally considered the starting point of Chinese modern history, bringing a full stop to the long-term isolation of China. Some Chinese officers and intellectuals realised that it was not possible to deal with the new challenges facing China without transformation. The Self-Strengthening Movement from the 1860s to 1890s, which focused on studying Western science and production modes in an attempt to strengthen national power by means of establishing industry and commerce, was a reformation by the Qing dynasty itself. However, the defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War made clear that the changes in technological advancement could not fundamentally improve the condition of old feudal China.

Hundred Days' Reform[edit | edit source]

After 1895, the fashion began to concern non-government circles with national affairs, leading to some calls for more far-reaching reforms from intellectuals. Some of them, such as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, advocated imitating the improvements shown by Japan and Russia regarding how best to work the political and social systems under the imperial power. The reformation, which would eventually be termed the Hundred Day's Reform due to its short duration, gained the support of Guangxu Emperor, and commenced in 1898. 103 days later, the reformation was aborted when the conservatives in the dynasty staged a coup d'etat. Though some of the reformers were exiled, there were still some who advocated a constitutional monarchy similar to that of the United Kingdom, allowing the imperial family to remain in the political system, but shifting the focus of political power to the democratic government.

Abolition of the imperial examination[edit | edit source]

After the strike of Boxer Rebellion and the Eight-Nation Alliance, the Qing government led by the Empress Dowager Cixi started to carry out the refoms advocated by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao in the Hundred Days' Reform. Among the changes, the one with the greatest influence was the abolishment of the imperial examination on 2 September 1905. The government started building modern colleges, and there were 60,000 of these by the time of the Xinhai Revolution. After the abolishment, traditional literati found they could no longer attempt to get government posts by merely succeeding in the examination, drastically changing the political environment.

Constitutionalism campaign[edit | edit source]

The Qing government announced an outline of the Constitutionalism campaign on 1 September 1906. Constitutionalists with high social status from each province urged the government to form a cabinet. In May 1911, the prime minister of the newly formed cabinet was announced to be Prince Qing. Moreover, 9 of the 13 members of the cabinet were Manchu, while 7 of them were from the imperial family. All of this came as a disappointment to the constitutionalists. As a result, constitutionalists from different provinces changed their tack, supporting revolution instead of constitutionalism in a campaign to save the nation.

Formation of new armies[edit | edit source]

File:Beiyang Army.jpg

Beiyang Army in training

In the last years of the Qing dynasty, the old-fashioned armies from the Eight Banners had lost their strength. The quelling of Taiping Rebellion mainly relied on township forces (the militias of the local elite). After the first Sino-Japanese War, as a response to the datedness of the troops, the Qing government had planned to form 36 modern regiments to replace the old ones. Of the 36 regiments, 6 were to form the Beiyang Army controlled by Yuan Shikai. To foster new officers, many military schools were built in each province. Some new regiments appointed many overseas students to be officers; In contrast, Beiyang regiments rarely employed overseas students.

Anti-Manchurian stream[edit | edit source]

The conflict between the Manchu and the Han Chinese had been nearly forgotten in the middle of the Qing dynasty due to the long period of peace under the Qing government. However, with the decline of the Qing government, the Manchu-Han problem began to surface again after the Taiping Rebellion. After 1890, writings concerning repulsion with the Manchus began to resurface. Books left over from the last years of Ming dynasty guided the influential intellectuals of the period. Many revolutionaries even promoted their cause by taking advantage of such ideas. Although some revolutionaries, like Sun Yat-sen, mentioned political and economic reform, rather than ethnic revolution, the main revolutionary forces in the early part of the 20th century were full of ideas of "Manchu repulsion". After the overthrow of the Qing government, the slogan of revolution was changed from "expelling the Manchus" to "harmony among different races" in an attempt to unify the country, which was then in fragments.

Organization for revolution[edit | edit source]


Sun Yat-sen, was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded in 1912

File:Pres seal.jpg

seal for the provisional government president of Republic of China

The main organizations for revolution included the Revive China Society (興中會), Hua Xing Hui (華興會), Guang Fu Hui (光復會), and the Tongmenghui (中國同盟會), which was founded later. As well as these, Gong Jin Hui (共進會) and Wen Xue She (文學社) were also important organizations.

Tongmenghui launched their project in Huanan (華南), while Guang Fu Hui was active in Jiangsu (江蘇), Zhejiang (浙江) and Shanghai (上海). Hua Xing Hui mainly worked in Hunan(湖南) and Gong Jin Hui in the Yangtze River(長江) area. The Tongmenghui, founded later on, was a loose organization distributed across the country.

The main leaders of the organizations were Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), Huang Hsing (黃興), Sung Chiao-jen (宋教仁), Ts'ai Yu"an-p'ei (蔡元培), Zhao Sheng (趙聲), Zhang Binglin (章炳麟) and Tao Cheng Zhang (陶成章).

Political views[edit | edit source]

The main political aim of the revolutionaries was to overthrow the rule of the Qing government, rebuild a Han Chinese government and construct a republic. The Revive China Society, founded in 1894, aimed to "expel the Manchus, restore the Han and found a united government". The Hua Xing Hui, founded in 1904, proposed "expelling the Manchus and restoring the Han". The Tongmenghui, founded in 1905, advocated "expelling the Manchus, restoring the Han, founding a republic and equally dividing the land ownership", which referred to the Three Principles of the People (三民主義, Nationalism, Democracy, and Socialism) promoted by Sun Yat-sen.

However, when the revolutionary parties promoted their political view, "expelling the Manchus and restoring the Han" became the main element, since it made it easier to arouse the anti-Manchurian emotions of the people. The more important point was that nationalism could cohere with different kinds of power to overthrow the government. As for what kind of social system and revolution should be held after the demise of the Qing government, most people treated this as an issue that should only be considered after the overthrow.

