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Two Republics in China (1 Viewer)

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=1]PartOne: The First Republic—The Republic of China[/h]

[h=1]Chapter 1. 1911: How the Last Dynasty Crumbled and Warlords Took Over[/h][h=2]Rebellion in Wuchang City[/h]A long line of imperialdynasties had held sway over all (or parts) of China from 2100 BCE to1911. China was a world unto itself for much of these 4,000 years,but history went off its tracks when the British came in. Smokingopium had been a serious crime in China, but for the British opiumwas big business. And they made it far bigger by slaughtering andpillaging, overwhelming the Chinese by 1842 and forcing them to openup their nation to foreign trade. Soon, British merchants flooded themarket with opium grown in India, and millions, perhaps more than 10million, Chinese were hopelessly addicted. China was reeling and theQing Dynasty was on the ropes.
The Qing Dynasty(1644–1911)had been established by the Manchus, people that had originated innortheastern China (Manchuria). Although some of their ancestors hadperiodically been in power in ancient times, it was the Han peoplethat were (and are now) the largest ethnic group in China. The Hancould not bear the oppression of these Manchus, whose officials, theMandarins, were increasingly corrupt. As the Qing Dynasty sank intomisery, the Han rose up in a series of rebellions hoping to overthrowthe rulers and regain the imperial throne. In an era when some of theambitious young elite were already studying abroad and learningmodern ways, the imperial leaders still maintained a traditional armyusing ancient weaponry including lances and spears. So the overthrowwas easy enough—but what next? Read on, and we’ll see.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925)was a revolutionary vanguard and he organized the National Party forthe purpose of revitalizing the nation. After a few uprisings werebrutally put down, the last successful rebellion broke out in WuchangCity of Sichuan Province, westward along the Yangtze River, upstreamfrom Shanghai. In May of 1911, the Qing government had nationalizedor appropriated two railways that were private Chinese companies,without giving the owners any compensation, and then sold them toforeigners. Needless to say, the local people wanted to defend theirrights. The most violent reactions took place in Sichuan Province.The Qing government did have a New Army too (trained in the use ofguns and cannons), and they sent them in. But in this division, manysoldiers and even officers were actually members of therevolutionaries. So some leaders of the National Party planned arebellion in the army.
A regiment was camped atthe north gate of Wuchang City. Around 6 o’clock, on the 10[SUP]th[/SUP]of October, many rebellious soldiers marched toward the armory in thecity with the intention of seizing it. At that time, in the camp aplatoon leader was making his rounds to check on the soldiers and hefound that many were absent. He also saw the squad leader was lyingon his bed, so he yelled at him, “What are you doing? You want torebel?” (That’s a Chinese way of putting down one’ssubordinates.) The squad leader never had thought much of his platoonleader, so he replied insolently, “You said I’d rebel. Now I’mrebelling.” A soldier standing nearby simply shot the platoonleader dead.
Now the battalion leadercame in and he was shot dead, too. Seizing this opportunity, theNational Party’s point man in the new army, who was the leader ofanother squad, declared a rebellion and called for his men to take uptheir arms right then and there.
Soldiers from manydifferent camps came to their aid, the number reaching more than3,000. They controlled a cannon field and attacked the governor’sresidence under the command of Wu Zhaoling, an officer in the eighthbattalion. They called themselves the Revolutionary Army. Thegovernor escaped to a warship on the river. The Revolutionary Armyoccupied the city.
Revolutionaries in Hanyangand Hankou cities also raised the banner of rebellion. On the 11[SUP]th[/SUP]of October, the Revolutionary Army took over Hanyang City and on the12[SUP]th[/SUP] day, theyoccupied Hankou City. Three cities in a row.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=2]TheEstablishment of the Republic of China.[/h]Then the RevolutionaryArmy founded the military government and asked Li Yuanhong(1864–1928) to be the governor, and they declared the new state tobe the Republic of China. At the beginning of November, at theproposal of Song Jiaoren (1882–1913) and some others, aconstitution was drafted and called “The Temporary Constitution ofRepublic of China.” It had seven chapters and sixty articles. Thegovernment consisted of the governor, the congress and the court.People were granted democratic rights, the right to own privateproperty, and the right to do business. The government decided thatthe 10[SUP]th[/SUP] ofOctober should be the national day for the Republic of China.
