How successful was GMD rule of China 1928-37?

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  • Created by: emily.m
  • Created on: 10-01-14 10:16

Preoccupation with crushing the communists

  • As Chaing failed to crush the communists multiple times vital resources were wasted on military campaigns
  • His obsession with it diverted the Government from the structuring of an ordered civil society and from attending to China's pressing social and economic problems
  • It meant that the Nationalists failed to respond effectively to Japan's presence in Northern China (only changed after the Xian Incident of 1936 where he had to agree to a second united front with the CCP to fight the Japanese)
  • Lost him popularity as more people turned to support the CCP and also among the Government where they wanted to help develop China not waste money on failing to destroy what they considered as a minor threat compared to the Japanese.


  • In a sense Chiang had a right to want to destroy the Communists because if he had ignored them their number would of grown larger more quickly and they could have tried to overthrow Chiang which was his fear.
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Peoples Welfare

  • GMD never controlled the whole of China so even if they had tried to tackle peoples welfare it wouldn't have happened all over China
  • Infastructure in the cities was vastly improved (trams, buses and access to shopping malls)
  • Womens rights had developed- society to support the Husbands of Emancipated Women
  • 1931- provisional constitution issued giving Chiang a seperation of powers: separate executive, legislative and judiciary- still a one party state


  • Unsuccessful because the GMD had been powerless to stop the famine of 1934-5 killing 30 million which led to a lot of human trafikking where parents would sell their chidren as they though they were saving them by sending them away but they just ended up in brothels
  • Main interest was helping rich people particulary in the cities and he neglected the peasants which meant that seeing beggars and starving children in cities was a commom sight
  • The GMD had been expected to help peasants such as by ending landlord control and the extension of property rights to the peasants but their aims were overall left largely unachieved. This was partly due to the fact that the GMD had limited control and at no one time controlled more than 1/3 of China or 2/3 of the population
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  • Chinese banks were brought under central control
  • Meassures to improve the quality and availibility of education were implemented
  • Shanghai stock exchange became an international financial market
  • Opium trade brought under Government control
  • Fashion houses set up in Shanghai to compete with Paris and Milan
  • Urban transport and communication systems improved: buses and trams introduced in major cities and railways and airlines spread across China
  • National Resources Commission was set up to develop Chinese industry and negotiate foreign trade deals
  • This reforms were successful and very beneficial to China and it helped tackle some of their social and economic issues that were causing problems during the warlord period


  • These reforms were mainly brought into the city and didn't benefit the peasants which was roughly 80% of the population
  • Setting up fashion houses shouldn't of been a main focus for Chaing, he should have of helped the poorer people like he had originally promised to do
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Foreign Intervention

  • Chiang tried to restructure the legal system within the concessions so that Chinese law and lawyers played a more central role
  • Foreign commercial companies were required to pay higher export and import duties
  • Chiang reduced number of foreign concessions from 33 to 13
  • Nationalism was one of the 3 principles so should of been a key priority


  • The GMD were relant on the foreigners, particulary in economic and financial matters. This was one of the main problems that prevented the Nanjing Government from achieving the Chinese independance that the 3 principles had campaigned
  • Chiang wasn't in a position to attempt the physical removal of foreigners as there were so many of them after the 30 May Incident
  • However many Chinese depended for their livelihoods on being employed in the diplomatic offices and commercial agents that flourished in the concession areas.(Although the French & British showed a willingness to co-operate with Chiangs request that concessions areas)
  • Japanese occupation of Manchuria 1931 and the Japanese owned a 1/3 of Shanghai's cotton mills
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