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History of China


The Yangshao and the Longshan culture, the Shang dynasty (about 1600 BC - about 1050 BC) and the Zhou dynasty (about 1050 BC - 221 BC)

(The Chinese sign for the Shang dynasty.) (The Chinese sign for the Zhou dynasty.)

The Yangshao and the Longshan culture were cultures of the New Stone Age (Neolithic Age). The Yangshao culture began about 5000 BC. Isolated finds shows that there were also cultures before the Neolithic Age. These both cultures made ceramic things. The differences were in the forms and colors. The Longshan culture had black vases. The estimations today are that the firing temperature was over 1000 degrees. Weapons and tools were also made. These cultures also had domestic animals and a dead cult which was based on holding bones into the fire. The Shang dynasty which began about 1600 BC was a culture of the bronze age. The found remnants of the Shang dynasty which were found near Anyang show the advanced technics of this dynasty. In this time there were not any emperors, but only kings, because a whole China did not exist then. Like in the Neolithic Age in the Shang dynasty bones were also hold into fire to forecast the future. In the Shang dynasty it was a science and it was very important for the kings. Some bones were also described. Weapons and vases were made of bronze. Many of them had complicated pattern like coat of arms. Different metals were mixed with bronze (alloys). During the Shang dynasty there were territorial fiefs which were administrated by nobly familes. In the Shang dynasty many things were sacrificed. It were animals, but also servants of a king were burried when he died. Later the servants were replaced by figures. About 1050 BC the Shang dynasty were defeated by a neighbour country called Zhou. This countries army was better prepared and it had got better chariots. At the beginning the Zhou had to defend themselves against attacks of barbarian peoples from the own country and from other countries. In the Zhou dynasty there were again territorial fiefs which were administrated by nobly families. There were not any agreement, but it was usually that that the fiefs were paled and so they stayed for generations in the same family. In the Zhou dynasty there were also an aristocracy hierarchy. In the Zhou dynasty there lived two of the most important Chinese philosophs: Laozi and Confucius. Not all information about them are sure. We can only say that Laozi lived in the 4th century BC and Confucius lived from 551 BC till 479 BC. Laozi was the founder of the Taoism and his most important book with many wisdoms was the tao te king. Confucius developed a state theory which was based on morally values. Until today there are many followers of the Taosim and the Confucianism in China. In this time also the Chinese philosoph and general Sunzi wrote his book "The Art of War" which is famosu until today. Around the Zhou kingdom many other countries were founded. In one there were even successors of the Shang dynasty. These countries developed themselves and made wars. During this martially time the system changed. The power of the families sinked. Many important position were occupied by the lower aristocracy. The war nature changed strong. The warws were made because of territories. The chariots were replaced through infantry and horses and new weapons were made. During this time (about 500 BC) the farmers could free themselves from the aristocracy. Later there was an economic upswing in China. New technics in the agriculture were used and the iron-pour was also known in China. This were innovations. They traded more than earlier centuries, the town grew and money was introduced. They traded with other countries and it helped China to expand. The nobly families disintegrated slowly. The country Qin developed a central system where the aristocracy were not prefered. Everyone had got the same chances. The king Qin Shi Huangdi of the country Qin united all these countries in 221 BC and so the had founded China. He was the first emperor of China.


The Qin dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) and the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD)

(The Chinese sign for the Qin dynasty.) (The Chinese sign for the Han dynasty.)