History of development[edit | edit source]

During the 1890s, many people began to advocate for a violent revolution to ultimately overthrow the Qing Dynasty, and establish a republic similar to France and United States. The earliest revolutionaries generally gathered abroad, and the majority of them were students and young overseas Chinese. The earliest revolutionary organizations were established outside of China also. Yang Quyun's Furenwen Society was created in Hong Kong in 1890, while Sun Yat-sen's Revive China Society was established at Honolulu in 1894, with the main purpose of fundraising to pay for the cost of the revolution. In 1895, these two organizations were combined in Hong Kong, and continued to use the name of Revive China Society. In the same year on October 26, the first uprising was held in Guangzhou, but was unsuccessful. Yang and Sun were forced to flee abroad. Sun Yat-sen was kidnapped by agents from the Qing government the next year in London. This incident became an international headline, and Sun became famous on the international stage. Yang Quyung was assassinated in 1901, by Qing agents in Hong Kong.

In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion broke out in northern China. The inability for the Qing Government to solve the incident drastically lowered the image of the government. After it signed the Boxer Protocol, Chinese intellectuals felt even more about the crisis that China was facing. Beginning after the First Sino-Japanese War, China began to send more students abroad, particularly to Japan, which at its height had 20,000 Chinese students. Most of them were sponsored by the government. The revolutionary thoughts spread across the students, and those who advocate revolution established all kinds of organizations and publications to preach for a democratic revolution. Among these students, Zhang Binglin, Zou Rong and Chen Tianhua were very active in Japan. Many of the students later returned to China, and became the backbone of revolutionary organizations inside the country.

When the Russo-Japanese War began in Manchuria in 1904, the Qing Government decided to abandon certain territories for these two countries to fight over, while China stayed "neutral". The neglectful attitude of the Qing Government toward Chinese territory led to more calls for a revolution. The main ones were Huaxinghui, led by Huang Xing which was established in Changsha, 1904, with members like Huang Xing, Liu Kuiyi and Song Jiaoren, mainly youngsters from Hunan, as well as Guang Fu Hui, established by Tao Chenzhang, Cai Yuanpei October in Shanghai ,1904, consisted members like Qiu Jin and Zhang Binglin, mainly youngsters from Zhejiang; there were also other all kinds of minor revolutionary organization such as Lizhi Xuehui in Jiangsu, Gongchanghui in Sichuan, Yiwenhui and Hanzhudulihui in Fujian, Yizhihui in Jiangxi, Yuewanghui in Anhui and Qunzhihui in Guangzhou. These organizations may not be connected, and majority of them were regionally influenced, but they generally had a common aim: to overthrow the Manchus, and restore the Hans to create a republic similar to United States. The anti-Manchurian stream was beneficial for the revolution, and many revolutionary sought to use aid from these societies, e.g., Hua Xin Hui and the Ge Lao Hui, Guang Fu Hui and Qing Ban, Revive China Society and Shahehui all had close relations; Sun Yat-sen himself was a member of Hongmen Zhigongtang.

Sun Yat-sen successfully united the Revive China Society, Hua Xin Hui, and Guang Fu Hui in the summer of 1905 to establish Chinese Tongmenghui on 10 August 1905 in Tokyo. They called for: "Get rid of Manchus, restore China, establish Republic and equalize the land." in Min Bao [1] to state the view. Tongmenhui was active on publicizing their thoughts, and pushed forward to awaken the public. The democratic Min Bao and the royalist Xinmincong Bao began to unfold intense debates, and it became the base of the revolution. Even though Tongmenhui was divided again at one point (members disapproved Sun Yat-sen's refusal to accept financial support from the Japanese government, Guang Fu Hui withdrew. Sun Yat-sen and Wang Jingwei, Hu Hanming re-established headquarters in southern pacific; Huang Hsing continued to support Sun Yat-sen), it still had crucial impacts on the revolution.

In February 1906, Ri Zhi Hui convened a conference which many revolutionary like Sun Wu, Zhang Nanxian, He Jiwei and Feng Mumin attended. Ri Zhi Hui emphasized the spread of new knowledge and revolutionary thoughts among students, new armies and other organizations. It later became Tongmenhui's establishment in Hubei.

In July 1907, several members of Tongmenhui in Tokyo advocated a revolution in the area of Yangtze River. Liu Quiyi, Jiao Dafeng, Zhang Boxiang and Sun Wu established Gong Jin Hui. The nature and outline of Gong Jin Hui were essentially the same as Tongmenhui, but it does not belong to Tongmenhui directly. Gong Jin Hui was one of the leading organizations in the Wuchang Uprising.

On 30 January 1911, Zhengwu Xueshe was renamed as Wen Xue She, and Jiang Yiwu was chosen as the leader. Wen Xue She was organized by the young men in the new armies, and its main purpose was to infiltrate into the new armies, and to secure the military armaments. Wen Xue Hui was another of the leading organization in the Wuchang Uprising.

Strata and group[edit | edit source]

The strength of Xinhai Revolution was consisted of many factors, including students and intellectuals that returned from abroad, as well as partipants of the organizations, overseas Chinese, soldiers of the news armies, local gentry, farmers and others.

Newly emerged intellectuals[edit | edit source]

The newly emerged intellectuals consisted mainly of overseas students and students of the new schools. After the abolition of the imperial examination, the Qing Government established many new schools and encouraged students to study abroad. Many young people went into new schools or went abroad to study. Most people went in to Japan in particular for military studies.

In the 1900s, going to Japan was mainstream in China. Before the Xinhai Revolution, there were over ten thousand Chinese students in Japan, and many of them had anti-Manchu sentiments. When Tongmenhui was established in Tokyo in 1905, 90% of the participants were Chinese students in Japan. Members of Tongmenhui who were in Japan for military study also organized the Zhangfutuan. These Chinese students in Japan contributed immensely to the Xinhai Revolution. Besides Sun Yat-sen, key figures in the Revolution such as Huang Hsing, Song Jiaoren, Hu Hanming, Liao Zhongkai, Zhu Zhixin, and Wang Jingwei, were all Chinese students in Japan.

