Critical Events of the Chinese People’s Revolution

From Vohra and lecture/seminar notes
Dr. Ron Robel, University of Alabama


Eave of European Agression

China’s self-sufficiency and sino-centric world view permit isolation at top of vassal system
1742Pope declares Chinese traditional rights evil, Jesuits forced out
1760 Western trade restricted to one Cantonese port.
1784 America begins trade with China.
1796-1804 rebellion of the White Lotus Society, Qing military useless

End of Isolation 1800-1860

China considers all other rulers “barbarians” from vassal states, trade is “tribute”
leads to British “insults,” cultural conflicts, political excuses, violence
China and the west learn the meaning of firepower.

1793,1916 failed missions of Lords Macartney and Amherst
1834 British East India Company looses monopoly
Napier arrrives in Guangchou
1839 Lin arrives in Guangchou
1839-1842 Opium War, (Anglo-Chinese war), to open China to trade
1850-1864 Taiping Rebellion
1854 America opens Japan
1857-1860 2nd Opium War, America

Decline of the Old Order 1860-1895

China’s traditional order is destroyed along with the vassal system
steps on the path of revolution
1861-1908 Ci-xi holds absolute power in China
1861-1875 reign of Tong-zhi
1862 Zongli Yamen (foreign office) established
1862-1873 Northwest Muslim Rebellion
1871 1st treaty with Japan, start of modern relations with Asian powers
America tries to open Korea, fails
1874 France occupies Hanoi (VietNam becomes protectorate 1883)
1875-1908 reign of Guang-xu, Ci-xi looses power in 1908
1875 Japan opens Korea
1878 Chinese embassy opened in Washington
1879 Japan annexes Ryukyu islands. They Westernized fast.
1880-1896 China looses many satellite states, forced to rethink world order
1883 French make VietNam a protectorate, embarrass Chinese military
Ci-xi dismisses Prince Gong
1884 Yuan Shi-kai asserts Chinese power over the Japanese in Korea
1894-1895 1st Sino-Japanese War, looses Korea as vassal, embarrassing
1895 Japan takes control of Taiwan.

China Turns to Revolution 1895-1911

Western powers scramble for concessions before the expected collapse of the Qing
Reliance on foreign assistance loans leads to foreign control of financial system

1895 Kang You-wei writes Candidates Memorial, 1st scholarly reformist
1898-1901 Ci-xi in control, phase I, reforms reversed, reformers are traitors
1898 Chinese sign territory to Germany, Russia, France, Britain, Japan. America is busy invading the Philippines
Yuan Shi-kai betrays anti-Ci-xi coup, Guang-xu arrested
1899 American Open Door notes denied monopolies and spheres in China, really just equal-opportunity exploitation
1901 Newspapers and magazines spread (120 to date)
1902-1908 Ci-xi in power phase II, forced to accept reform, nationalism emerges, Western and Japanese models make more sense
1904 Chinese East Railroad build by Russia in Manchuria, joint control
1904-1905 Japan wins war against Russia in Korea and Manchuria
1905 Traditional examinations abolished, modern schools spread
Sun Yat-sen formes Revolutionary Alliance
1908 Gang-xuand Ci-xidie, leaving Pu-yi(Guan-tong)
Constitutional reform announced
1909 Zhang Zhi-dong dies, last of mature leaders
1911 Yuan Ski-kai president, Republic of China, military support

The Republic the Never Was 1912-1927

Attempt Sun’s 3 Stage Democracy, military unification first
private military loyalties split China into autonomous warlord zones

1912-13 Guomindang (Nationalist Party) forms under Song Jiao-ren
Yuan Shi-kai assassinates him, ending democratic experiment
1914-1918 WWI distracts West, Japan moves in
1915 National Humiliation Day (shitty Japanes treaty)
1916 Yuan ascends throne then dies
Guomindang sets up capitol in Canton
1916-1929 Warlordism in post-Yuan power vacuum.
1917 Zhang Xun restores Pu-yi to throne, Duan Qu-rui & Sun Yat-sen form Guomindang gov’t in Guangzhou (Canton)
Cai Yuanpei takes over Beijing University, reforms
1917-1927 competition between gov’t in Beijing and Guangzhou
1917 Hu Shi proposes to drop wen-yan for bai-hua
1919 May 4th Incident
1920 Wu Pei-fu’s Zhili clique seizes power in Guomindang Mao Ze-dong establishes communist cell in Hunan
1921 Communist Party of China (CPC) forms, Chen Du-xiu secretary
1920s regional warlords fuck shit up in China
1924-27 First United Front: Communist/Guomindong, Soviet pressure
1926 Zhong-shan incident puts Chiang in firm control of Guomindang
1927 Chiang K’ai-shek commands Nationalist army, unifying China
Communists expelled from the Guomindang, liquidated