The king Qin Shi Huangdi of the country Qin had defeated the neighbour countries and united them to the Qin kingdom in 221 BC. So the Zhou dynasty were finished and Qin Shi Huangdi was the first emperor of China. He made very fast many innovations and Standardizations. The money and the writing wree standardized. The forerunner of the Chinese wall was built. The Chinese wall of today is from the Ming dynasty. The position of the walls is similiar, because in the Qin dynasty and in the Ming dynasty it should protect China against nomad attacks from the North. In 247 BC, before Chian existed, Qin Shi Huangdi let built his mausoleum. Today it is known as the terracotty army. It contains 6000 soldiers made of terracotty. It was discovered in 1974 near Lintong. Qin Shi Huangdi conquered neighbour territories were nomads lived. Chinese settled there. The first emperor was very cruel. The Chinese people was dissatisfied and also the aristocracy, because they had not got any power. There was also a very hard penitentiary system and Qin Shi Huangdi had forbidded books which were against the country. The consequence was a book burning. The second emperor of the Qin dynasty was the son of Qin Shi Huangdi. He has not got the power for a long time, because the people rebeled against the Qin dynasty and the Qin dynasty was over. The leader of the rebels was Liu Bang and he has founded the Han dynasty in 206 BC. He was the first emperor of the Han dynasty. At the beginning the Han dynasty used parts of the system of government of the Qin dynasty. the aristocracy had the power over different fiefs. Later the system was loosen and the farmers were free. In the Han dynasty there were very exact censuses. For some services people got honour ranks, but they could lose them in a criminal procedure. In the Han dynasty there were also conquests. Chinese settled in the conquered territories. The central government had there more power than of the families in the old Chinese territories. Soldiers were also placed into the new territories to defend them. More walls and canals were built. Later the fiefs where abolished and so the aristocracy lost its power. At the beginning of the Han dynasty there were many nomads attacks from the North, because the walls were bad guarded. The Han dynasty tried to secure the peace with presents given to these peoples. Later the Han thought that this policy is harmful for China and so about 120 BC these peoples were defeated. The Han dynasty conquered Mongolia and Mandchuria. Everywhere Chinese settled. The guards on the walls communicated With smoke digns and fire. Also in the South the Han had conquered many territories and destryoed many cultures. Until today it is possible to find traces from some cultures. All over Asia it is possible to find Chinese things from this epoch. The contacts were even to the Roman Empire. In this time business men were very active. The Chinese tried to have good political contacts to their neighbour countries and so they gave them many presents like silk. The Chinese and the other peoples exchanged theirs cultures. It was often that the consequence of an agreement was a marriage. This spreaded the Chinese culture in the nomand peoples. During the Han dynasty there were progresses in the metallurgy and in the weapons. There were national and private enterprises which were controlled by rich families. During the Han dynasty there was a paging. The aristocracy and the officials did not like the emperors and the population was under the pressure of the rich families. In 23 AD there was a paging and the time after that paging is called Eastern Han; the time before is called Western Han. In the Eastern Han dynasty the great land owners had much power, again. There were conflicts between the eunuchs and the great land owners. In 189 AD the great land owners could defeat the eunuchs. Because of an agrarian crisis at the end of the 2nd century religious groups were formed and they began to rebel. these groups were found by generals and the emperors at the end of the 2nd century had not got any power. The generals fought each other and in 220 the Han dynasty was over. Three kingdoms were formed: Shu, Wei and Wu.


The three kingdoms (220 - 280), the Jin dynasty (265 - 420) and the time till 581

(The Chinese sign for the Jin dynasty.)

At the end of the Han dynasty generel Cao Cao thought that he can reign whole China. In a battle he was stopped by two other generals Sun Quan and Liu Bei. So China was divided into three kingdoms. Liu Bei founded the kingdom Shu, Cao Cao founded the kingdom Wei and Sun Quan founded the kingdom Wu. Cao Cao's kingdom was a military dicatatorship. Through a systematic agrairian policy the economy of his kingdom should be strengthen. When he made the regular army he tried to use the military abilities of some nomad peoples. For good services soldiers and officials could got a rank. There was also a new penitentiary system. the Shu kingdom was also a military dicatatorship, but it was conquered by the kingdom Wei in 263. In the kingdom Wei the rich families took the power and Sima Yan had founded the Jin dynasty in 265. This was the end of the kingdom Wei. In 280 Sima Yan also conquered the kingdom Wu. From the beginning of the Jin dynasty the familiy Sima tried to make measures to prevent the political rise of the riche families. The fiefs should be limited. In reality it was not so and there were great land owners with huge fiefs and they had the control over many people. At the end of the 3rd century there were some conflicts between the princes of the Jin dynasty. This lasted into the 4th century and the people Xiongnu used this situation and finished the dynasty of the Western Jin in 316. In 317 the dynasty of them Eastern Jin was founded. The chaos in China continued. In the middle of the 4th century there were revolts which could be finished at the beginning of the 5th century. The government had not got much power and so the generals took the power and in 420 the Jin dynasty was over. The next time till the formation of the Sui dynasty in 581 was a time of many short dnyasties. The next dynasty was the Song dynasty till 479. After this dynasty there was the Qi dynasty till 502. Here was a paging and the next dynasty was the Liang dynasty till 557. This dynasty has a very good ecenomy and the population lived well. The army was against the government and so in 557 the Chen dynasty began. The Chen dynasty lasted till 581, so till the beginning of the Sui dynasty. It was the last of the Southern dynasties. In North China there were even more dynasties. Since the end of the Western Jin dynasty in 316 many kingdoms were founded by nomad peoples in North China. All these kingdoms were finished by the Sui dynasty in 581.