Abolishment of the imperial examination led to the appearance and rise of the new intelluctual class. Those who had received western culture became leaders in the Xinhai Revolution.

Participants of organizations[edit | edit source]

Near the end of the Qing Dynasty, many secret organizations like Hong Men, Ge Lao Hui, Zhi Gong Tang, Sha He Hui and Hong Jiang Hui were the main strength on leading the public in the struggle to resist the Qing Government. The participants in these organizations included landowners, farmers, workers, merchants, soldiers, and civilians. The organizations, topped by landowners and gentry, generally promoted the ideas of "Resist Qing and restore Ming".

The Chinese Revival Society and Ge Lao Hui, Guang Fu Hui and Qing Bang, Revive China Society and Shan He Hui were all closely connected; Sun Yat-sen himself was mentioned, was a member of the Hong Men. Before 1908, revolutionaries were focused on connecting and utilizing the organizations to prepare to launch uprisings through this organizations, making them the main source of strength for the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty.

After the Xinhai Revolution, Sun Yat-sen recalled the days of searching for revolutionary strength and said "Literati were deeply into the search for honors and profits, were only considered lower class. In opposite, the organization of Shan He Hui were able to plant the ideas of resist Qing, and restore Ming."[2]

Overseas Chinese[edit | edit source]

Assistance from overseas Chinese was important in the Xinhai Revolution.They supported and actively participated in the Tongmeihui, funding revolutionary activities, especially by Southeast Asian Chinese. Some of them even returned to their homeland to establish revolutionary organizations, and participated in many of the armed uprisings. In the first year of the Revive China Society based in Honolulu during November 1894, around 20 of the first members were overseas Chinese.

The contributions of overseas Chinese were one of the most important factors for the success in Xinhai Revolution. Of the "72 martyrs of Huanghuagang", 29 were overseas Chinese.

Soldiers of the new armies[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 1908, the revolutionaries began to shift its call to the new armies. The revolutionaries began to carry out revolutionary activities and propagaganda. Because of the abolishment of the imperial examination system, many young intellectuals joined the new armies and became their backbone.

Wen Xue Hui and Gong Jin Hui, two of the leading organizers of the Wuchang Uprising, established relations with the new armies very early.

Gentry & businessman[edit | edit source]

From September to October 1907, the Qing Government set up some government apparatus for gentry and businessman to participate in politics. The strength of gentry in local politics became apparent.

These people were originally supporters of constitutionism. However, they were disappointed with the Qing Government when the first cabinets were all members of the Qing dynasty. After the Wuchang Uprising, these people began to call for revolution.

Foreigners[edit | edit source]

Besides Chinese and oversea Chinese, some of the supporters and partipants of Xinhai Revolution were foreigners; the Japanese were the most active in partipating Chinese revolution. Many of the revolutionary organizations were established and functioned in Japan; The Chinese Tongmenhui were brought together and established in Tokyo by the Japanese supporters of the revolution. Some Japanese people even became members of Tongmenhui. In various uprisings, there were always Japanese who directly participated and some were even sacrificed.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

During the years of 1895 to 1911, the Revival China Society and the later Tongmenghui launched ten uprisings. Guang Fu Hui (Restoration Society) also launched several uprisings. These uprisings were shortlived, but they set up the possibility for a revolution in China.

First Guangzhou uprising and follow-ups[edit | edit source]

In spring 1895, Revive China Society based in Hong Kong planned for the first Guangzhou Uprising, and Lu Haodong were assigned the design of the flag. On 26 October 1895, Yang Quyun and Sun Yat-sen led Zhen Shiliang and Lu Haodong to Guangzhou, preparing to capture Guangzhou in one strike. However, the details of their plans were leaked to the government. The Qing Government began to arrest revolutionaries including Lu Haodong, who ended up being executed. The first Guangzhou uprising declared its failure. Sun Yat-sen and Yang Quyun were wanted by the Qing Government. Under the pressure from Qing Government, the government of Hong Kong forbade the entrance of these two people for five years. Sun Yat-sen went into exile, promoting the Chinese revolution and engaging in fundraising for revolutionary expenses in Japan, the United States and Britain.

In 1900, the Boxer Rebellion unfolded in China, and the north was in anarchy. The revolutionaires, therefore, decided to prepare for an military uprising. In June, Sun Yat-sen along with Zhen Sholiang, Chen Shaobai, Yang Quyun and several Japanese people, such as Miyazaki Toten, Heiyama Shu and Ryohei Uchida, arrived in Hong Kong from Yokohama, but were declined for entrance by the British authority. With the support of a Japanese organization, Sun Yat-sen went to Taiwan via Shimonoseki on September 25, and gained the promised support of a uprising in Guangzhou by Japanese officers after meeting the Japanese governor. Sun Yat-sen as a result established commanding center for the uprising. On October 8, Sun Yat-sen ordered Zhen Shiliang and others to launch an uprising in Huizhou Sanzhoutian, also known as the Huizhou Uprising, Genji Uprising et cetera. The revolutionary army developed into 20,000 men at initial stage, but the Japanese officers changed their attitude and refused to support the revolution as promised. This uprising again ended up as a failure. Revolutionaires, such as Shi Jian and Yamada Ryusei, were killed as a result. Sun Yat-sen was deported from Taiwan back to Japan.

On May 1907, the Revolutionary Party, along with Xu Xueqiu, Chen Yunshen, Chen Yongpo and Yu Jichen of Shan He Hui, launched the Huanggang Uprising and captured Huanggang city. Xu Xueqiu, Chen Yunsen served to help the Chinese Singaporeans to join Tongmenghui. After the unfold of the uprising, Qing Government immediately repressed the revolution with force. Around 200 revolutionaries were killed, and the Huanggang Uprising which spanned six days again failed.