The Nationalist Government 1928-1937

Warlords and Communists continue to rebel behind the façade of unification
Guomindang looses revolutionary drive and succumbs to factionalism
Authority-dependency syndrome causes problems

1928 Guomindang captures Beijing, nationalist capitol at Nanjing, Chiang Kai-shek President
1930 Mao Ze-dong establishes Jangxi Soviet
1930-1931 Chiang launches 3 anti-commi expeditions, failures
1931 Japan invades Manchuria, Pu-yi as “emperor”
“national” gov’t open in Guangzhou, anti-Chiang kids
1932 Japanese absorb Manchuria
Second gov’t reunifies with Nationalists, Wang Jing-wei in charge
CSR declairs war on Japan
CPC moves to Ruijin, accepting Mao’s belief in rev. from masses
1933/34 last anti-commie campaign, beginning of Long March.
1934 Tsunyi conference, Mao in charge
1935 Communists declare war on Japan, propaganda.
1936 2nd United Front against Japan, end of Long March in Yenan

2nd Sino-Japanese War & Rise of the Communists 1937-1949

WWII, Guomindang becomes increasingly dictatorial,
Communists gain popular support and ideology

1937-1945 War with Japan, WWII
1937 Marco Polo BridgeJapanese on 1 side, Chinese on the other, start of war.
Rape of Nanjing
1941 Pearl Harbor, US enters WWII, Nationalists declare war
1942 Mao Ze-dong becomes chairman CPC, full power
1945 WWII ends, Nationalist and Communist fight over surrenders
1946 Red Army reorganized as People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
1947 Chiang Kai-shek starts civil war against CPC
1948 Nationalists institute new constitution
Republic Of Korea founded by Sigmon Rhee
1949 People’s Republic of China founded by Mao Ze-dong
People’s Republic of North Korea founded by Kim il Sung.

From “Liberation” to “Independence” 1949-1958

Mao reeducates the Chinese and begins his socialist experiment
Desperately trying to jump start the economy
As membership rises standards drop

1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance
1950-1953 Korean War, Police Action, Inchon, MacArthur, Taiwan neutralized
1953 Stalin dies, replaced by Khrushchev
Soviets develop atomic weapons
1954 China’s 1st 5-year plan ends more productively than Soviet’s
1956 peasants organized as APCs (Agricultural Produce Cooperatives)
Hundred Flowers Campaign
1957 constitution adopted, gov’t centralized under CPC
Great Leap Forward
1958 Mao Ze-dong officially retires
PRC takes Quemoy and Matsu from Taiwan.

From Consensus to Factional Conflic 1959-1966

Ideological differences split the CPC into pro- & anti- Mao factions

1959-1961 Natural disasters all over China
1959 Sino-Indian border war
1960 Soviets cancel aid to China
1960s APC-style organization gives way to communes and individuals
1965 U.S. ends aid to Taiwan.

From Cultural Revolution to Mao’s Death 1966-1976

Mao inspires the masses to reform culture, gets chaos

1966-1969 Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR)
1968 Soviets cut off aid to China, pulled out experts
1971 Lin Biao eliminated in plane crash
Nixon visits China, accepts “1-China”
1972 Deng Xiao-ping rehabilitated by Zho En-lai
1976 Zhou En-lai dies, thousands mourn, Hua Guo-feng takes power
Mao Ze-dong dies.

Deng Xiao-ping’s New Model For China 1976-1992

Economic reform leads to privatization and freer markets

1976 Gang of 4 arrested by Hua Gup-feng.
1977 Constitution revised to limit Maoism.
1979 Family planning=1 child only, abortion, female infanticide
China invades VietNam, fails
U.S. extends formal recognition to the PRC.
1980 Deng Xiao-ping & Hua Guo-feng resign
Zhao Zi-yang replaces Hua as premier
1980-81 public trial of Lin Biao clique and Gang of 4 ends ultra-leftism
1987 Deng pressured old party members to step down, young blood
1988 Tiananmen Incident
1989-1990 Communism collapses in Europe.
1990 US grants China “Most Favored Nation” status, wide trade
1997 Hong Kong reintegrated as Special Administrative Region (SAR)



This node is a work in progress

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