Yuan and Li Hongzhang sent troops into Korea to protect Seoul and Qing's interests, and Japan did the same under the pretext of protecting Japanese trading posts. Now; with China wanting to share the power, expect many changes forth-coming on a global economic scale. Provincial governors with KMT loyalties who remained willingly submitted to Yuan. The Historical Atlas of China.
In face of great pressure from the powerful Qin State, he advocated enriching the country and strengthening its military forces so as to fight against the Qin. However, he was opposed by aristocrats headed by Zi Lan, and later deposed and exiled by King Huai.
In BC, he heard the news that Qin troops had finally conquered Chu's capital, so he finished his last piece Huai Sha Embracing Sand and plunged himself into the Miluo River, clasping his arms to a large stone. The day happened to be the 5th of the 5th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. After his death, the people of Chu crowded to the bank of the river to pay their respects to him.
The fishermen sailed their boats up and down the river to look for his body. An old doctor poured a jug of reaglar wine Chinese liquor seasoned with realgar into the water, hoping to turn all aquatic beasts drunk. That's why people later followed the customs such as dragon boat racing, eating zongzi and drinking realgar wine on that day. Dragon boat racing is an indispensable part of the festival, held all over the country.
Yuan Shikai's Han-dominated New Army was primarily responsible for the defense of Beijing, as most of the modernized Eight Banner divisions were destroyed in the Boxer Rebellion and the new modernized Banner forces were token in nature. Nonetheless, he avoided death. In January , he was relieved of all his posts by the regent, Prince Chun. During his three years of effective exile, Yuan kept contact with his close allies, including Duan Qirui , who reported to him regularly about army proceedings.
Yuan had arranged for the marriage of his niece whom he had adopted to Duan as a means to consolidate power. The loyalty of the Beiyang Army was still undoubtedly behind him. Having this strategic military support, Yuan held the balance of power between various revolutionaries like Sun Yat-sen and the Qing court. Both wanted Yuan on their side. The Wuchang Uprising took place on 10 October in Hubei province. The southern provinces subsequently declared their independence from the Qing court, but neither the northern provinces nor the Beiyang Army had a clear stance for or against the rebellion.
Both the Qing court and Yuan were fully aware that the Beiyang Army was the only Qing force powerful enough to quell the revolutionaries. The court requested Yuan's return on 27 October, but he repeatedly declined offers from the Qing court for his return, first as the Viceroy of Huguang , and then as Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet.
Time was on Yuan's side, and Yuan waited, using his "foot ailment" as a pretext to his continual refusal. After further pleas by the Qing Court, Yuan agreed and eventually left his village for Beijing on 30 October, becoming Prime Minister on 1 November Immediately after that he asked the Regent to withdraw from politics, which forced Zaifeng to resign as regent. This made way for Yuan to form a new, predominantly Han Chinese , cabinet of confidants, with only one Manchu as Minister of Suzerainty.
Meanwhile, in the Battle of Yangxia , Yuan's forces recaptured Hankou and Hanyang from the revolutionaries. Yuan knew that complete suppression of the revolution would end his usefulness to the Qing regime. Instead of attacking Wuchang , he began to negotiate with the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries had elected Sun Yat-Sen as the first Provisional President of the Republic of China , but they were in a weak position militarily, so they negotiated with the Qing, using Yuan as an intermediary.
Yuan arranged for the abdication of the child emperor Pu Yi in return for being granted the position of President of the Republic of China. Sun agreed to Yuan's presidency after some internal bickering, but asked that the capital be situated in Nanjing. Yuan, however, wanted the geographic advantage of having the nation's capital close to his base of military power. However, the claim that the coup was organized by Yuan has been challenged by others. Song Jiaoren of the KMT zealously supported a cabinet system and was widely regarded as a candidate for Prime Minister.
One of Song's main political goals was to ensure that the powers and independence of China's Parliament be properly protected from the influence of the office of the President. Song's goals in curtailing the office of the President conflicted with the interests of Yuan, who, by mid, clearly dominated the provisional cabinet and was showing signs of a desire to hold overwhelming executive power.
During Song's travels through China in , he had openly and vehemently expressed the desire to limit the powers of the President in terms that often appeared openly critical of Yuan's ambitions.
When the results of the elections indicated a clear victory for the KMT, it appeared that Song would be in a position to exercise a dominant role in selecting the premier and cabinet, and the party could have proceeded to push for the election of a future president in a parliamentary setting.
On 20 March , while traveling to Beijing, Song Jiaoren was shot by a lone gunman in Shanghai, and died two days later. The trail of evidence led to the secretary of the cabinet and the provisional premier of Yuan's government. Although Yuan was considered by contemporary Chinese media sources as the man most likely behind the assassination, the main conspirators investigated by authorities were either themselves assassinated or disappeared mysteriously.
For lack of evidence, Yuan was not implicated. Tensions between the KMT and Yuan continued to intensify. After arriving in Peking, the elected Parliament attempted to gain control over Yuan, to develop a permanent constitution, and to hold a legitimate, open presidential election. Yuan's crackdown on the KMT began in , with the suppression and bribery of KMT members in the two legislative chambers.
