China 1900-49

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  • Created by: Daniel
  • Created on: 12-05-13 20:39

Fall of Qing/Manchu Dynasty

Factors for fall of the Qing:

  • Foreign influence - G,B,F,J all imposed on China through concessions, controlled ports and major cities like Hong Kong and Korea. China had to rely on West for loans (unstable economy - put them in debt). Showed weakness in Qing for allowing westerners to impose = HUMILIATION and RESENT from Chinese population.
  • Sun Yatsen & Nationalists - Sun = key ideological figure and promoted overthrow of Qing. 3 key principles (DNS) - Democracy, Nationalism, Socialism. Offered viable alternative to Qing in order to start political revolution. Wanted to maintain a united China and wanted to become Republic. Promoted modernisation.
  • Boxer Rebellion - Movement to remove Western influence from China ('forgein devils') - anti-foreign feeling. Empress Cixi backed the Boxers. Movement failed and was ineffective due to advanced nature of foreign military strength. Arsenals and fortifications were destroyed. China (Qing) made to pay $450million in reparations = huge debt and tax increases (unpopular).

Qing resisted modification and tried to adhere to idea of Confucianism (tradional values - resistance to change). Since China had seen itself as Sino-centric (centre of the world/most important) it was envious of Japan and western countries who recently modernised. Qing abdicated in 1912 - Sun and GMD take over but were weak as Yuan had power in north.

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1912 - 27 Lack Of Central Govt (Warlords)

Lack Of Central Govt

1912 Yuan Shikai replaces Sun Yatsen as president on conditions from Sun.

What does Yuan do? - Yuan ignores conditions (3 principles (DNS) were ignored, Generals in GMD dominated areas (south) were replaced with Yuan's supporters, gave way to Japanese demands for concessions in Manchuria and Mangolia (21 Demands 1915), declared himself as Emporer - sparked military revolts in many pronvinces (even his amongst his own supporters). 1916 - Yuan dies which sparked atempts from generals (warlords) all over China to seize power - WARLORD ERA.

Warlords? - 1916 Central govt breaks down so local rulers (Warlords) tried to take advantage of the situation. Most warlords were connected to a forgein power - in north many were connected to Japan which led to division between north and south. They all had their own small armies.

Effects - Warlords increased taxation (more than 30 extra taxes imposed) - to fund increase of their soliders. Warlords engaged in fighting to try to gain more territory and power. Crops - devestated and farmers forced to join private armies. Political unity suffered. Modernisation of industry - standstill. Situation made worse by drought in 1918 = famine in 1920-21.

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Lack Of Central Govt 1912 -27

Nationalists Movements

New Cultural Movement - based at Bejing Uni - involved mostly students - published in newspaper 'New Youth' - attacked traditional Chinese ideas (Confucianism) and wanted western ideas to be adopted (modernisation).

May 4th Movement - named after mass demonstration held on May 4th 1919, when the details of the Treaty Of Versailles were published. Protest against western imperialism. Uni students, school students, merchants and workers went on strike = Govt forced to give way and refused to sign Treaty. Main leader ; Chen Duxui (also founded New Youth).

Led to increased support for CCP (founded in 1921). By 1920s Chinese had believed that a strong political and military organisation was essential if China was to be united.

1917 - Sun reinstated as president BUT only ruled Gwangzhou in south China. Re-wrote principles (DNS - his aims).

Soviet Influence - Sun was prepared to use extreme measures to achieve his aims - 1922 accepted aid from USSR and admitted communist to GMD. 

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Lack Of Central Govt 1912 -27

Formation of CCP and First United Front

CCP set up in Shanghai - 1921.

1922 CCP began to work with GMD = First United Front. Mao Zedong was appointed to be in charge of propaganda and political agents by Sun.

CCP rapidly grew in numbers - 200 (1922) > 7,000 (1926) > 58,000 (1927)

Soviet Union was to support both CCP and GMD & encourage co-operation.

Sun died in 1925 = tensions between GMD and CCP.

May 30th Movement - CCP and GMD benifitted. Developed after death of Chinese worker in textile factory. Demonstration was fired on by British-led international police force = 13 Chinese dead - led to protests and boycotts of foreign goods. Many Chinese joined both parties. CCP gained 150,00 supporters in 2 weeks.

Northern Expedition - Chaing appointed commander of GMD army (1925). He wanted to crush Warlords and unite the country - 1926 annouced N.Exped - GMD had 3 main targets ; Wu Peifu, Sun Chuanfang and Zhang Zoulin. Strategy to surround individual warlord armies and cut their supply lines.