From the 18[SUP]th[/SUP]of October to the 27[SUP]th[/SUP]of November, the Revolutionary Army put up strong resistance againstthe army of the Qing government, which was massive. During those 41days, most of the provinces declared their independence; only fourprovinces close to Peking, the capital (now called Beijing), stillsupported the Qing Dynasty. The governors of the independentprovinces controlled the local army and became warlords.
All the independentprovinces formed their own military governments. On the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of November, the Qing government appointed Yuan Shikai (1859–1916)premier. On the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of December, the Revolutionary Army and Yuan signed a truce. On the2[SUP]nd[/SUP] of December,the united army of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces occupied Nanking.On the 12[SUP]th[/SUP] ofDecember, representatives from all 14 independent provinces gatheredin Nanking for a meeting. On the 17[SUP]th[/SUP]of December, the representatives elected Li Yuanhong as the GeneralMarshal and Huang Xing (1874–1916) as the Vice General Marshal.
On the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of January, 1912, the temporary government of the Republic of Chinaestablished Nanking as its capital, breaking away from the Qing powerbase in Peking, and elected Sun Yat-sen as the temporary president.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
On the 12[SUP]th[/SUP]of February, 1912, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, Fu Yi(1906–1967, his English name: Henry) abdicated and the last dynastyended, and with it ended the entire imperial system which had begunlong ago and had lasted in much the same form for 2,000 years. Butthe imperial family still lived in the Forbidden City inside Peking.
The new republic had itsnational flag with five colors signifying the unity of five majortribes in China. They were the Han tribe, the Mandarin tribe, theMongolian tribe, the Muslin tribe, and the Tibetan tribe, representedby horizontal bars of red, yellow, blue, white and black.
But the designs of thenational flag for the Republic of China changed a few times, untilthe design was chosen which eventually became the national flag, nowstill used in Taiwan: red background with a blue rectangle in theupper left corner, inside of which there is a 12-cornered white star.
With the establishment ofthe Republic of China, men cut off their queues, or braided pigtails,and wore short hair, more Western style. This style of shaving thefront of the head and wearing the hair in a braid was originallyimposed as a sign of submission demanded by the first Manchu Emperor.When they invaded the southern territories and occupied the lands ofthe Han tribe, they forced them to comply, too. If anyone refused toshave his front hair, he would be beheaded. The famous slogan was“Your hair or your head.” For that reason, there had been aslaughter in Yangzhou city at that time, lasting for 10 days. Sincethe Revolution was victorious, now the pigtail had to go.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
At the same time, womenwere freed of the custom of binding their feet; in fact, a majorcampaign was waged to discourage it. That custom had originated morethan 1,000 years ago and affected all but the lowest workers, whocould hardly afford to cripple themselves. (The Manchu Emperor hadtried to ban it in 1664 but few paid any heed, as beauty, after all,comes at a price.) Now the revolution redefined some of the ideals offemininity and definitively freed women from the agony of crushingtheir feet.
The Qing Dynasty hadpersisted for almost 300 years. Why didn’t it last longer? It wascertainly not the fault of the last emperor, who was only three yearsold when he was put on the throne. The Qing Dynasty had degeneratedover time, as most of them do, and corruption had grown worse andworse in the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908), hisflamboyant grandmother, the subject of my earlier book EmpressDowager Cixi (Algora, 2002).