Seeing the situation for his party worsen, Sun Yat-sen fled to Japan in November , and called for a Second Revolution, this time against Yuan Shikai. Subsequently, Yuan gradually took over the government, using the military as the base of his power. He dissolved the national and provincial assemblies, and the House of Representatives and Senate were replaced by the newly formed "Council of State", with Duan Qirui , his trusted Beiyang lieutenant, as Prime Minister.
He relied on the American-educated Tsai Tingkan for English translation and connections with western powers. Finally, Yuan had himself elected president to a five-year term, publicly labelled the KMT a seditious organization, ordered the KMT's dissolution, and evicted all its members from Parliament.
The KMT's "Second Revolution" ended in failure as Yuan's troops achieved complete victory over revolutionary uprisings. Provincial governors with KMT loyalties who remained willingly submitted to Yuan. Because those commanders not loyal to Yuan were effectively removed from power, the Second Revolution cemented Yuan's power. In January , China's Parliament was formally dissolved.
To give his government a semblance of legitimacy, Yuan convened a body of 66 men from his cabinet who, on 1 May , produced a "constitutional compact" that effectively replaced China's provisional constitution. The new legal status quo gave Yuan, as president, practically unlimited powers over China's military, finances, foreign policy, and the rights of China's citizens. Yuan justified these reforms by stating that representative democracy had been proven inefficient by political infighting.
After his victory, Yuan reorganized the provincial governments. This helped lay the foundations for the warlordism that crippled China over the next two decades. During Yuan's presidency, a silver "dollar" yuan in Chinese carrying his portrait was introduced.
This coin type was the first "dollar" coin of the central authorities of the Republic of China to be minted in significant quantities. It became a staple silver coin type during the first half of the 20th century and was struck for the last time as late as the s. They were also extensively forged. In , Japan captured the German colony at Qingdao.
Japan demanded an extension of extraterritoriality , the sale of businesses in debt to Japan and the cession of Qingdao to Japan. When these demands were made public, hostility within China was expressed in nationwide anti-Japanese demonstrations and an effective national boycott of Japanese goods. Yuan's eventual decision to agree to nearly all of the demands led to a decline in the popularity of Yuan's government among contemporary Chinese, but many of the requests were mere extensions of Qing treaties.
To build up his own authority, Yuan began to re-institute elements of state Confucianism. As the main proponent of reviving Qing state religious observances, Yuan effectively participated as emperor in rituals held at the Qing Temple of Heaven. In late , rumors were floated of a popular consensus that the monarchy should be revived.
With his power secure, many of Yuan's supporters, notably monarchist Yang Du , advocated for a revival of the monarchy, asking Yuan to take on the title of Emperor. Yang reasoned that the Chinese masses had long been used to autocratic rule, the Republic had only been effective as a transitional phase to end Manchu rule, and China's political situation demanded the stability that only a monarchy could ensure.
The American political scientist Frank Johnson Goodnow suggested a similar idea. Negotiators representing Japan had also offered to support Yuan's ambitions as one of the rewards for Yuan's support of the Twenty-One Demands.
On 20 November , Yuan held a specially convened "Representative Assembly" which voted unanimously to offer Yuan the throne. On 12 December , Yuan "accepted" the invitation and proclaimed himself Emperor of the Chinese Empire simplified Chinese: The new Empire of China was to formally begin on 1 January , when Yuan, the Hongxian Emperor, intended to conduct the accession rites.
Soon after becoming emperor, the Hongxian Emperor placed an order with the former imperial potters for a 40,piece porcelain set costing 1. The Hongxian Emperor expected widespread domestic and international support for his reign. However, he and his supporters had badly miscalculated. There were open protests throughout China denouncing the Hongxian Emperor.
The work on " Imperial China ", which was originally planned for after " Republican China ", is now being pulled forward, with continuous updates posted to Pre-History , Xia, Shang , Zhou , Qin , and Han dynasties, offering the readers a tour of ancient China transcending space and time. Discussions and topics on ancient China could be seen in the bulletin boards linked here --before the Google SEO-change was to move the referrals off the search engine. This webmaster had traced the Sinitic cosmological, astronomical, astrological and geographical development, with dedicated chapters devoted to interpreting Qu Yuan's poem Tian Wen Asking Heaven , the mythical mountain and sea book Shan Hai Jing , geography book Yu Gong Lord Yu's Tributes , and Zhou King Muwang's travelogue Mu-tian-zi Zhuan , as well as a comprehensive review of ancient calendars, ancient divination, and ancient geography.
For this webmaster, only the ancient history posed some puzzling issues that are being cracked at the moment, using the watershed line of Qin Emperor Shihuangdi's book burning to rectify what was the original before the book burning, filtering out what was forged after the book burning, as well as filtering out the fables that were rampant just prior to the book burning, and validating against the oracle bones and bronzeware.
There is not a single piece of puzzle for this webmaster concerning the modern Chinese history. This webmaster had read Wellington Koo's memoirs page by page from , and read General Hu Zongnan's biography in the early s, which was to have re-lived their lives on a day by day basis. Not to mention this webmaster's complete browsing of materials written by the Soviet agents as well as the materials that were once published like on the George Marshall Foundation's website etc to have a full grasp of the international gaming of the 20th century.
The unforgotten emphasis on " Republican China ", which was being re-outlined to be inclusive of the years of to and divided into volumes covering the periods of pre to , to , to , to , and , will continue. This webmaster plans to make part of the contents of "Republican China, A Complete Untold History" into publication soon.
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