The Emergence of Modern China

Just some notes on China for edexcel history GCSE

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  • Created on: 18-04-10 15:57
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In 1900 ­ population of 400m, 80% peasants.
The Manchus
Empress Cixi ruled until 1908 (her death), She was a strong conservative and resisted all attempts to reform
China the royal family lived in the Forbidden City
China was WEAK in 1900
European countries had great influence from force
Invaders forced Manchus to sign `unequal treaties' giving invaders privileges.
`Spheres of Influence', European powers had control in certain parts.
1900 The Boxer Rebellion
Why? ­ Spheres of influence, economy weak and harvests failed.
Begins in North, Shanting Province ­ German sphere
Spreads to other parts of China inc. Beijing.
Initially Cixi a target, but she persuaded them to rebel with her support
Killed many foreigners, Chinese Christians and held many hostage.
Europeans sent a 6 nation force to crush the rebellion
6 nation force extensively damaged Beijing
$450m fine for C govt
100's Boxers executed
Cixi now under control of Europeans
1908 ­ Cixi dies
Succeeded by Puyi, her 2yearold nephew, prince Chun ruled as regent.
1911 ­ The Wuchang Rebellion
Sun Yatsen (doctor), had tried on various occasions to take over China
He had failed, but was gaining support
Chun sacks Yuan Shikai and appoints family to important positions.
September ­ Sichuan province ­ rebellion starts, police fired on demonstrators
Sun Yatsen and his `sworn Chinese brotherhood' went to help spread
Oct 10 ­ Soldiers of new army at Wuchang join ­ Wuchang under Sun's control.
Spreads through central and southern China.
Nanjing ­ prov gvt formed opposing Manchus. Chun recalls Yuan Shikai > made prime minister
and commanderinchief of armies.
Yuan is successful and makes a deal with rebels. In return for their support he promised to achieve
their aims to make China republic + persuade Chun +Puyi to give up the throne.
Sun ­ democratic choice of rebels
Yuan ­ support of the army
1912 ­ February ­ Puyi abdicates > Yuan elected president by assembly in Nanjing
1912 ­ 1916 Yuan Shikai's rule
1912 ­ constitutional republic set up

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­ parliament (National Assembly) formed and elections held
Sun wins most of the seats for GMD, so Yuan ignores assembly.
1914 ­ Jan ­ Yuan dissolved assembly and made himself president.
12/18 provinces under his control > dictator!
1915 ­ Yuan tries to make himself emperor, but he was opposed by GMD,
military governors and Japan.
Japanese presented Yuan with 21 demands, demanding control of many ports, factories + railways
and threatening with war.
Demands made Yuan v.unpopular, GMD increased support.…read more

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Sun agreed that members of the CCP could belong to the GMD. Aims different, but both want a
Borodin and Galen also sent. Galen > army, defeat warlords, unify the rest of China. He set up a military
academy at Huangpu with Chiang Kaishek in charge.
1925 ­ March ­ Sun Yatsen dies
1926 ­ July ­ March to the north
Sun's brotherinlaw Chiang Kaishek took control of the GMD army after Sun.
He wanted to defeat the warlords and unite China inc.…read more

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GMD advised by general Hans Van Seeckt. Chiang surrounded the Jiangxi soviet with block
houses and 500 000 troops to starve the CCP to surrender.
V.successful. By 1934 the CCP had lost more than half of its territory.
The communists, advised by Russian agent Otto Braun decided that Mao's tactics were politically
wrong. He advised fighting the GMD head on.
This failed and the CCP became completely caged into Jiangxi.
Braun planned a retreat to Hunan where there second army was based.…read more

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Life in GMD China
Chiang ruled as a military dictator.
He encouraged foreign investment.
He didn't deal with poor housing, ignorance and poverty.
He started the rural service, which sent students into the country side to help peasants harvest crops.
He didn't reduce the v.high taxes
There was an unpreventable famine from 192932 that killed 3m people.
Chiang never gained support from the peasants. It came from business people etc. who benefited from a
strong gvt.…read more

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High unemployment
Corruption in local gvts.
Chiang still a threat from base in Taiwan.
CCP's reforms
Govt reorganised ­ 18 provinces reduced to 6 regions in w=each region there were councils down to
provinces, counties and cities.
At each level there was a CCP official to ensure Communist policies put into effect
Party was run along lines of democratic centralism > all members had to show total obedience. Mao =
head of state. Shou Enlai = PM and foreign minister.…read more

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­ the Great Leap Forward
Why? ­ In the Summer of 1958, Mao made a tour of the countryside, and was impressed by the energy of
the masses. He wanted China to overtake Britain and US in terms of industrial output.
What happened? ­ The GLF aimed to use farmers and workers. Peasants were moved into communes.
An average one contained 5000 families who gave up their land, animals and equipment to commune
ownership.…read more

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In 1965 Mao gained the backing of Lin Baio (minister of defence). Lin abolished all ranks and all
soldiers were given a copy of Mao's little Red Book.
Began among schoolchildren and students in Beijing.
1966 ­ summer ­ students formed military groups called red guards
Schools closed for six months to rewrite the curriculum and make it more communist.
The Red Guards got rid of all capitalist influences.…read more


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