In the long history ofChina, two different women had managed to rule the country for tensof years. The first one was Empress Wu the Great, during the TangDynasty (AD 618–907). She read a great deal and trained herself asa politician and ruler. She ruled the country well (EmpressWu the Great, Algora, 2008). But EmpressDowager Cixi was no diplomat, no politician, and no wise ruler. Sheadopted wrong-headed policies. She came into power because of herstatus as the empress dowager. In her hands, the mansion of the greatempire crumbled just like a house whose wooden beams and pillars areeaten through by white ants. The last emperor would not have beenable to support it any more, no matter what.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=2]TheAmbition of Yuan Shikai[/h][h=3]How Yuan became president of the Republic of China[/h]When the Republic of Chinaset its capital in Nanking on the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of January, 1912, Sun Yat-sen was elected temporary president and LiYuanhong was elected vice president. At that time, the Emperor hadnot abdicated yet. The battle between the Revolutionary Army and theQing army was still going on. The new army of the Qing government wasorganized and trained by Yuan Shikai (1859–1916), its commander.Yuan had a scheme of his own and began seeking a truce with theRevolutionary Army. Then he set his sights on the position of thePresident of the republic and forced the Emperor to abdicate.
Sun Yat-sen had no armythat he himself had organized to support him. He had been electedtemporary president owing to his reputation as a firm revolutionaryagainst the Qing Dynasty. The Revolutionary Army was controlled bythe governors (warlords) of the separate provinces; they signed anagreement with Yuan and refused to fight Yuan for Sun Yat-sen.Therefore, Sun Yat-sen had to give in. He resigned, and he nominatedYuan for president on the 15[SUP]th[/SUP]of February. Accordingly, Yuan was named temporary president of therepublic. As a rule, the president ought to live in the capital,which was Nanking, not Peking where Yuan lived. Yuan refused to comesouth because he could not bring his army south and would instead becontrolled by the Revolutionary Army. After negotiations, theRevolutionary Army had to give in and let Yuan take office in Peking.But the congress was still in Nanking, controlled by the nationalParty.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
In February 1913, thecongress elected Song Jiaoren to be the Premier of the cabinet. Atthat time, Yuan had Zhao Binjun as his premier. However, on the 20[SUP]th[/SUP]of March, Song was assassinated at the railway station in Shanghai.When the assassin was caught, evidence on his person linked him toZhao—actual letters between Zhao and the assassin, no less. So thenational Party drew the conclusion that Yuan was behind it. Zhaoresigned under pressure from the press. Duan Qirui (1865–1936) wasappointed to take over the office of the premier.
After the assassination,Sun Yat-sen, who was at the time on a visit in Japan, came back toShanghai and summoned a meeting of the national Party. He suggestedavenging Yuan with armed force, though some other leaders like HuangXing tended to appeal to less violent conduct.
On the 26[SUP]th[/SUP]of April, Yuan asked for a syndicate loan of 25 million Britishpounds from the lending consortium in China consisting of England,France, Germany, Russia and Japan. The national Party thought thatthe loan request was illegal, as it would require approval by thecongress first. In May, Li Liejun, the governor of Jiangxi province,Hu Hanming, the governor of Guangdong province, and Bo Wenwei, thegovernor of Anhui province, declared their opposition to the loan.The three governors were all members of the national Party. In June,Yuan gave orders to remove the three from their positions asgovernors. On the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP]of July, Yuan sent the sixth division of his new army to Jiangxiprovince.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
Under instructions fromSun Yat-sen, Li Liejun declared the independence of Jiangxi provinceon the 12[SUP]th[/SUP] of thesame month, and formed a separate headquarters from which to opposeYuan. On the 15[SUP]th[/SUP],Huang Xing reached Nanking and declared the independence of Jiangsuprovince. Quite a few provinces followed suit.
On the 22[SUP]nd[/SUP]of July, the national Army from Jiangsu province fought a battle withYuan’s army at Xuzhou of Shandong province and was defeated. Thenational Army was conquered in some other places, too. Then all theindependent provinces had to rescind their declarations ofindependence. Yuan issued orders to arrest Sun Yat-sen and HuangXing, who had already escaped to Japan. This event was called theSecond Revolution, but it ended in failure.
On the 6[SUP]th[/SUP]of October, the congress held a session in Peking and the congressmenwere forced to elect Yuan Shikai as president and Li Yuanhong as vicepresident of the republic. Yuan took the official oath on the 10[SUP]th[/SUP]of October.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=3]Yuanwanted to be the new emperor[/h]On the 4[SUP]th[/SUP]of November, Yuan gave an order to disband the national Party, usingtheir rebellion as a pretext. Simultaneously, he drove all themembers of the national Party out of the congress. On the 10[SUP]th[/SUP]of January, 1914, Yuan dismissed the congress entirely and formed hisown council of state, which meant that all the members were his men.He was still dissatisfied with being president. He wanted to beemperor.