Chaing turns on CCP - CCP = slow to react. Chaing betrayed the Front. 

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GMD Triumph and CCP Survival (1927-37)

N. Expd complete in 1928.

GMD Successes: - Expd had given Chaing means and opportunity to crush CCP. Defeat of Warlordism (limited but largely successful in scattering of warlords). BUT success was limited - not all warlords had been crushed, many were allowed to keep private armies, some were offered positions in GMD.

The Shanghai Massacres (The White Terror) :- 1927 - Chaing ordered them in an effort to reduce CCP power. Spread to other cities like Nanjing and Gwangzhou. Hundreds of thousands of CCP were shot in streets. Stopped, searched and checked for red CCP stain on the back of their necks.

Led to end of First United Front. CCP tried to revolt (Autumn Harvest Rising 1927) to maintain United Front but this was easily crushed.

Jiangxi Soviet : - Mao set up his soviet in the countryside which was against Marxists ideas. Bad famines and droughts left many peasants unable to pay taxes and turned to CCP. It attracted mass support from peasants. Mao purged many party opponents - thousands accused of being GMD agents. 

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Japanese Occupation of China 1931 - 1936

1931 Japan inavde Manchuria. WHY? :- it was rich in iron and coal (Japanese wanted), Japanese population was growing and living space was in short supply, Southern Manchurian Railway (Japanese owned) had been attacked.

Chaing? :- He ignored Japanese (didnt regard as serious problem). Concentrated on eliminating CCP. He was not strong enough to confront Japanese forces.

Effects of the inavsion:- Outrage in China. Japanese marines attacked Chinese troops and killed hundreds through the bombing raids. Chaing then agreed to withdraw GMD troops from northern provinces - his 1st priority was to attack CCP then deal with Japan. GMD leaders disagreed with Chaing.

Xian Incident:-1936 -  Chaing orders Zhang Zoulin to attack CCP in Yanan, but Zhang refused. Chaing flew to Xian but ended up being arrested by Zhangs forces and taken prisoner. Zhang and Zhou Enlai had talks of recreation of the United Front to face Japanese. Chaing was only released once he agreed to form the 2nd United Front against Japan.

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Sino-Japanese War and Civil War 1937-49

Sino-Japanese War breaks out in 1937 - Chaing refuses to make concessions and Mao annouces 'total resistance' in Bejing (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 1945 ended its occupation of China. ------ The war greatly improved position of the CCP in China as Mao was widely respected and won support from peasants through its land reform & seriously undermined position of the GMD as Chaing proved corrupt and ineffcient.



    GMD corruption (not really Chiang himself, but the people below him - Officers were corrupt within the army, stealing etc)

   HyperInflation - price index in 1937 was 100, by 1946 it had risen to 378,217.

   Ruthless Political Terror (The White Terror- against Communists)

   Destitution and Starvation (flawed tax system, no subsidization, no help to peasants -treated them harshly.

• The GMD army (Forced Conscription, Morale, desertions)

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Sino-Japanese War and Civil War 1937-49


•   Peasants view the CCP as favorable (elliminates taxes for poorer peasants, set price controls, only upper 20% pay taxes)
•   Discipline in Red Army was effective (soldiers educated and taught to be kind to civilians, compensate for peasants services, still encourage people lives to continue and city life when they took over towns)
•   Red Army = People’s Liberation Army (good PR)
•   Taxation was kept low (not till 1946-1948 where Mao has harsh policy against rich landowner peasants, took all their land and made them own up to their torturous nature, then after 1948 CCP goes back into moderate policy) (Mao’s land policies are always more favorable to the MASSES)
• Propaganda –exploits Chiang's failure to combat the Japanese.

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GMD Triumph and CCP Survival (1927-37)

Long March 1934 -35 :

- Purpose: survival.

By undertaking a tactical withdrawal the Communists could ensure that they still had an effective fighting force; could select easy to defend locations; could regroup and could ensure that the Nationalists supply lines were long and susceptible to attacks. 

After a year of marching they set up soviet base in Yanan.

Effects :- Communist ideas were spread and new supporters gained, behaviour of CCP was better than GMD = support, Soviet Russia influence declined, new base (Yanan) was remote enough for GMD and Japanese to be unable to attack it = Increased CCP's standing. 

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These revision cards are organised to address the most common essay questions in AS modules on China 1900-49 including the fall of the Q'ing and the Civil War. A great way to prepare for the exam.

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