The Sui dynasty (581 - 618), the Tang dynasty (618 - 907) and the time till 960

(The Chinese sign for the Sui dynasty.) (The Chinese sign for the Tang dynasty.)

ceramic pot
ceramic pot, China, 7th century - 10th century, Tang dynasty (618 - 907)

The time from 581 is the time of the reunification of the divided China and the end of the barbarians. It was es slow reunification. In 581 emperor Wen had founded the Sui dynasty in Chang'an. The second and last emperor of this short dynasty was emperor Yang. In this time China began its expeditions to other Asian countries over the sea. There built many canals which helped the economy between North China and South China. The Northern walls were built longer, because of the Mongols. In 618 general Li Yuan marched in Chang'an and founded the Tang dynasty. After him his son Li Shimin became emperor of China. The canals were built more and more and the economy got better. There were two capitals Chang'an and Luoyang, but Chang'an was the more important capital. Both capitals are situated near the Huang He. Chang'an was built up. It had very strong walls for the defending. Here was also the palace, all the officials and buddistical and taoistical temples. The Tang dynasty had a very good organised administration system which occupied all affairs. For every district there was an offcial and this little districts formed bigger districts. The owning of land and the hereditary of the land was controls. Justice was well organised, too. The majority of the military was formed by the aristocracy, which exited since the Sui dynasty, but now farmer were soldiers, too. The most important thing were horses. At the beginning of the 7th century there were little horses, but later there were much more horses. In the 8th century the number of horses got down again. The reason were attacks of the Tibetians and the Turks. In the 7th century there was a great expansion of China. In the western territories China fought which Turks and Tibetians. China won and could place his borders into the west. Corea and Vietnam have been also occupied. This was the first big expansion of Chinese empire. In 690 the empress Wu reigned in China and she replaced many officials. She was very cruel, because she has executed many members of the family Li, which has founded the Tang dynasty. In 705 her power ended. The years between 712 and 756 were the golden age for the Tang dynasty and for the history of China. It is important to say that in the 7th century China had invented the porcelain and that vases and other things were made of porcelain and not only of ceramic. Emperor Xuanzog reigned in this time. The Buddhism was very important in that time and many people studied it very careful. This age was very important for literature, too. Slowly the system went down. In the first half of the 8th century there were founded military districts with imperial commisaries. In 755 there was a heavy revolution led by An Lushan. He occupied Chang'an and Luoyang without big problems. Several territories which belonged to China got indepent at the end of the 8th century, because China was very weak. The military commissaries which were later not noble, but taken from the population got more and more powerful. The government had to accept it, because they could not do anything against this. In 907 the Tang dynasty ended and the most powerful military commissaries divided China and until 960 there were five dynasties. The Song dynasty could reunified China.


The Song dynasty (960 - 1279)

(The Chinese sign for the Song dynasty.)