To attain his goal, hefirst had to get international support. In January of 1915, Japansecretly gave Yuan a document containing 21 articles in 5 chapters,through which China should cede to Japan a variety of economic andcommercial rights and benefits, such as options on railroads andother profitable fields in Manchuria, and in Shandong province, andalso the extension of Japan’s occupation of Luushun and Dalian (twoharbor cities) to 99 years, etc. But two articles in particular wereunacceptable. One was to employ Japanese advisors in the Chinesecentral government, in the financial and military fields. The otherwas to employ Japanese advisors in local police departments. Thenegotiations ran from the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]of February to the 7[SUP]th[/SUP]of May.
Yuan accepted most of thearticles in order to secure Japan’s support for his ambition to beemperor. But such a big secret could not be kept for long and soonthe public heard that he was selling them out. Yuan was severelycriticized, but to no avail.
Then Yuan’s supportersbegan to circulate their theory that the republican form ofgovernment was not suitable to China. They formed a committee on thepolitical future of China and sent out their men to all the provincesto persuade officials and officers and businessmen to support Yuan asemperor, promising all of them personal benefits. Then suchsupporters were summoned to the capital as “people’srepresentatives.” Those representatives formed groups and on the1[SUP]st[/SUP] of Septemberhanded a petition to the Council of State organized by Yuan) to askYuan to be the emperor.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
In atraditional show of modesty, Yuan initially refused their petition.On the 19[SUP]th[/SUP], theyorganized the “National Petition Committee” to turn in a secondpetition, this time requesting that the 1993 people’srepresentatives should hold a conference to decide the future of thenation. Accordingly, the conference was in session at 9 o’clock inthe morning on December 11. The representatives were to cast votes.All the representatives voted for imperial system. Yuan graciouslyaccepted the result as the supposed will of the people, and decidedthat the next year (1916) would be the first year of his Empire ofChina.


In December, just afterYuan 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, FengGuozhang (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 rescindthe empire.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
Seeing that even hisformer subordinates had betrayed him, Yuan had to declare openly thathe was rescinding the empire and restoring the presidency on the 22[SUP]nd[/SUP]of March, 1916. He had been Emperor only for 83 days. Once a highmilitary official of the Qing Dynasty, he had turned against theempire, and then he was subverted in turn. He contracted a fataldisease and died on the 6[SUP]th[/SUP]of June.
If he had not been soambitious and had contented himself with the presidency, Yuan wouldhave been spared the hatred of almost all the people in China. Hewould not have been betrayed by his closest generals, who commandedpart of his new army. But he went against the historical tide,against the will of people. He wanted to turn back time to theimperial age. As a president, his subordinates only had to stand upbefore him and salute him, whereas during his heady days as emperor,his subordinates had to kneel before him and kowtow to him. Any manwho has had a chance to stand up never wants to bend his knees again.Sense of dignity.
There would have to be apublic funeral for Yuan. According to the law, when the presidentdied, the vice president would succeed him. So Li Yuanhong became thepresident. Also, as a rule, the public funeral for a deceasedpresident should be led by the succeeding president. But Li had alittle problem with Yuan, for Yuan had imprisoned Li. That made itrather hard for Li to feign any esteem of Yuan. So on the day of thefuneral, he just went there to bow once and left, back to his office.As etiquette required, he should have bowed at least three times.Then the Premier Duan Qirui took over the role.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=3]Restorationof the abdicated emperor[/h]Li and Duan had alsoclashed. Their opinions and political attitudes were different. As Lihad no supporters in the government, Duan had no respect for him.Duan also had command of part of the new army. So Li sought supportoutside the capital.
