China 1900-49 Edexcel Notes

Here are some notes that (hopefully) cover all the topics in the China 1900-49 course. Comments and ratings are appreciated!

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  • Created on: 09-05-15 21:08
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The Qing Dynasty
Rule of the Qing dynasty (Manchu dynasty): 1644-1911
`Foreign Devils' was an expression used by many Chinese to denote
their hatred of Westerners who dominated China. Many believed that
expelling the `foreign devils' would restore independence and
Europeans were thought to be upsetting natural balance (`Feng Shui').
· Manchu introduced '100 Days' reforms(1898)
· Major modifications of civil service, innovations in education, extensive industrial
· Progressive elements convinced Guangxu that reforms would convince the public
that the imperial government still had control- progressives outweighed by reactionaries in
· Empress Cixi blocked reformsand took over government
· She backed the Boxers- indiscriminate massacres of Westerners by peasants
Fall of the Qing
Foreign influence - Germany, Britain, France, and Japan all imposed on China through
concessions (international Settlements which were, in effect, mini-states in China),
controlled 50 treaty ports and major cities such as Hong Kong. ( Increase in employment,
trade, improved female culture and good if you didn't like Chinese ruling . However, there
was a clash of culture and loss of pride).
China had to rely on the West for loans, hence the economy was unstable as it was in debt.
Natural disasters impoverished survivors, work was lost due to foreign competition ,
railroads and early factories made traditional work obsolete and this loss of work lead to
starvation . Imports for China was 4 times more than the value of exports.
Qing showed weakness for allowing westerners to impose, leading to humiliation and
resent from the Chinese population. China's defeat in the Opium Wars (1839 ­ 1842,
1856­1860) also showed that the Qing was weak militarily .
Sun Yatsen was a key ideological figure and promoted the overthrow of the Qing. He had
three key principles- "Democracy, Nationalism, Socialism" (DNS). Sun offered a viable

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Qing in order to start political revolution. He wanted to maintain a united
China and wanted to become Republic. He promoted modernisation , which was inspired by
western influence . (However, Sun did not have full control over the revolution that would
follow and was not in China during the uprising, but he did create the political
atmosphere/conditions needed for the revolution. )
Boxer Rebellion - Movement failed and was ineffective due to advanced nature of foreign
military strength.…read more

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On 9th October 1911, a bomb exploded in Wuchang. On 10th October, the suspects were
arrested and executed.
Fighting broke out between Manchu and Han troops, which spread across China.
Province after province slipped out of government control.
By the end of November, the government only controlled eight of the twenty-four
In desperation, the government appointed Yuan Shikai, the senior imperial general, as
chief minister.
Sun Yatsen returned to China in December and was elected President of the Chinese
Republic.…read more

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Song Jiaoren, who Sun
nominated as prime minister, was assassinated on his way to Beijing.
Generals in GMD dominated areas (south) were replaced with Yuan's supporters, Sun Yatsen
and other GMD leaders went into exile after Yuan declared the GMD to be illegal in 1913.
Yuan negotiated loans from the West , without consulting parliament. He secured a large
foreign loan of $100 million (where China pledged its future tax revenues as security against
the loan).…read more

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Crops were devastated and farmers were forced to join private armies. The situation was
made worse by the drought in 1918 (hence) famine in 1920-21 .
The planting of opium was increased. By 1924it had risen by 20%. Peasants who refused to
plant opium were punished.
Projects such as dams, roads and irrigation all collapsed and modernisation of industry
came to a standstill.
· The "pig tailed general" tried to restore Pu Yi to the throne. And in 1919, he
succeeded... for about 30 minutes.…read more

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Treaty. The main leader of the
May 4th Movement was Chen Duxui , who had also founded New Youth.
Sun was prepared to use extreme measures to achieve his aims. In 1922he accepted aid
from the Soviet government in Russia and admitted communists to the GMD. In 1923 Soviet
advisers (such as Mikhail Borodin) arrived to help reorganise the GMD and Chiang Kaishek
was sent to Moscow to study Soviet military organisation.…read more

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Although this unified China again,not
all warlords were defeated, some only accepted GMD authority if they could keep their
personal armies, some were offered positions in government.
The Northern Expedition was complete in 1928.
The Shanghai Massacres (The White Terror):- 1927 - Chiang ordered the execution (shot in
the streets) of hundreds of thousands suspected Communists in an effort to reduce CCP
power. This spread to other cities like Nanjing and Gwangzhou. Around a quarter of a million
were killed.…read more

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Japan invade Manchuria . This is because it was rich in iron and coal (which the
Japanese wanted), Japanese population was growing and living space was in short supply
and the Southern Manchurian Railway (Japanese owned) had been attacked. Japan changes
the name of Manchuria to Manchuguo . It becomes an Independent Chinese Nation, ruled
by the puppet emperor to Japan, Pu Yi. Also, Japan attacked Shanghai but didn't take over,
formed a Sino-Japanese government
Chiang generally ignored Japanese (didn't regard as serious problem).…read more

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The Sino-Japanese War breaks out in 1937 - Chiang refuses to make concessions and Mao
announces 'total resistance' in Beijing (Second United Front formed). Stalemate then
ensued and Japanese forces were diverted to Southeast Asia and to the theatre of WW2
against the Western Powers and their allies beginning in late 1941. Japan's defeat in that by
the Allies in 1945ended its occupation of China (and hence marked the end of the
Sino-Japanese War).…read more

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Mao Zedong and the CCP were victorious)
10…read more


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