The Song dynasty was formed from one of the five dynasties, which were formed after the Tang dynasty. It was the dynasty of the Later Zhou. General Zhao Kuangyin has founded the Song dynasty in 960 in Kaifeng. In the following years the other parts of China, which were independant, were conquered by China. Early after these successes there were problems with the nomads from the North in the 11th century. Like in other earlier centuries it were the Mongols and the Dschurds, which were a problem for China. These enemies were in the whole history of China a problem. In this time it was also a problem to defeat these peoples and China had to sign agreements, which were not positiv for China. In 1127 the Dschurds have even conquered North China and from this date on we have got only the Southeren Song dynasty. The reason is that in the most periods of the Chinese history China had got an army of mercenaries. The nomads were better prepared for wars and the soldiers fought better. The Chinese army of mercenaries was expensive, because they had to pay very much and in periods without war they formed groups of bandits and they stole. They also do not fought very well, because most of them were vagabonds and former prisoners. Besides these defeats the Song dynasty was an important time for invention and politics. In comparison to other dynasties before and after the Song dynasty, in the Song dynasty there were political parties. We cannot compare it to our system, but the chancellor was powerful, but there was also an emperor. The officials in the Song dynasty were very important, too. There were good tests to find out the best officials. The officials were calles mandarins. There were many reforms in the Song dynasty to make the population content. The towns were very important, because they changed positiv. Socials institutions like hospitals and homes for the aged were formed. Kaifeng was not only the emperial city, but here were also brothels and several markets. In these places there were always people. Now we shout look on the inventions. One of the most important inventions was the gun-powder, because it was the base for the first colts and so it was also important for Europe. The Chinese used the gun-powder to shoot with arrows. Another weapon with was invented was the throwing machine. Because of the trade the Chinese population became more mobile. The mandarins stayed only for three to four years on one place and then they had to move to another place. The manufacture of ceramics and porcelains became better. China traded much with other countries. The trade products were ceramic, porcelain, silk, tea and other metals. The Chinese had also invented the paper money in this time. In the Song dynasty China was the biggest naval power of the world and the Chinese ships were better developed than the European. In the end of the 12th century Dschingis Khan was very active. The wohle territory which is today Russia was the empire of Dschingis Khan. He also came the Europe and to Persia. So China which is so near was conquered, too. In the 13th century the attacks in North China began. In 1279 the whole of China was occupied by the Mongols and they have founded the Yuan dynasty.


The Yuan dynasty (1279 - 1368)

(The Chinese sign for the Yuan dynasty.)

Around China nomad peoples developed more and more. In 1127 the Dschurds had conquered North China. Also other nomad peoples had founded countries around China and were prepared for war very well and so the Chinese had to pay tributes to them. Most of these countries had not last very long. All this happened during the Song dynasty. Since the beginning of the 13th century Dschingis Khan began his conquest. The Dschurds were driven away from China and Dschingis Khan went even to Anterior Asia and Europe. Europe was worse prepared for such attacks than China and so it was a surprise for Europe. In China the conquest throught the Mongols lasted longer. Parts of North China were conquered when Dschingis Khan lived. Dschingis Khan died in 1227. Oegoedei was Dschingis Khan's successor in Eastern Asia. From the beginning on the Mongols did not treated the Chinese well. They tried to exploit all conquered peoples and they made them to slaves. At the beginning they had problems with the organisation of the administration. Later the they used the Chinese system and they had some interests in the Chinese culture, like Chinese books. The successor of Oegoedei was Kubilai Khan and he conquered also South China and so in the year 1279 the Yuan dynasty was founded. In the year 1267 Kubilai Khan shift the capital from Karakorum to Beijing. The Mongols divided the people in China into four classes. The first class were the Mongols, the next class were other peoples who were not Chinese, the third class were North Chinese and the last class were the South Chinese. The Mongols held the South Chinese for barbarian, but they were much better educated than the Mongols. Important positions were given to Mongols and some positions also to people of the second class. They were often muslims. It was impossible to advance to a better class and the both last classes were very limited and discriminated. it was forbidden to change his job or to marry somebody from an other class. When a Chinese killed a Mongol he was condemned to death. The other way round the Mongol only had to pay a fine. The high taxes made the life of Chinese farmers very hard. Nevertheless the great land owners in South China were not expropriated like in North China. With the conquest of South China the Mongols now had more ressources, but it was a problem to transport them to North China. A canal was built between Beijing and South China. This so called emperor's canal was also used in the Ming and the Qing dynasty and is used until today. The Mongols used in whole China paper money and they traded with different business men from Anterior Asia. The Mongols also had contacts to Europe though the silk road. Many business men from Anterior Asia and Europe traveled to China and so of them got important positions in China. Also Christian of clergymen traveled to China and some of them wrote detailed reports about China. Marco Polo is famous. He was a business man from Venice and allegedly he stayed for several years with Kubilai Khan. Today historian doubt weather Marco Polo's history is not a swindle. There were also some Chinese who traveld to Anterior Asia and Europe. The sciences were continued during the Yuan dynasty. The main sciences were mathematics and astronomy. The Yuan dynasty always tried to promote religions in which they were interested. At the beginning it was the Taoism and later it was the Lamaism. the heads of the promoted religions had got much power. The consequence of the exploitation of the Mongols was strong Chinese resistance. There were for example the religious group "White Lotos" and the organisation "Red Turbans". These organisations, with Zhu Yuan Zhang at the head, could reconquer part for part of China. In 1368 they had founded the Ming dynasty in Nanjing.


The Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)

(The Chinese sign for the Ming dynasty.)

porcelain shell
porcelain shell, China, end of the 16th century, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644)

When the opposition groups could drive away the Mongols of China, Zhu Yuan Zhang (Cantonese: Taizu) has founded the Ming dynasty in 1368. Ming means bright or in this context bright shinning. The Ming dynasty also tried to occupy the outer Mongolia and to defeat the Mongols forever, but they failed. The second half of the 14th century was a century for building up. Zhu Yuan Zhang made different safety regulations, because he was afraid that somebody can upset him. He made a secret police which had to spy officals which might be dangerous for the emperor. Officals which had to much force were put down. Sometimes they had to go into prison or were even killed. Zhu Yuan Zhang wanted to have officals from the people, because he was of the opinion that they work faster and that they are more loyal than noble people. But the eunuchs could strengthen their position on the imperial court. There made ministries for craftmans, farmers and for the military. The first capital of the Ming dynasty was Nanjing. Zhu Yuan Zhang abdicated in 1398. In 1403 Zhu Di became the new emperor. He was very enagaged in politics. Because he was an offical in Beijing before Beijing became the new capital. He wanted to show that China is not weak, because of the mongols and he made 7 big maritime shippings, which were planed and made by the islamic eunuch, with a Chinese name, Zheng He. He visited many countries in Asia and Africa to show them that China is not dead. In 1421 the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace of the ming emperors and the Qing emperors were built. The Forbidden City is the biggiest palace of the world and has got an area of 720,000 m2. There are 9,999 chambers in this palace. In the 15th century there were problems with Japanese pirates. In this century also the Great Wall (Chinese: chang cheng) was built. It should protect China from the Mongols, which wanted to conquer China, and later the Mandshures wanted to conquer China. The length of the Great Wall during the Ming dynasty was about 9,000 km and today it is 6,000 km long. The height of this great sight is different, from 4 m to 12 m. Every 200 m we can find a tower. When it came to a fight at the wall this message was shown with fire signals from one tower to the next tower until the emperor was informed. The Great Wall is the only building which we can see even in space. In the 16th the situation in China got bad. At the end of the century there were revolutions and oppositional groups were formed. The emperor in this time was Wanli. He became emperor in 1573. The financial capacities became very bad, because Wanli gave much money for wars. In 1577 the Portugueses came th China to trade with the Chinese. Portugal got the harbor Macau. The Portugueses brought products from South America like the sweet potato. The Chinese paid with porcelain. In the end of the 16th century and in the beginning of the 17th century there were many writers in China and science was very important, too. Many things changed and in China there were more and more business men. But there were also the poor farmers which had to work for the land owners. The protests became bigger and bigger. In 1620 Wanli has abdicated. His period was the longest of all Ming emperors. He reigned 47 years. In the Ming dynasty the blue-white porcelain was formed. In the period of Wanli the techniques for porcelain got better and better. The capital of the porcelain is Jingdezhen since the Tang dynasty. Since 1628 there were the first heavy fights at the Great Wall between the Chinese and the Mandshures. The Mandshures won and the declared the Qing dynasty in 1644.


The Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)

(The Chinese sign for the Qing dynasty.)

porcelain vase
porcelain vase, China, beginning of the 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
porcelain vase
porcelain vase, China, 2nd half 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)


Blanc de Chine porcelain
Blanc de Chine porcelain (Goddess Guanyin), China, 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)


tea box
tea box, China, end of the 19th century, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)

At the beginning of the 17th century Nurhaci unified the Dschurds in Mandchuria. He became the leader oof the Dschurds and he began to fight against China. His successor Abahai continued the battles. In 1635 he changed the name Dschurds into Mandshures. In 1644 the Mandshures official declared the Qing dynasty. Before 1644 the Mandshures have occupied many Chinese territories, but in this year they could take the whole power of China. This was the end of the Ming dynasty. For many years there was a resitance group called South Ming. This group was in the South of China. The reason is that Mandchuria is in the north-east of China, so some Chinese went to the South of China. Shunzhi became in 1644 the first emperor of the Qing dynasty. First the Mandshures made similiar measures as the Mongols have made. They tried to seperat Chinese and Mandshures. Marriages between Chinese and Mandshures were forbidden. In the capital Beijing Chinese and Mandshures lived seperated, too. Many Chinese official were replaced by Mandshures. The Chinese farmers were utilized fully from the Mandshures, because of the very high taxes. Bet later it becames better. In 1662 Kangxi became emperor. He reigned from 1662 to 1722. Here starts a time of wealth. Kangxi was an emperor which knows how to reign. He tried to find ways to make the Chinese population content. He was of the opinion, that an emperor can only reign for a long time when the whole population is content and so he did. He amde six travels to the intelligent Chinese people which were in the South of China. He thought that it is the best way to find a solution for the problem that the Mandshures reign China. Kangxi was also real interested in the old Chinese culture and he took over some traditions. Jingdezhen, the capital of the porcelain bloomed under the government of Kangxi. In this time there was made the best porcelain in the whole history of China. The paintings on the porcelain were of the best quality. The 18th century was a time of wealth for China. In the 18th century China was the biggist and the richest country of the world. The Qing dynasty conquered the expresses Mongolia (today Mongolia), Tibet, Taiwan and other little territories. What we know today as West China belongs since the 18th century to China and Taiwan, too. 1759 China reached the biggist area of 11.5 mio. km2. Today China's area is about 9.5 mio. km2. From 1723 to 1735 Yongzheng was the emperor of China and from 1736 to 1796 Qianlong was emperor of China. This time of wealth was caused by the three emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong. But China was also the richist country of the world in the 18th century. A Chinese farmer in the middle of the 18th century was richer than a French farmer under Louis XV and most of the Chinese farmers were more educated. The salary for officials was very high to prevent corruption. The Chinese population grow. At the end of the 18th century the political situation became worse and there were rebellions of farmers. The corruption of the official began again. England became more and more interested in China. England imported opium to China, but the Chinese government was not content about this fact. China had fobidden this import. When a Chinese official confiscated opium on a British ship in Kanton, England began to attack China and this is called the first opium war, which happend in 1842. China has lost this war. China had to pay reparations to England for this war. the import of opium became higher and higher in the 19th century and Europe tried to have more and more influence in China. Many of China's weapons depended on the European countries. For example they bought cannons. In the 19th century after many conflicts China had to open more and more Chinese harbors for the trade with England. China had to give Hongkong to England, too. There were many problems in China, too. In the middle of the 19th century the Taiping were formed. They were against the Mandshures. Thes occupied big territories of China. In 1850 they reached the top. In the following years they could be stopped, but other resitance groups existed, too. The people who have stopped the Taiping rebellion got more and more power obstinacy the empress Cixi. Many official do not liked them, because they cooperated with Europe. After a Chinese control of a British smuggling ship it came to the second opium war in 1856. France and Germany also marched in in China. China also had problems with Japan, because the industrial development was faster than the Chinese. In 1894 there were problems in Corea, which was under the control of China and China helped them. This was the Chinese Japanese war, which China had lost. Now Corea belonged to Japan. This decay of China was caused by three factors. First there were rebellions in China, then there were attacks from Europe and China did not wanted to give up their traditions. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century there was the resitance group of the boxers. They hated foreigners and they killed Chinese who have worked with foreigners or who became christians. In 1900 they have kill a German minister resident. This was the boxer rebellion. Because of a declaration of war from Cixi to Europe there were attacks and China had to pay again. In 1908 Pu Yi became the last emperor of China with the age of three years. Three years later his official power ended, because in 1911 the Qing dynasty ended and the republic of China was originated. Russia also occupied the expresses Mongolia.


