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Thread: Two Republics in China

  1. #16
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    Under instructions from Sun Yat-sen, Li Liejun declared the independence of Jiangxi province on the 12th of the same month, and formed a separate headquarters from which to oppose Yuan. On the 15th, Huang Xing reached Nanking and declared the independence of Jiangsu province. Quite a few provinces followed suit.
    On the 22nd of July, the national Army from Jiangsu province fought a battle with Yuan’s army at Xuzhou of Shandong province and was defeated. The national Army was conquered in some other places, too. Then all the independent provinces had to rescind their declarations of independence. Yuan issued orders to arrest Sun Yat-sen and Huang Xing, who had already escaped to Japan. This event was called the Second Revolution, but it ended in failure.
    On the 6th of October, the congress held a session in Peking and the congressmen were forced to elect Yuan Shikai as president and Li Yuanhong as vice president of the republic. Yuan took the official oath on the 10th of October.

  2. #17
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    Yuan wanted to be the new emperor
    On the 4th of November, Yuan gave an order to disband the national Party, using their rebellion as a pretext. Simultaneously, he drove all the members of the national Party out of the congress. On the 10th of January, 1914, Yuan dismissed the congress entirely and formed his own council of state, which meant that all the members were his men. He was still dissatisfied with being president. He wanted to be emperor.
    To attain his goal, he first had to get international support. In January of 1915, Japan secretly gave Yuan a document containing 21 articles in 5 chapters, through which China should cede to Japan a variety of economic and commercial rights and benefits, such as options on railroads and other profitable fields in Manchuria, and in Shandong province, and also the extension of Japan’s occupation of Luushun and Dalian (two harbor cities) to 99 years, etc. But two articles in particular were unacceptable. One was to employ Japanese advisors in the Chinese central government, in the financial and military fields. The other was to employ Japanese advisors in local police departments. The negotiations ran from the 2nd of February to the 7th of May.
    Yuan accepted most of the articles in order to secure Japan’s support for his ambition to be emperor. But such a big secret could not be kept for long and soon the public heard that he was selling them out. Yuan was severely criticized, but to no avail.
    Then Yuan’s supporters began to circulate their theory that the republican form of government was not suitable to China. They formed a committee on the political future of China and sent out their men to all the provinces to persuade officials and officers and businessmen to support Yuan as emperor, promising all of them personal benefits. Then such supporters were summoned to the capital as “people’s representatives.” Those representatives formed groups and on the 1st of September handed a petition to the Council of State organized by Yuan) to ask Yuan to be the emperor.

  3. #18
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    Yuan wanted to be the new emperor
    On the 4th of November, Yuan gave an order to disband the national Party, using their rebellion as a pretext. Simultaneously, he drove all the members of the national Party out of the congress. On the 10th of January, 1914, Yuan dismissed the congress entirely and formed his own council of state, which meant that all the members were his men. He was still dissatisfied with being president. He wanted to be emperor.
    To attain his goal, he first had to get international support. In January of 1915, Japan secretly gave Yuan a document containing 21 articles in 5 chapters, through which China should cede to Japan a variety of economic and commercial rights and benefits, such as options on railroads and other profitable fields in Manchuria, and in Shandong province, and also the extension of Japan’s occupation of Luushun and Dalian (two harbor cities) to 99 years, etc. But two articles in particular were unacceptable. One was to employ Japanese advisors in the Chinese central government, in the financial and military fields. The other was to employ Japanese advisors in local police departments. The negotiations ran from the 2nd of February to the 7th of May.
    Yuan accepted most of the articles in order to secure Japan’s support for his ambition to be emperor. But such a big secret could not be kept for long and soon the public heard that he was selling them out. Yuan was severely criticized, but to no avail.
    Then Yuan’s supporters began to circulate their theory that the republican form of government was not suitable to China. They formed a committee on the political future of China and sent out their men to all the provinces to persuade officials and officers and businessmen to support Yuan as emperor, promising all of them personal benefits. Then such supporters were summoned to the capital as “people’s representatives.” Those representatives formed groups and on the 1st of September handed a petition to the Council of State organized by Yuan) to ask Yuan to be the emperor.

  4. #19
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    In a traditional show of modesty, Yuan initially refused their petition. On the 19th, they organized the “National Petition Committee” to turn in a second petition, this time requesting that the 1993 people’s representatives should hold a conference to decide the future of the nation. Accordingly, the conference was in session at 9 o’clock in the morning on December 11. The representatives were to cast votes. All the representatives voted for imperial system. Yuan graciously accepted the result as the supposed will of the people, and decided that the next year (1916) would be the first year of his Empire of China.


    In December, just after Yuan accepted the petition, Cai E, the governor of YunNan province, was the first to object. He announced the independence of YunNan, followed by many provinces. Even Yuan’s former subordinates, Feng Guozhang (1859–1916), governor of Jiangsu province, Li Chun, governor of Jiangxi province, Zhu Rui, governor of Zhejiang province, Jin Yunpeng, governor of Shandong province, and Tang Xiangming, governor of Hunan province, all sent telegrams asking Yuan to rescind the empire.

  5. #20
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    In a traditional show of modesty, Yuan initially refused their petition. On the 19th, they organized the “National Petition Committee” to turn in a second petition, this time requesting that the 1993 people’s representatives should hold a conference to decide the future of the nation. Accordingly, the conference was in session at 9 o’clock in the morning on December 11. The representatives were to cast votes. All the representatives voted for imperial system. Yuan graciously accepted the result as the supposed will of the people, and decided that the next year (1916) would be the first year of his Empire of China.

    In December, just after Yuan accepted the petition, Cai E, the governor of YunNan province, was the first to object. He announced the independence of YunNan, followed by many provinces. Even Yuan’s former subordinates, Feng Guozhang (1859–1916), governor of Jiangsu province, Li Chun, governor of Jiangxi province, Zhu Rui, governor of Zhejiang province, Jin Yunpeng, governor of Shandong province, and Tang Xiangming, governor of Hunan province, all sent telegrams asking Yuan to rescind the empire.

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