In May of 1917, during the First World War,there was a dispute about whether China would join in the war or not.Duan, supported by Japan, was in favor of joining the war, while Liand most of the congressmen thought it better not to join the war. Onthe 23[SUP]rd[/SUP] of May,Li issued an order to remove Duan from the office of premier. Duanwent to Tianjin City and instigated all the governors to declareindependence. So Li summoned General Zhang Xun (1854–1923) to thecapital to mediate.
Zhang Xun was still loyal to the Qing Dynastyand the soldiers in his army still maintained their queues. So hisarmy was called the pigtail army. He thought that this was a greatopportunity and took five thousand soldiers with him. On the 14[SUP]th[/SUP]of June, he entered Peking. On the night of the 30[SUP]th[/SUP]of June, he sent his soldiers to occupy strategic points like therailway station and telegraph office. He went to see Li and tried topersuade him to return the political power to the abdicated emperorFu Yi, by now using the Western name of Henry, but got a flatrefusal.
On the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of July, 1917, Zhang Xun let the abdicated emperor sit on the throneagain and issue a few orders, such as to change the national flagfrom the five-colored flag (the symbol of Republic of China) todragon flag (the symbol of the Qing Dynasty).
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
On the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]of July, Li went to the Japanese embassy for protection while issuingtwo orders: appointing Feng Guozhang as the deputy president andrestored Duan to the office of the premier. So on the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP]of July, Duan gathered his army, and on the 14[SUP]th[/SUP]day, he defeated Zhang Xun’s pigtail army. Zhang Xun escaped to theDutch embassy, then went to live in Tianjin City. The Emperorabdicated once more. And Duan went to the Japanese embassy to welcomeLi back to his presidency. On the 28[SUP]th[/SUP]of August, Li went to Tianjin City after resigning.
Thus, in the early historyof the Republic of China, there were two restorations. One was underYuan Shikai, who wanted to be emperor himself and founded the Empireof China. The other was Zhang Xun, who put the abdicated emperor onthe throne again. But both quickly ended in failure. The chariot ofhistory always runs forward and no one can pull it back. People won’tgo back to the old life style once they start to enjoy a new one,especially one that offers more freedom and dignity.
As Li Yuanhong resigned from the presidency,the deputy president Feng Guozhang became the president. Feng was thegovernor of Jiangsu province and lived in Nanking. Now he was thepresident and had to take up office in Peking. That left the positionof governor of Jiangsu province vacant. Duan wanted to appoint DuanZhigui as the governor there, but Feng wanted to appoint Li Chun, thepresent governor of Jiangxi province as the governor of Jiangsuprovince. He promoted Chen Guangyuan, who was the commander of thetwelfth division, to be the governor of Jiangxi province. Both weresupporters of Feng. Before he left for Peking, he divided his armyinto two divisions. The sixteenth division would stay in Jiangsuprovince. He brought his fifteenth division to Peking as hisbodyguard so that he wouldn’t be controlled by Duan.
Duan dismissed the old congress because most of thecongressmen had opposed him on the question of joining in the FirstWorld War. Since there was no more congress, the Duan governmentdeclared war against Germany and Austria.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=3]May4 student movement[/h] On the 23[SUP]rd[/SUP]of August, 1914, Japan declared war against Germany and took overJiaozhou Bay in Shandong province, formerly occupied by Germany. Theyfought for 70 days. Then in January 1915, Japan had put the 21articles to Yuan, who accepted most of them. These were considered anational insult, which caused great dissatisfaction with thegovernment among Chinese intellectuals, including universitystudents.
China declared war against Germany on the 14[SUP]th[/SUP]of August, 1917, actually at the end of the First World War, so thatChina was one of the victorious countries. But at the Paris PeaceConference, which produced the Versailles Treaty, Japan was allowedto continue its occupation of Jiaozhou Bay, which should have beenreturned to China since it was in the territory of China and formerlywas occupied by Germany.
The public called upon the Chinese representative atthe conference to refuse to sign on the treaty, but the governmentsecretly instructed the representative to go ahead and sign it. Whenthe news became openly known, the students at Peking University heldan emergency meeting on the 1[SUP]st[/SUP]of May. On the night of the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP]day, students from other universities joined in the action. Theydecided to hold a demonstration on TianAnMen Square on the 4[SUP]th[/SUP]of May, which was Sunday. Thus began the May 4 movement.
