Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.


The Rise Of Modern China 1842 1949 Notes

History Notes > The Rise of Modern China 1842-1949 Notes

This is an extract of our The Rise Of Modern China 1842 1949 document, which we sell as part of our The Rise of Modern China 1842-1949 Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Nottingham students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our The Rise of Modern China 1842-1949 Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Rise of Modern China - Internal challenges and the fall of the Qing Background:The Qing was an expansive dynasty o

Constantly at war (mainly on peripheries)


Internal and external threats often hard to differentiate

Internal Rebellions:Ethnic/religious rebellions: Hui rebellionSocial rebellions: Taiping rebellion, Nien rebellionPolitical rebellion: anti-Manchu movement/Republican movement

Taiping Rebellion:Lasted decadesFormed a new state, the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, from 1850-64Western military assistance was required to end the rebellionMainly based in southern China; a concern to Westerners with trade interests thereRose up against Qing injustice

Origins of Taiping:Dissatisfaction amongst a sub-ethnic group in southern China known as HakkasMainly blue-collar workers: miners, charcoal burners and farmersCharismatic cult grows around Hong Xiuquan oBegan saying he was the younger brother of Jesus and Kingdom of Heavenly Peace was God's will on earth, led by him

Anti-Manchu and anti-Confucian

Heavenly Kingdom:Rebellion began in the Guangxi provinceTaiping heavenly army extremely effective; moved north and established a capital city in NanjingThreatened Shanghai; stopped by Western training of Qing troopsLargest civil war of the 19th century o

Around 20-30 million people killed

Ideology of Taiping:Quasi-socialist - common property, banning of private trade, end of foot bindingSeparation of men and womenHighly militaristic; all men engaged in warfare and involved in Taiping Heavenly Army

Nian Rebellion:Anti-Qing movement emerging in Northern China 1850s/60sOriginates due to natural disasters in area surrounding Yellow riverLack of documentation concerning Nian rebellion perhaps because its geographical location posed very little threat to the Western interests in China

Consequences of rebellions:Loss of revenue and control for the QingInability to successfully implement policiesLegitimacy of the Qing challenged; strains of underlying social problems in the countryside oFounding of states like the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace undermined Qing authority; China ruled by rebellious groups not just the Qing dynasty

Spread of revolutionary rhetoric and in particular anti-Manchu sentiment

Qing Reforms:-Debates between conservatives and moderates o

Empress Dowager - conservative - anti-Western/traditionalist


Guangxu Emperor - pro-reformist

Self-Strengthening Movement 1861-95 o

Attempt to modernise along Western grounds; somewhat copying the Japanese Meiji restoration


Building of arsenals, shipyards; new military technologies


Hiring of foreign advisors


No attempt at social reform

'Hundred Days Reform' 1898 o

Led by reformers in the Qing system but supported by Guangxu Emperor


Rapid attempt to reform political system: implementation of a constitutional monarchy, removal of hereditary peerages



Adoption of a capitalist system


Ends in political coup - emperor under house arrest and empress in charge

Late Qing Reforms 1901-11 o

'New policies' introduced after Boxer uprising; inspired by Japanese model


Qing realised that modernisation required social reform


Reformation of the army ('New Army')Extremely significant; copied Western model of military


End of civil service system; universities set up


Seeking foreign technology and training


Drafting of a new constitution (possibility of a constitutional monarchy)

Republican Movement:Tongmenghui founded in Japan in 1905Idea of a revolution and creation of a modern Republican stateFunded largely by overseas Chinese in South-East AsiaSun Yat-sen becomes figurehead o

Raised in Hawaii; Studied in Hong-Kong and Japan; benefited from treaties and reform

Ideologies:Run mainly by foreign trained intellectualsBroad coalition: includes political Left and RightAnti-Manchu ideas and Chinese nationalismSocialist ideals (e.g. communal property)Focus on martyrdom and sacrifice

Attempts at revolution:1895: First Guangzhou Uprising1911: Second Guangzhou UprisingBoth failed and were put down by the Qing

Wuchang Uprising:


Sparked by local issues ('Railway Protection')Qing attempted to stifle the opposition in WuchangNew Army joined the uprisingHubei declares itself the Republic of China and is followed by other provinces; a Republic is establishedSun Yat-sen not directly involved o

Claimed, however, by Tongmenghui who immediately send people to claim the revolution as theirsDid not occur in coastal ChinaNot initially a nationwide movementDid not follow the usual pattern of uprisings in China (relatively un-violent)Still debates as to why it happened when it did

Conclusion:19th century saw a series of uprisings in China - many of which came close to toppling the Qing regime o

Most notably the Taiping rebellion and Boxer uprisingQing DID start to reform (debates as to why they were unsuccessful)1911 led and later claimed by those who had benefitted from reforms o

New army/Tongmenghui-

Qing ultimately toppled by what they had created with their reforms

Was 1911 inevitable?