In the same year, Sun Yat-sen sent assistants to Huizhou in Guangdong to echo the Huanggang Uprising. On June 2, Deng Zhiyu and Chen Chuan gathered up few members of Shan He Hui to intercept Qing arms in Qiniu Lake, 20 km away from Huizhou. They killed several Qing soldiers and attacked Taiwei on the 5th. Qing Army escaped in disorder and the revolutionaries took the opportunity and captured several towns. They defeated the Qing Army once again in Bazhiyie. Many organizations echoed after the uprising, and the troops increased to 200 men at its height. The Qing Army hastily shifted more troops to repress the uprising. The revolutionaries fought nimbly which exhausted the Qing Army. However, after the failure of Huanggong Uprising, the revolutionaries here lost the hope of reinforcement and was dismissed in Lianhuaxu. Part of the revolutionaries exiled to Hong Kong while majority retreated into Rofu mountain areas.

On July 6, 1907, Xu Xilin of Guang Fu Hui led for an uprising in Anqin, Anhui. Xu Xiling at the time was the manager of police office as well as the supervisor of the police school. At the graduational ceremony, he assassinated the Qing governor and led the students such as Chen Boping to fight with Qing Army. They were defeated after four hours of struggle, and Xu Xilin was executed after being arrested. Qiu Jin was apparently involved in the uprising and was executed as well.

On August, three counties in Guangdong Qinzhou (Belongs to Guangxi at present) resisted the government for heavy taxation. Sun Yat-sen sent Wang Heshun there to assist them and captured the county on September. After that, they attempted to besiege and capture Qinzhou, which they were unsuccessful. The eventually retreated to the area of Shiwandashan while Wang Heshun returned to Vietnam.

In December, Sun Yat-sen sent Huang Mintang to monitor Zhennanguan. With the assist of echoed defenders, the revolutionaries captured the cannon tower in Zhennanguan. Sun Yat-sen, Huang Xing and Hu Hanming personally went to the tower to command for the battle. Qing Government sent 4,000 men to counterattack, and the revolutionaries were forced to retreat into mountain areas. After the failure of Zhennanguan Uprising, Qing Government attempt to chase after Sun Yat-sen in Vietnam, and Sun was forced to move to Singapore, and did not step into Chinese mainland until the Wuchang Uprising.

On February 1908, Huang Xing launched from the base in Vietnam and attacked Qinzhou and Lianzhou in Guangdong. The struggle continued for 14 days and was known as the Qinzhou, Lianzhou Uprising.

On April 1908, another uprising was launched in Yunnan Hekou. Huang Mingtan led 200 men from Vietnam and attacked Hekou on 30 April 1908. The defenders in Hekou echoed for the mutiny, and Huang Xing joined in to command. The fighting continued until the 26th when Qing Army captured Hekou, and part of the revolutionary army retreated back to Vietnam. In 1910, Huang Xing, Hu Hanming and Ni Bingzhang of the New Army stirred for a mutiny of New Army in Guangzhou, but the Qing Government known their plan beforehand and the mutiny was unsuccessful.

Second Guangzhou uprising[edit | edit source]


On 13 November 1910, Sun Yat-sen, along with several backbones of Tongmenhui such as Zhao Shen, Huang Hsing, Hu Hanming, and Deng Zeru, gathered up for a conference in the Malayas. Having experienced countless failures in previous uprisings, they were there to discuss for a decisive battle in Guangzhou against the Qing Government.

On 27 April, Zhao Shen and Huang Hsing unfold the uprising in Guangzhou. The revolutionaires had intense combat with the Qing Army in the streets, but were eventually outnumbered and lost. The 72 remains later collected by members of Tongmenhui were interred together at Huanghuagang.

Revolutionary activities in Malaya[edit | edit source]


On December 16, 1911], Sun Yat-sen arrived in Singapore for the last time. He resisded in the Golden Bell Mansion (pictured).

The revolutionary activities in Malaya refers to to the activities related to the Xinhai Revolution that took place in Malaysia and Singapore. Outside of China, the Malaya region at the time had the most Chinese population, and many of them had strong financial capability. Thus, Sun Yat-sen travelled to Malaysia various times and called for the support of revolution from the local Chinese residents. Many of them responded with great support, and as a result, Malaya was one of the main centre for revolutionary activities.

The Wuchang Uprising[edit | edit source]


Literature Society and Gong Jin Hui were revolutionary organizations of the newly surged modern intellectuals. The New Army were the potential strength to launch the revolution, and these two revolutionary organizations consistently work with the soldiers in the new armies. In March 1911, new armies in Wuhan established their local organizations of Literature Society. Gong Jin Hui mainly focused on developing members in 32th New Army. By the time Wuchang Uprising unfolded, there were more than 5000 soldiers that joined these two organizations, one third of the new armies in total.

On May 9, the Qing Government enforced several policies on nationalizing the railroads, and announced their plan on taking away the Yuehan Railway and Chunhan Railway, which was built by civilians. This action violently dissatisfied the people of Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong, and they launched a movement on protecting the roads, and it was particularly active in Sichuan.

On June 17, the civilian organizations in Sichuan established the "Sichuan Railroad Protection Society", and elected the head of the local Assembly Pu Dianjun as the president, and his assistant Ro Run as the vice president. They posted notices, made speeches around, and even went to Beijing to protest. Through August 5 to September, these civilians held several demonstrations and strikes. On September 7, the Qing Governor of Sichuan Zhao Erfeng arrested the leader of the Railroad Protection Society , and shut down the corporation and the Society. The result of this move was the massive demonstration in the Governor's office, in which Zhao ordered the soldiers to quell the protestors where 30 civilians were killed. On September 8, the member of the Society along with the local Ge Lao Hui and Tong Meng Hui organized an uprising, and besieged the provincial capital. The nearby counties followed the uprising soonly after, and the total participants grew to 200,000. On September 25, Wu Yuzhang, Wang Tianjie and other members of Tong Meng Hui led an another successful uprising in Rong county. Upon realizing that Chengdu was besieged as a result of the mass uprising, the Qing Government was terrified and immediately ordered Duan Fang to take the new armies in Hubei to go into Sichuan to suppress the revolution


Jiang Yiwu (left) and Sun Wu (right)

The new armies of Hubei was originally the "Hubei Army" trained by Zhang Zhidong, and many of the officers had been sent to Japan with government funding to study abroad, so the revolutionaries were active among these officers.。After the onset of the Railroad Protection Movement, Duan Fang led the new armies of Hubei and went into Sichuan to suppress the rebellions. At this point, the new armies in Wuhan were mostly transferred into Sichuan, and the defense of Wuhan was hollow. The revolutionaries decided that this was the perfect time for the uprising.