At one o’clock in the afternoon, the studentsmarched towards the neighborhood where all the embassies were anddistributed copies of a memorandum, which was refused by all theembassies except the American one. Then they went to the residence ofCao Rulin, minister of transportation (to complain about the railwayproblem with Japan), where they saw Zhang Zongxiang, the Chineseambassador to Japan. The students gave both a good beating and setfire to the residence. For that, 32 students were arrested.
To rescue the students, the professors called on thepublic to declare a strike of all students, teachers, workers, andshop-owners. The government forbade it and arrested more people. Thechaos lasted into June; people answered the call of the professorsand the movement spread to many cities. Even railway workers startedto strike. On the 11[SUP]th[/SUP]of June, Professor Chen Duxiu (1879–1942) and others distributedpamphlets in public, and Chen was arrested. The chaos worsened. Undersuch pressure, the government had to give in. It dismissed Cao andZhang from office and released those in jail. On the 28[SUP]th[/SUP]of June, the representative attending the Paris Peace Conference didnot sign the treaty.
This movement wasinfluential not only in politics, but also in culture. Many changeswere introduced. Professor Hu Shih proposed that language as spokenshould be used in writing instead of the classical language. Hence,the language style in use was changed, even in newspapers. So the May4 movement is also called the new cultural movement.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
[h=3]Battlesin the southwestern provinces[/h]Chinese historians definethe men who command independent armies as warlords. In many periodsthis included the governors of provinces, and even premiers likeDuan, who had his own army. The local warlords often disobeyed thecentral government. If the central government wanted any governor toobey its orders, it had to send an army to defeat him. And theprovincial governors often fought one another to increase their powerbase. As a result, many periods of history were fraught with turmoil.
Although Yuan Shikai died,his former supporters controlled most provinces. Only five provincesin southwestern China were under the influence of the national Party.They were Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
In Sichuan province therewere three armies. One came from Yunnan province. One came fromGuizhou province. And the third one was formed of local soldiers.Each of them wanted to take control of Sichuan province and theyfought one another from time to time. Premier Duan of the centralgovernment wanted to control this province, too. So he sent adetachment of his army to Sichuan province. Then, the three localarmies united to fight against Duan’s army, which had to retreat.
After the failure of thesecond revolution, Sun Yat-sen endeavored to make another attempt. Hegained the support of the Navy’s First Fleet. In 1917, the governorof Guangdong province proposed to Sun that he could use this provinceas his headquarters against the warlord government in Peking. On the10[SUP]th[/SUP] of July, Suntook two warships to Shantou Town and sent Zhang Binglin to Guangdongprovince as his representative. The situation in that province wascomplicated, though. On the 17[SUP]th[/SUP],when Sun arrived in Canton on board a warship, he was welcomed. Onthe 22[SUP]nd[/SUP] day, thecommander of the First Fleet brought his fleet to Guangdong province,too. They announced that since the dismissal of the Congress, anyorders from the Peking government were unlawful.
 

xlwoo

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When Duan learned thenews, he promoted the commander of the Second Fleet to be thecommander of the navy and appointed another admiral as commander ofthe First Fleet, which was not under his control any more. On the25[SUP]th[/SUP] day Duanordered to remove the governor of Guangdong province from office, butthe governor refused to recognize the order.
Sun Yat-sen invited thecongressmen to come south. In mid-August, more than 130 congressmenarrived in Canton. On the 18[SUP]th[/SUP],at a welcome party, all the attendees agreed to organize a newmilitary government, which was founded on the 10[SUP]th[/SUP]of September. When Duan heard of this, he issued a “wanted”bulletin for Sun Yat-sen, and the military government also issued a“wanted” bulletin for Duan. The five provinces in thesoutheastern China supported the military government against Duan,who sent his army into Hunan province in hopes of defeating the armyof the military government.
On the 6[SUP]th[/SUP]of October, two armies engaged in battle near Xiangtan Town. Contraryto Duan’s hopes, his army was forced to withdraw. It looked bad forhim, and many provinces announced their support for the militarygovernment. Duan had to resign as premier.
