Sun Yat-sen, first President of the Republic of China.

Sun Yat-sen, first President of the Republic of China.


The Chinese Revolution of 1911, or the Xinhai Revolution, was a war lasting over 10 years that eventually established the Republic of China.

China was already very weak from the Opium Wars and various rebellions, and was overall doing poorly. The Qing Dynasty was still not doing well enough in regards to stabilizing the economy, and the citizens felt the government was still relying too heavily on them to make up for the lack of money. The Wuchange Rebellion was the starting point; after that, rebellions popped up all over, both violent and peaceful. The Qing, after having to crush many of these attacks and losing numerous troops and supplies, finally decided to give in to the people. A few changes were made, including creating a new army and education system(1). However, these were not enough to appease the angry masses. Intellectuals continued to protest using Marxists logic, espescially a man known as Sun Yat-sen(2). He, and a few other intelectuals, made their way around a few different countries, making sure the new Nationalist party he and others were creating would have some support(1). It was not until the end of 1911 that a deal was made for the emperor to finally step down; on January 1st of 1912, Sun Yat-sen was elected to become president (1).

A large reason this revolution was started and fulfilled was due to the increasing popularity of Marxist ideas.The higher ups were forcing the working class into more hard labor to make up for the major debt the country was going to be in. These ideas were brought to the people by intellectuals, who spurred them into joining the revolution (2). It worked, inspiring them to fight against the oppressive government they served under. Even after the revolution, Marxist ideas still made the people push for proper laws banning things such as behavior inappropriate for officials and improper taxation.

The ideology that “monarchy is absolute” was scrapped. Instead, the Chinese now saw monarchy as something almost evil, as well as something that would not benefit them in any way, shape, or form(1). Against the old, imperialistic ways, the people joined together and rose to create a more successful China. The Nationalist Party instead pushed China’s government towards a more Socialist structure. ‘Lower’ citizens were no longer unable to participate in the political sphere. Everyone became equals, whether it was man to woman or minority to majority.  Other policies were implemented as well, all of them aiming to benefit the entirety of the people of China(2).