On September 24, the Literature Society and Gong Jin Hui convenned an conference in Wuchang along with 60 representatives from the new armies. During the conference, they established the headquarter for the command of the uprising. The leaders of the two organizations, Jiang Yiwu and Sun Wu were elected as the commander and the chief of staff. Liu Gong of the Gong Jin Hui was in charge of the department of political preparations. The command post was set in Wuchuang while the preparation post was set in Hankou. The date of the uprising was decided to be on October 6, 1911. It was later postponed to October 16 due to insufficient preparations.

On October 9, Sun Wu of the Gong Jin Hui had an accident while producing explosives in the Russian Concession of Hankou. Sun Wu was injured, and the Russian police came for an investigation. Sun Wu and others managed to escape, but the documents and banners for the uprising were taken away by the police along with several suspects. After being informed about this incident, the Qing Viceroy of Huguang Duan Zheng ordered curfew in the entire city to track down and arrest the revolutionaries. Jiang Yiwu of the Literature Society decided to launch the uprising that night as a result, and sent mails to each of the battalions of the new armies. However, the command post was revealed by the Qing Government and several members were arrested and executed on the morning of October 10.

Squad leader Xiong Bingkun and others decided not to delay the uprising any longer. Company commander Wu Zhaolin acted as the Provisional chief commander of the uprising while Xiong acted as the staff officer. Around 8 PM on October 10, the first shot of Wuchang Uprising was fired[3], and the sapper battalion of the new armies led the first wave and captured the armory in Chuwantai. Other groups of new armies that were affected by the revolutionary organizations mostly echoed after altogether. Wu Zhaolin and Xiong Binkun led the rebels and attacked the viceroy's office, and with the assistance of the South Lake Artilley, the revolutionaries captured the office before the morning of the next day. The Qing Viceroy of Huguang Duan Zheng escaped.

In the morning of October 11, the revolutionaries gathered for an conference to discuss on the establishment of the military government, as well as the selection of the provincial governor. The conference came to a final decision on selecting Li Yuanhong as the governor, which the constitutionists strongly supported. Part of the revolutionaries agreed due to the absence of Huang Xing, Song Jiaoren and other crucial leaders.


Flag of the iron blood and eighteen stars


Establishment of Republic of China Hubei Government in October 11, 1911

The entire city of Wuchang was captured by the revolutionaries by the morning of October 11. In the evening that day, they established the tactical headquarters, and with its assistance, they announced the establishment of the Military Government of Hubei of Republic of China, and also made other related announcements such as the new national title, "Republic of China", abolishing the Qing emperor's title and used the Huangdi Era, which is at the time the year of 1609. The Military Government established the tactics, military, politics and foreign affairs department. They used the Qing Government's Politic Department as the office building, and used the Banner of 18 stars as the military flag. The Tactics department announced to the entire nation the "The Telegram of the Announcement to the Nation", "Notices to All Provinces" and other documents under the name of the Military Government.

On October 12, the Revolutionaires Hu Yuzhen, Qiu Wenbin and others led the new armies in Hanyang and unfolded their uprising, and captured the city of Hanyang; revolutionary Zhao Chenwu led the other new armies and captured Hankou. The three main cities of Wuhan were then all under the control of the revolutionaries.

After the Wuchang Uprising[edit | edit source]

Echo from the provinces[edit | edit source]

After the successful Wuchang Uprising, the Qing Government sent the Beiyang Army south to assault Hankou, reinstating Yuan Shikai to stablize the Beiyang Army, since Yuan was the head of the Beiyang system. The revolutionaries lost the battle in Hankou: around ten thousand were killed over forty-nine days of fighting. However, they held on to the city of Wuchang, and because of this, fifteen provinces announced their independence during these seven weeks. Local political activists led the uprising in most newly independent provinces, only in few places it was the revolutionaries who led the uprising.

On October 22, two members named Jiao Dafeng and Chen Zuoxin of the Hunan Gong Jin Hui led a armed group formed of party members and part of the new armies to unfold the uprising in Changsha. They captured the city and killed the Qing general in the city. Then, they announced the establishment of Hunan Military Government of the Republic of China, and announced their position against the Qing Government. At the same day, the Shaaxi Tong Meng Hui member Jing Meijiu, Jing Wumu and others along with Ge Lao Hui launched the uprising, and captured Xi'an after two days of struggle. They established the Qinlong Fuhan Military Government, and elected Zhang Fengxiang, member of the Yuanrizhi Society and officier of the new armies, as the military governor.

On October 23, Lin Sen, Jiang Qun, Cai Hui and other members of the Jiangxi Tong Meng Hui plotted the new armies in Jiujiang to revolt. After they achieved victory, they announced their independence. The Jiujiang Military Government was established the next day, electing Ma Yubao of the new armies as the military governor.

On October 29, Yan Xishan of the new armies along with Yao Yijie, Huang Guoliang, Wen Shouquan, Zhao Daiwen, Nan Guixin and Qiao Xi led an uprising in Taiyuan. They managed to kill the Qing Governor of Shanxi Lu Zhongqi, and announced the establishment of Shanxi Military Government, Yan Xishan as the military governor.

On October 30, Li Genyuan of the Yunnan Tong Meng Hui united together with Cai E, Ruo Peijing, Tang Jiyao and other officers of the new armies, and launched an armed rebellion. They caputred Kunming the next day, and established the Yunnan Military Government, electing Cai E as the military governor.