The Republic of China (1911 - 1949) and the People's Republic of China (since 1949)


At the turn of the century China's economy was very bad. Some European countries made colonies in parts of China and China also had to pay them and Japan remunerations. In this time in also later in the 20th century the situation of the Chinese farmers was very bad. New political groups were formed. One of these groups was the group of the physician Sun Yat-Sen. He was arranged republican and he made revolts which did not seem to be successful. At the end of the year 1911 there were some revolts in China and Sun Yat-Sen used this situation to replace the Qing dynasty. This was the end of the Qing dynasty and on the 1st of january 1912 Sun Yat-Sen was elected to the first president of the Republic of China in Nanjing. In february 1912 the last Chinese emperor Pu Yi had to resign. The new government was very weak. Yuan Shikai, a military leader, had much power in China since the beginning of the 20th century. In february 1912 Yuan Shikai took the power in a peaceful way and he became president of China. He closed all democratic instituations in China and made a dictatorship. The group of Sun Yat-Sen escaped to Japan. Yuan Shikai, who died in 1916, could not hold China together. Japan tried to intersperse its interests in China and China was splitted. The powerful men of Yuan Shikai's government started to fight each other. They were called Warlords. European countries and Japan supported some Warlords to secure their power. Because of some revolts against Japan Sun Yat-Sen became president in Guangzhou in 1921. He was only president in this part of China. In 1924 the party of Sun Yat-Sen Kuomintang had a Soviet direction. The military man Chiang Kai-shek, who was active under Sun Yat-Sen, took the power in South China and also in North China, after the death of Sun Yat-Sen. In 1928 he was elected to the president in Beijing. Chiang Kai-Shek turned away from the communists and fought against them. His policy was nationalistic. At the beginning of the Thirties communist organisations were formed in China. In 1931 Japan occupied Mandchuria. The communists (Red Army) became popular, because they resisted against Japan. Chiang Kai-Shek persued the communists and the consequence was the "Long March" in 1934/35. Mao Tse-tung was the leader of this march which was over 10000 km long. It was an escape into a surely region. In 1937 Japan occupied parts of North China. Chiang Kai-Shek and his government retreated. During the Second World War both parties fought against Japan. After the Second World War there was a civil war in China and the communists had won. Chiang Kai-Shek and his government had to escape to Taiwan. On the 1st of october 1949 the People's Republic of China was founded. Mao Tse-tung was the first president of the People's Republic of China till 1959. in the Fifties Tibet was integrated into the People's Republic of China in a cruel way. The communists tried to build up China and they were interested in the bad situation of the farmers. The political system was the same like in the Soviet Union. In 1957 there were revolts which were finished brutally. In 1958 the communists made even a more radically policy. Now the society was much important than earlier and nothing was private. This was a difference to the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union was not happy that China tried to make a new system. In 1960 many parts of this policy were taken back. In 1965 Mao Tse-tung made a movement against people who were against his policy of 1958. He could mobilize the youth and the students with got much power and they should discover counter revolutionary. Many important members of the party lost their power, like Deng Xiaoping. It is known as the culture revolution. The consequence was an anarchy which was stopped by the army. Later the situation in China could be stabilized. On the 9th of september 1976 Mao Tse-tung died. After his death Deng Xiaoping took the power, who lost his power during the culture revolution. He tried to retrogressive the policy of Mao Tse-tung. He abolished the planned economy and he did a step forward to the social free-market economy. Nevertheless he let kill and arrest many students in 1989 in Beijing who had demonstrated for more democracy. On the 1st of july 1997 Great Britain returned Hong Kong to China and on the 20th of december 1999 Portugal returned Macao to China. Both regions can keep their economic system for 50 years.


Author and Webmaster: Lukas Czarnecki

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Last Update: 24.12.2004