Republic of China
- Existed: 1912-1949 (Or in "exile" for some.)
- Founder: Sun Yat-Sen!
The Republic of China (ROC), also known as the Kumingtang (KMT) or the Nationalist Party. Was founded after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in February of 1912. The original president of the new Chinese government was none other than, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. However within months, he had resigned his post in favor of a former Qing military offical, Yuan Shikai. However, his short regain was one of a harsh military dictatorship and even an attempt to crown himself emperor. It promptly ended with his unexpected death in June of 1916.
During the 12 years before the Nationalist government took power (1928) are known as China's warlord period. During this time many people with much power, or former army officals would seize lands and control them. Effectively screwing up the nation for personal gain.
It was also during this time that Sun-Yat Sen, and his followers (among them was Chiang Kai-Shek) sought the help of the Soviets for help in building a strong central party government and the first meeting of the Chinese Communist Party took place in Shanghai.
In 1925, Sun Yat-Sen died of cancer, this however, did not hamper the Northern Expedition, despite some attempts by rivals to gain power in the Nationalist Party. In June of the following year, the Northern Expedition was launched with Chiang Kai-Shek as military commander, and the Communists aiding with peasants and workers along the way. However, when Shanghai was reached in April 1927 the Nationalist attacked the Communists ("White Terror"), searching out and killing party members, organizers, and just about anyone associate with the party. The remants of the Communist Party fled into the mountains.
With the allegiance of three key warlords, the unification of China was completed and Chiang Kai-Shek became the head of the Nationalist Party. From then on till the fall of the Nationalist in 1949 the government was plauged by corruption. When the Japanese invaded in 1931, the poorly equipted Chinese Army was no match, even when Chang reserved 100,000 of his best troops to defend the city of Shanghai.
From 1938 to the end of World War II the ROC's headquarters were stationed in Chongqing. A mountain fortress, the only thing the Japanese could do was bomb the place. However, most of the major cities and the entire coastline were captured by the Japanese.
When the end of World War II came, the United States attempted to get Chang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong to agree to piece. It didn't work, within months the Chinese Civil War had resumed and although Chang held the lead at first, he slowly begain to get defections to the Communists. More importantly, the rampant corruption, and inflation (By 1949 100 Chinese dollars were worth a piece of paper) had left the general public in disgust with the current government.
By August 1949, most of the ROC had fled to the island of Taiwan. With the United States for protection. It remain so to this day.
In retrospect, if it were not for the horrible leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, the story of China today would be very different, and the ROC might still be here today, and China might be one of the world's most prosperous nations.
Also See: Is Taiwan a part of China?