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Year 12 - History - The Chinese Revolution: Ideologies and political parties

Units 3 and 4 - Causes & Consequences

Warlord Armies

  • Evolved out of 'New Armies' created independently in each of China's eighteen provinces in late Imperial period
  • Twelve New Armies rebelled and brought down Qing Empire in 1911 Revolution.
  • Beiyang Army, founded by and personally loyal to General Yuan Shikai, was initially loyal toQing also; then united with rebels and convinced Qing Dynasty to abdicate throne in February 1912
  • After death of dictator Yuan Shikai in 1916, New Army generals became warlords and jostled for power and influence.
  • Defeated and absorbed into Guomindang armies during Northern Expedition.
  • Remained a destabilising force in China after 1928 - many were corrupt and had limited loyalty to GMD leader Jiang Jieshi

HTAV's Chinese Revolution Study and Exam Guide

The New Culture Movement & The May 4th Movement

  • Political protest movement against warlordism and imperialism
  • Formed in response to disillusionment after failed 1911 Revolution and anger at warlords
  • Developed from 4 May 1919 protests in Beijing against decision to hand German territorial concession to Shandong province to Japan
  • Demanded a strong, united national government
  • Launched intellectual revolution that spurred Chinese interest in GMD and CCP

HTAV's Chinese Revolution Study and Exam Guide

Tongmenghui (Revolutionary Alliance)

  • Alliance of revolutionary groups organised by Sun Yixian in 1905 to bring down Qing Dynasty
  • Helped spread Han nationalism and Republican ideas
  • Spread anti-Qing propaganda among New Armies, leading to mutinies and rebellions in twelve of China's eighteen provinces during 1911 Revolution.
  • United rebels and established Republic of China on 1 January 1912
  • Evolved into Guomindang (Chinese Nationalist Party), which won 1912 elections.

HTAV Chinese Revolution Study and Exam Guide

The Goumindang (Kuomintang)

  • Revolutionary political party established in 1912 by Sun Yixian
  • Advocated Three Principles of the People: Nationalism, Democracy, People's Livelihood
  • Won majority in 1912 National Assembly elections; outlawed by President Yuan Shikai in 1914.
  • Re-established by Sun Yixian in 1921, now focused on using military methods to reunite China
  • Led by General Jiang Jieshi after Sun's death in 1925
  • Received Comintern (Communist International) aid and expertise to build up National Revolutionary Army from 1923-27
  • Seized control of China in Northern Expedition of 1926-28
  • Plagued by corruption after recruiting warlord generals, soldiers and officials in Northern Expedition
  • Lost support due to failure to implement promised reforms and failure to resist Japanese invasion
  • Defeated by Communists in Chinese Civil War of 1946-49

HTAV's Chinese Revolution Study and Exam Guide

Red Army

People’s Liberation Army, Unified organization of China’s land, sea, and air forces. It is one of the largest military forces in the world. The People’s Liberation Army traces its roots to the 1927 Nanchang Uprising of the communists against the Nationalists. Initially called the Red Army, it grew under Mao Zedong and Zhu De from 5,000 troops in 1929 to 200,000 in 1933. Only a fraction of this force survived the Long March in retreat from the Nationalists. After rebuilding its strength, a large portion of it, the Eighth Route Army, fought with the Nationalists against the Japanese in northern China. After World War II the communist forces, renamed the People’s Liberation Army, defeated the Nationalists, making possible the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949   Britannica

The Chinese Communist Party

  • Revolutionary political party established in 1921 by Comintern (Communist International)
  • Initially an orthodox Marxist party that advocated socialist revolution led by proletariat
  • Survived, adapted and grew despite many GMD attacks between 1927 and 1949
  • Came to be dominated by Mao Zedong, who shifted party's emphasis to peasant revolution and Chinese nationalism.
  • Gained popularity and membership due to responsive economic polities such as land reform and patriotic guerrilla resistance to Japanese invasion
  • Victorious over Guomindang and seized control of China in 1949

HTAV's Chinese Revolution and Exam Guide

New Life Movement

The New Life Movement was launched by Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975) in 1934. Influenced by Chiang’s newfound Christianity and decades of missionary efforts in China, the movement aimed to regenerate the nation by ‘rectifying’ and strengthening the lives of Chinese people who had been ‘polluted’ with Communism.

The Movement promoted eight qualities: orderliness, cleanliness, simplicity, frugality, promptness, precision, harmoniousness and dignity.

The China Story

First United Front

The first United Front was begun in 1924. In return for Soviet military and organizational aid, Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan), the leader of the KMT, agreed to a “bloc within” alliance in which CCP members joined the KMT as individuals while retaining their separate CCP memberships. The alliance was held together by the personal prestige of Sun. After Sun’s death, in 1925, tension began to develop between the right wing of the KMT and the communists. Finally, in March 1926, Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi), who had been made commander in chief of the KMT army, expelled the communists from positions of high leadership. A short time later, Chiang began his Northern Expedition to eliminate the powerful provincial warlords among whom the country was divided. The Northern Expedition met with success, and, as a result, Chiang gained the support of financial circles in Shanghai and of a number of warlords, whose armies were incorporated into his.  Britannica

The Jiangxi Soviet

The Jiangxi Soviet, later called the Chinese Soviet Republic, was a self-governing region of south-eastern China that came under Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control during the early 1930s. Established by Mao Zedong and the Red Army in 1930, the Jiangxi Soviet was significant for a number of reasons.

Jiangxi provided the CCP with a regional stronghold where it could consolidate and strengthen the Red Army. It was also a social and economic laboratory for trialling peasant-based socialism.

The Jiangxi period thrust Mao Zedong into prominence as a CCP leader, as well as providing insight into his military tactics and political ideology. Jiangxi also exposed Mao’s cunning and brutality: his control was secured and maintained through violent purges of local communists.    AlphaHistory