On October 31, Tong Meng Hui in Nanchang led the new armies to participate in the local uprising and succeeded. They established the Jiangxi Military Government and elected Li Liejun as the military governor.

On November 3, Shanghai Tong Meng Hui, Guang Fu Hui and merchants led by Chen Qimei, Li Pingsu, Li Xie and Song Jiaoren organized armed rebellion in Shanghai. They recruited various squads, and managed to receive support from local police officers. The rebels captured the Jiangnan Workshop on the 4th, and captured Shanghai soon after. On November 8, they established the Shanghai Military Government of the Republic of China, and elected Chen Qimei as the military governor.

On November 4, Zhang Bailin of the revolutionary party in Guizhou led an uprising along with the new armies and students in the military academy. They immediately captured Guiyang, and established the Dahan Guizhou Military Government, electing Yang Jinchen and Zhao Dequan as the chief and vice governor. During the same day, the revolutionaries in Zhejiang urged the new armies in Hanzhou to launch the uprising with the reinforcements arrived from Shanghai and laid siege on Hanzhou. Zhu rei, Wu Enyu, Lu Gongwang of the new armies and Wang Jinfa of the dare-to-die squads captured the military supplies workshop. Another dare-to-die squads led by Chiang Kai-shek and Yin Zhirei along with others captured most of the government offices. On November 5, Hanzhou was in the control of the revolutionaries, and constitutionist Tang Shouqian was elected as the military governor.

On November 5, Jiangsu constitutionists and gentry urged the Qing Governor Cheng De to announce independence, and established the Jiangsu Revolutionary Military Government, Cheng himself as the governor. Members of the Anhui Tong Men Hui also launched the uprising on that day, and laid siege on the provincial capital. The consitutionists persuaded Zhu Jiabao, Qing Governor of Anhui to announce independence. On November 8, the Anhui politics department presented Anhui's independence to the public, and elected Zhu Jiabao and Wang Tianpei as the chief and vice military governor.

On November 6, the Guangxi politics department made the decision to separate away from the Qing Government, announcing Guangxi's independence. The original Qing Governnor Shen Bingdan remains in position. However, it was taken away by a general named Lu Rongting through mutiny.

On November 9, members of the Fujian Tong Men Hui along with Sun Daoren of the new armies launched a uprising against the Qing Army. The Qing viceroy Song Shou committed suicide, and on November 11, the entire Fujian province was in the hand of the revolutionaries. The Fujian Military Government was established, and Sun Daoren was elected as the military governor.

Near the end of October, Chen Jiongming, Deng Keng, Peng Reihai and other members of the Guangdong Tong Meng Hui organized local militias to led the uprising in Huazhou, Nanhai, Sunde and Sanshui of the Guangdong province. On November 8, after being persuaded by Hu Hanming, general Li Huai and Long Jiguang of the Guangdong Navy agreed to support the revolution. The Qing viceroy of Liang-guang was forced to discuss with the local representatives on the matters of Guangdong's indenpendence. They decided to announce Guangdong's independence the next day. On November 9, Chen Jiongming captured Huizhou. At the same day, Guangdong announced its independence, and established a military government. They elected Hu Hanming and Chen Jiongming as the chief and vice governor.

On November 13, persuaded by revolutionary Din Weifen and several other officers of the new armies, the Qing Governor of Shandong Sun Baoqi agreed to separate away from the Qing Government and announced Shandong's independence.

On November 17, Ningxia Tong Men Hui launched the Ningsha Uprising, and established the Ningsha Revolutionary Military Government on the 17th.

On November 21, Guanganzhou organized the Dahanshubei Military Government. The Xichuan Military Government was established in Chongqin the very next day. Two days on the 27th, the Hubei Army in Xichuan rebelled against the Qing Army. During the same day, the Dahan Xichuan Military Government was established, headed by revolutionary Pu Dianjun.

On November 8, plotted and supported by the Tong Meng Hui, Xu Shaozhen of the new armies announced the uprising in Molin Pass, 30 km away from Nanjing City. Xu Shaozhen, Chen Qimei and other generals decided to form an united army under Xu to strike Nanjing together. On November 11, the united army headquarter was established in Zhenjiang. Between November 24 and December 1, under the command of Xu Shaozhen, the united army captured Wulongshan, Mufushan, Yuhuatai, Tianbao City and many other strongholds of the Qing Army. On December 2, the Nanjing City was captured by the revolutionaries. At this point, the vast areas in south of Yangtze River is now held by the revolutionaries. The capture of Nanjing was especially important in stablizing the situation in the southern China.

Provisional Government of Nanking[edit | edit source]


Qing Army surrendering to the revolutionaires.

On 1 November, Qing Government appointed Yuan Shikai as the prime minister of the imperial cabinet. Overseas Chinese and domestic critics believed that Yuan was qualified to be president. They advocated that the revolutionaries should convince Yuan to change his position, and then he would be selected as the first president of the republic. On 9 November, Huang Xing told Yuan it is hoped that he would step up and resist the imperial reign. On November 16, Sun Yat-sen telegramed the revolutionary government and informed his agreement to select Yuan as the president.

On November 1911, the revolutionary group in Wuchang led by Li Yuanhong came together with the revolutionary group in Shanghai led by Chen Qimei and Chen Dequan to prepare for the establishment of a Central government. On November 9, Li Yuanhong under the title of "Head of Wuchang Military Government" telegramed all the independent provinces and requested them to send representatives to Wuchang for conference on the matters of establishing the Central Government. Two days later however, Chen Qimei and Chen Dequan telegramed the provinces to come to Shanghai for the conference. On November 15, the provincial representatives met at Shanghai, in which Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian all participated. The revolutionary group in Wuchang insisted on moving the conference to Wuchang. Because the first uprising was held in Wuchang, a majority of the provincial representatives had already arrived in Wuhan. Tong Meng Hui leaders, such as Huang Xing and Song Jiaoren, were also stationed in Wuhan. The Shanghai revolutionary group yielded at last, agreeing that the provincial representatives should meet at Wuhan and set the conference date to be November 30 in Hankou. However, they requested that each province should leave a representative in Shanghai for communication purposes.

