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Republic of China Republic

Republic of China Republic (1912 - 1949)

ChinaThe 37 years of the Republic of China although short, were very turbulent and important period of Chinese history. The chances for a thorough political and social change were missed by internal turmoil (warlordism, civil war) and external challenge (Japanese aggression). Politically China was dominated by half a dozen of warlords and strong militarists, and even the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) 蔣介石 after 1927 was unable to dominate the whole of China. Political bases and philosophical background of these warlords stretched from royalism to revolutionary ideologies with democratic targets that could never be fulfilled. The lack of democracy in the early decades of the \"Republic\" was due to the lack of democratic consciousness of most parts of the ruling class. With the \"bourgeois\" revolution of 1911 a Western style administration system was introduced by Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan) 孫中山 but without preparing the wider part of the population for this change. Under Chiangs dictaturship finally it were militarists and the financial circles of the metropoles Shanghai and Guangzhou that controlled the politics of Republican China. But at the same time intellectuals clearly demonstrated the need for a mental and a political change. During the May Fourth Movement (Wusi yundong 五四運動) Confucianism again was denounced as the cause for Chinas backwardness compared to the Western states and Japan that replaced the old colonial powers; writers gave up the old Classical Chinese language and wrote in vernacular modern Chinese; artists and writers sought new themes and expressed the problems of their time in hitherto unknown ways and media; democratical parties were founded, the Communist Party (Gongchandang 共產黨) was founded; in the cities the upper classes felt attracted by the Western culture of the \"Golden Twenties\". In the countryside meanwhile the Chinese peasants suffered under the pressure of the landowning gentry like centuries before. The decisive intuition of some Communist leaders like Mao Zedong 毛澤東 was that China had to be reformed from the countryside, and only guerilla warfare from the countryside against Chiang Kai-shek could create a new China ripe for changes.