Historiographical debate

Historiography:Esherick o

New Policy reforms were legitimate, not just an attempt to save the regime: the Qing were not destined to failo

Judicial, educational and political reform, alongside the establishment of Ziyiju and Zizhengyuan at local and national levels respectively, were genuine reform attempts

New Policy reforms needed funding from taxes and were slow to show results; therefore people lost patience with them


Sun Yat-sen and the Tongmenghui were of minor importance to the revolution


Revolutionaries in the Hubei army initiated the Wuchang uprisingWould have failed without radical support from New Army officers and Constitutionalists



Anti-Manchu sentiment was paramount to the uprisingsDetermination of Qing to segregate Manchu and HanRhoads says not so much Manchu ethnicity, but the enforced caste system, that caused anti-Manchu sentiment



If the two hadn't died then perhaps the reforms could have saved the Qing dynasty

Zaifeng removed Han officials and did very little to end Manchu privilege and create a sense of Manchu-Han equality-


Death of the Empress Dowager and Guangxu Emperor meant Zaifeng succeeded into power; antagonised everyone and tried to restore Manchu autonomy of powero

These caused the uprising to spread

Princes cabinet disaster


Anti-Manchu sentiment reinforced by Zaifeng and was extremely effective in helping the uprising to spread


Reform led to revolutionNew army provided military power sufficient to challenge QingScholars from overseas challenged the intellectual backwardness of the regime

Wong o

Writing in 1977 - 1 year post Mao


Tongmenghui not central to the revolution


Militarisation of the political elite due to the lack of state action against unrest gave them the necessary power to act in a revolutionary manner


Wong see's Qing as inadequate - reforms unpopular and no attempt to prevent civil unrest


Governor support for revolution helped other provinces to join and slowed down government reactions


Lives of the peasantry not really changed by the 1911 revolution; authorities now had sufficient military power to crush peasant uprisingsSame landlords and high rentsSituation arguably worse than before for majority of the Chinese populace Rise of Modern China - Republican Culture

Background:1911 Wuchang uprising leads to the fall of the Qing and establishment of a Republic o

No agreement or idea about what a post-Manchu China would look like

Founding of Republic:Tongmenghui claim leadership of the revolutionRepublic proclaimed 1 January 1912Sun Yat-sen returns to take up presidency oChosen not because of support, but inversely because of lack of objection

Ongoing negotiations between New Army, local elites, Tongmenghui etc. o

Divisions between powerful political groups

A Republican culture:Creation of new 'national symbols' o

Establishment of a Republican calendar


National holidays and commemorations


National 'five banner' flag


Unified national language?-

Retaining links to Chinese history o

First thing Sun Yat-sen did as president was to go to the Ming Emperors' tomb's and pay respect-

Debate only settled in 1932


Various western imports

A Republican government:National president


National assemblyNational capital cityNational military: reformation of the new Army into a Republican Army oForeign diplomatic recognition oBy 1912 the Tongmenghui allowed the New Army to basically run the country because they had the military power

U.S recognises China in 1913

Tongmenghui ended up being transformed into the Kuomintang (KMT) which is the Chinese nationalist party

Ridding China of 'non modern' culture:Suspicion of popular religion oEngaging woman in the Republic oRevolutionaries thought it was simply superstition and promoted science and logic

Educated elites wanted women involved in the Republic, however this frightened traditionalist Chinese males who were accustomed to the traditional patriarchal Chinese society

Promotion of nationalism to overcome regionalism and provincial allegiances

Rise of Yuan Shikai:Yuan Shikai was head of the New ArmyFeb 1913: KMT win in National Assembly elections1915: Yuan declares himself emperor o-

Reversion to traditional dynastic rule

1915 Japan issues the Twenty-one Demands o

Tried to take advantage of political disunity


Wanted territorial concessions and control of North East China


Yuan Shikai eventually succumbed to Japanese pressure and lost all support

Republic existed only in name: initially in Japan, then 1917-25 in Guangzhou o

Beginning of Chinese political disintegration

'Warlordism': 1916 - late 1920's:

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our The Rise of Modern China 1842-1949 Notes.