By November 21, most provincial representatives were arrived in Wuchang. On November 30, they convened the first conference at the British concession in Hankou. Twenty-four representatives from the fourteen provinces participated, and they elected Tan Renfeng as the speaker. The conference decided that before the establishment of the Provisional Government, the Military Government of Hubei will act for Central Military Government's authority. On December 2, the representatives decided to frame the organization outline of the Provisional Government, and elected Lei Fen, Ma Junwu, Wong Zenting to prepare the draft. The conference passed the outline the very next day, which consisted three chapters and twenty-one clauses. All participating provincial representatives signed the paper and made the announcement. In the announcement, they made the decision on establishing the Provisional Government in Nanking; they also confirmed the administration system to be republic. It was also announced that the provincial representatives will meet in Nanking in seven days, and if Provisional Government receive the participation from more than ten provinces, they will convene the election for the Provisional president.

Instead of attending to Nanking's assembly, Song Jiaoren and Chen Qimei gathered the provincial representatives in Shanghai instead and held an assembly in the headquarter of Jiangsu Educational Society on December 4. The assembly voted and came to an decision to telegram Sun Yat-sen to return to China to direct the main political operation. They also elected Huang Xing and Li Yuanhong as the chief and vice generalissimo of the military government, and the chief generalissimo will be in charge of the Provisional Government. Huang Xing declined the position while Li Yuanhong opposed to his offered position as well as he did not want to be put below Huang Xing. When proceeded to the discussion on the national flag, the representatives from Hubei proposed the banner of 18 stars, the Fujian representatives proposed the Blue Sky with a White Sun banner and the Zhejiang representatives proposed for the banner of five stars. At the end, it was decided that the national flag would be the banner of five stars, the Iron Blood banner would be the flag of the land force while the Blue Sky with a White Sun banner would be the flag of the navy as the compromise proposal.

On December 11, the representatives from seventeen provinces arrived in Nanking from Shanghai and Hankou, and they continued on the discussion of the matters regarding the establishment of the Central Government. On December 14, the representatives from the provinces met in Nanking, and decided to hold an presidential election in terms of the "Provisional Government Organization Outline". However, the representatives were divided into two factions of Li Yuanhong and Huang Xing, and the situation was to be at a deadlock. It came to a relief the next day when the representatives was informed that Yuan Shikai was willing to support the republic. As a result, they decided to halt the presidential election and wait for Yuan's movement.


Sun Yat-sen as the Provisional President.

On December 25, Sun Yat-sen arrived in Shanghai from Marseilles. Due to Sun's prestige, most revolutionary organization displayed their support for him and Sun was therefore the popular choice for the president. Even the constitutionist and conservatives believed that Sun would be the ideal choice for president before Yuan Shikai turn against the monarchy. On December 28, the preparation for the presidential election was held in Nanking and the actual election was held the next day. According to the first article of the "Provisional Government Organization Outline", the Provisional President was to be elected by representatives from provinces of China; the one that receives more than 2/3 of the votes will be elected. As for the voting, each province were limited to have one vote only. 45 representatives from seventeen provinces participated in this election, and Sun Yat-sen received 16 valid vote out of 17, and was elected as the first president of the Republic of China.


A conference of the cabinets in Nanking Provisional Government


Establishment of Nanking Provisional Senate

On 1 January 1912, Sun Yat-sen announced the establishment of Republic of China in Nanking, and inaugurated as the Provisional president. In the "Inaugural Announcement of Provisional Preisdent", the unity of Chinese races as one was greatly emphasized. On 2 January 1912, Sun Yat-sen informed all provinces on the abolishment of the Yin calendar, and replaced it with the Yang calendar. The Republic of China Era was announced, and 1912 was the First Year of Republic of China Era. On January 3, the representatives recommended Li Yuanhong as the Provisional vice president, and approved Sun Yat-sen's proposed candidates of the cabinet ministers. The Provisional Government of the Republic of China was officially established. Under the Provisional Government, it divided into ten branches in which Huang Xing was appointed as the Minister of the Land Force at the same time as the Chief of Staffs, Huang Zhongying as the Minister of the Navy, Wang Chonghui as the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, Wu Tingfang as the Minister of the Judiciary, Chen Jingtao as the Minister of the Finance, Cheng Dequan as the Minister of the Internal Affairs, Cai Yuanpei as the Minister of the Education, Zhang Jian as the Minister of the Business and Tang Soqian as the Minister of the Communications. Other than those, there were further appointments such as Hu Hanming as the Secretary of the President, Song Jiaoren as the Director-general of Law-making and Huang Fushen as the Director-general of Printing. On January 11, the representatives from the provinces convenned a assembly, in which they passed the resolution to use "Organizational Outline of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Cihna" as the outline of the nation, Nanking as the Provisional capital, and the five-color banner (red-yellow-blue-white-black) as the national flag to symbolize the unity of the five major races of China. On January 28, the representatives from the provinces established a Provisional senate, and the each participating province were given a seat as the senator. They elected Lin Sen, Chen Taoyi and the chief and vice speaker of the senate. On March 11 1912, Sun Yat-sen signed and announced the "Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China".

Peace Negotiations between North and South[edit | edit source]

After the Wuchang Uprising, the dominant foreign powers in China remained to be indifferent, hoping to seek which side would fulfill their best interest.

On 14 October, Qing Government appointed Yuan Shikai, who was previously dismissed and sent home, as the Governor of Huguang and in charge of the Beiyang Army to attack Wuhan. After the Beiyang Army captured Hankou on 2 November, Yuan Shikai halted the advance and secretly began to negotiate peace with the revolutionaires in the south. He returned to Beijing with his guards afterwards. Yuan was appointed the Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet in November, and was recognized and supported by foreign nations.