President Feng called uponboth sides to stop fighting. Duan had always been a threat to theindependent governors in the southeastern region, and now they feltthat the sword of Damocles had been removed, so they agreed to thetruce. But on the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]of December, 1917, Duan instigated ten northern governors to takeaction against the southeastern provinces. On the 6[SUP]th[/SUP],they pressed President Feng to issue orders to continue the war.Meanwhile, Zhang Zuolin, the warlord in the northeastern China, ledhis army into Peking. Under such pressure, Feng had to ask Duan toresume the office of premier.
 

xlwoo

Senior Member
Duan re-organized his armyto attack the army of the military government, which now lost thesupport of the other governors and had to fight alone. It was soondefeated. But Wu Peifu (1874–1939), the commander of Duan’s army,ceased his assault and made a truce with the military government,ignoring Duan’s command. As Feng and Duan always had conflicts ofopinion, or in reality, of personal interests, both agreed to resignat the same time. That was on the 4[SUP]th[/SUP]of September, 1918.
Sun Yat-sen’s goal wasto let his National Party unite the whole of China under the rule ofhis party. But this ran counter to the interests of the warlords. Sohe lost most of his supporters and only a few were left. On the 21[SUP]st[/SUP]of May, 1918, he left Canton for Shanghai, where he met ChiangKai-shek (1887–1975). The military government was controlled by thearmies of Yunnan and Guangxi provinces.
As Sun resigned and leftCanton, his army (under the command of Chen Jiongming) went to Fujianprovince, and together with the army under the command of ChiangKai-shek they defeated Duan’s army there. That happened in June of1918.
Although Duan was not inthe cabinet, he still had his army. So Zhang Zuoling (1875–1928)and Wu Peifu allied to fight him. On the 14[SUP]th[/SUP]of July, 1920, Duan’s army was overcome. Then Xu Shichang, who hadnothing under his control, was selected (not elected, as there was nomore congress) by the warlords to be a puppet president.
In August 1920, the armystationed in Fujian province marched back to Guangdong province toassail the Guangxi province army there. On the 28[SUP]th[/SUP]of October, the military government was back under the control ofSun’s army. So on the 28[SUP]th[/SUP]of November, Sun returned to Canton.
On the 12[SUP]th[/SUP]of January, 1921, a special congress was organized and on the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP]of April, the congress held a session to annul the militarygovernment and resume the name of the Republic of China. On the 7[SUP]th[/SUP]day, Sun was elected President and took an oath at a ceremony on the5[SUP]th[/SUP] of May.
 

xlwoo

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[h=3]SunYat-sen went north, looking to overthrow the Peking government[/h]Sun Yat-sen stillpersisted in marching north to overthrow the Peking government. Hethought of it as a warlord government, not a revolutionarygovernment. He wanted to found a revolutionary government for thepeople. Anyway, the governors of all the provinces and even ChenJiongming (1878–1933), the commander of his army (actually anotherwarlord), did not see things that way. Those men only wanted to havea federal government of warlords.
On the 26[SUP]th[/SUP]of March, 1922, Sun Yat-sen held a meeting and decided to go north totake down the Peking government. On the 9[SUP]th[/SUP]of April, when the Revolutionary Army reached the Meng River, it wasblockaded by Chen Jiongming’s army which was encamped there. Sungave orders that if Chen’s army did not make way for him, he wouldlaunch an attack. When Sun reached Wuzhou Town, he summoned Chen tomeet him, but Chen refused to go there. Sun removed him from theposition of commander. Chen wanted his army to prepare for a waragainst Sun, but the army in Canton refused to carry out his order.There was nothing he could do but go back to his old home in HuizhouTown. However, part of his army was still loyal to him.
In early April 1922, WuPeifu sent an emissary to contact Chen and asked him to prevent SunYat-sen by force from going north. Meantime, Duan and Zhang Zuolinwanted to ally with Sun to vanquish Wu. The situation gotcomplicated. Everyone was putting his own interests first andrelationships between friends and enemies often changed.
 

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