1. The condition of China in 1936

  • Created by: jxssrules
  • Created on: 16-05-18 09:01

Main challenges facing Chiang Kai-shek's GMD government in 1936

  • Legal reforms (such as electing headmen to run local administrations)  were slow to change deeply embedded local and national traditions
  • Authoritarian and corrupt GMD gov.
  • GMD's authority did not extend over the whole of China - warlords and private armies
  • Japan in control of Manchuria in North
  • Yan'an
  • Political violence and military campaigns


  • Education was beyond the reach for most parents in the countryside
  • Minimal healthcare relying on traditional Chinese medicine
  • High infant mortality and low life expectancy
  • Despite outlaw of foot binding in 1902, widespread until 1930s
  • Concubines still owned by rich men and arranged marriages still common
  • 1930s worldwide depression hit farmers particularly hard

Chiang Kai-shek's Strengths as Leader of the GMD

Strengthening his power base

  • Professional corps of officers from Whampoa Military Academy - allies for struggles ahead
  • The Soong Family - married Soong Mei-ling;  important connections Shanghai & USA
  • Business interests in the cities - anti-communist & foreign trade supporters; landowners and wealthier peasants in the countryside; close links with gangsters in Shangai

Concentrating key positions in the political & military key positions power structures in his own hands - skilled at political manipulation so no serious challenge

  • National Revolutionary Army (NRA) - Commander-in-Chief and Chairman of the National Military Council; leader of GMD political party; Chairman of the State Council (= President)
  • Created GMD's Central Political Institute, Military Bureau of Statistics, Bandit Suppression Headquarters, Opium Suppression Bureau (Big Ears Du)

Using the police and the army to remove opposition to his rule

  • 1934-35 - police arrested 100s of radical students; many protestors shot dead by police

Chiang Kai-shek's Weaknesses as Leader of the GMD



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