Yuan Shikai as Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet

On 26 November, Yuan asked Herbert Goffe, the British consul in Hankou, to announce the three conditions for peace negotiation: Armistice, abdication of the Qing Emperor, and selection of Yuan as the president. On 1 December, both sides signed the armistice pact, and the Wuhan region was under a ceasefire for three days starting at 08:00 on 3 December until 08:00 on 6 December. Peace negotiations commenced as the ceasefire came into effect on 3 December.

Yuan Shikai selected Tang Shaoyi as his representaive on 8 December, and on the very next day, Tang left Beijing for Wuhan to negotiate with Li Yuanhong or his representaive for the situation. On the same day, representatives from provinces formally chosen Wu Tingfang as the representative on the peace negotiation matters for the militia forces.

With the intervention of foreign powers, Tang Shaoyi and Wu Tingfang began to negotiate for settlement at British concession in Shanghai. They made an agreement on that Yuan Shikai will force Qing Emperor to abdicate in exchange for the support of southern provinces to select Yuan as the president of the Republic. Considered that the new republic regime could possibly be defeated with a civil war or foreign invasion, Sun Yat-sen agreed to Yuan's request on unifying China under Yuan Shikai's Peking government.

On 1 January 1912, Nanking Provisional Government was formally established, and Sun Yat-sen was inducted as the Provisional president. On 11, 17, and 19 January, the Nanking Government requested three times for the recognition of foreign powers, but received no response. On 2 January, after Yuan was informed that Sun Yat-sen was inducted as the president, he canceled the peace negotiation.

On 16 January, while returning to his residence, Yuan Shikai was ambushed by a bomb attack organized by Tong Meng Hui in Tientsin/Peking. Yuan's guards suffered heavy losses while Yuan was not seriously injured. He sent a message to the revolutionaries the next day to pledge his loyalty, and asked them to not organize any more assassination attempts against him.

On 20 January, Nanking Provisional Government officially delivered the perquisites conditions to Yuan Shikai on the abdiction of the Qing Emperor. On 22 January, Sun Yat-sen made an announcement that if Yuan Shikai supported the abdiction, he would resign and leave the presidency to Yuan Shikai. After Yuan received this promise, he sped up the process of forcing Qing Emperor's abdiction. He threatened Empress Longyu that if the revolutionaires comes to Peking, the lives of royal family could not be preserved. But if they agree to abdicate, they will receive perquistites conditions.

On 25 January, incited by Yuan Shikai, 47 Beiyang Army generals led by Duan Qirui telegramed the imperial apparatus together, announcing that the revolutionaries have accepted the perquistites condition on royal family. They requested the royal family to announce abdiction and led the republic take over because the revolution had spread across all provinces in the country and the Beiyang Army are struggling due to lack of reinforcement as they claimed. With the pressure, Qing Government convened a imperial conference on January 29 to discuss on the matter. On 3 February, Empress Longyu gave Yuan Shikai full permission to negotiate the condition for the abdiction of the Qing Emperor.

On 6 February, the senate of Nanking passed the resolution of "Perquistites Condition" and the "Imperial Edict for Abdiction". The prequistites conditions included:

  • 1. The title of Qing Emperor remains and will be treated as a foreign monarch by the Republic Government.
  • 2. The Republic will allocate 4,000,000 Yuan each year for royal expenses.
  • 3. The emperor will remain in the Forbidden City. Will transfer to Yeheyuan in the future.
  • 4. Royal temple and tombs will be guarded and taken care of.
  • 5. The expenses of Guangxu's tomb will be disbursed by the Republic.
  • 6. Royal employees will remain in the Forbidden City with the exception of eunuchs.
  • 7. Private property of the royal family will be protected by the Republic.
  • 8. Royal forces will be re-organized into the land force of the Republic.

Other than the perquistites conditions for Qing Emperor's abdiction, there were seven regulations on the treatment of the royal family and Mongol tribes.

Abdication of the emperor[edit | edit source]


Imperial edict for abdication

After being compelled and persuaded by Yuan Shikai and other ministers, Emperor Xuantong Puyi and his mother Empress Longyu accepted the prerequisite terms for the royal family, issuing an imperial edict announcing the abdication of Xuantong. Yuan Shikai was authorized to arrange the Provisional republican government.

This imperial edict of abdication was drafted by Zhang Jian, and was approved by the Provisional senate. But in the edict, the text "immediate authorization for Yuan Shikai to arrange Provisional republican government" [4] was added by the subordinates of Yuan. From this point on, the Republic of China officially ended and replaced the Qing Dynasty, which had reigned over China for 268 years.

Yuan Shikai as the Provisional president[edit | edit source]


Yuan Shikai sworn as the Provisional president in Peking

The Provisional senate selected Yuan as the Provisional president after the emperor's abdiction. On 10 March 1912, Yuan Shikai sworn as the second Provisional president of the Republic of China in Peking. Sun Yat-sen visited the senate on April 1 and announced the removal of his Provisional president status. Upon until now, the world powers began to recognize Republic of China. Yuan Shikai used mutiny in Peking as an excuse to move the capital of Republic of China back from Nanking to Peking.

Yuan was insistent on a centralized government, which prevents certain revolutionary from attempting to separate away from the central government and establish individual provincial independence. At the same time, Yuan negotiated with the world powers and to a certain extent preserved Chinese soverignty over Mongolia and Tibet.

The period from this point until 1928 was known simply as the "Beiyang Period". The government of Republic of China during this period was called the Beiyang Government.

In February 1913, China announced parliamental election according to the Provisional constitution for the first time. Kuomintang had the most seats, and Song Jiaoren was designated as the prime minister of the cabinet. However, Song was assassinated in Shanghai on 20 March 1913. Yuan Shikai was believed as the plotter. Sun Yat-sen launched the Second Revolution on July to attack Yuan with armed forces, but was defeated by Yuan. Yuan Shikai later attempted to restore monarchy, but ended up a failure. After Yuan's death, China entered the Warlord Era. Sun Yat-sen organized several governments in Guangzhou to "protect" the Provisional constitution, and Chinese was divided up as north and south.

See also[edit | edit source]

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