China 1914 CE

The 2000 years of China's imperial history have come to an end with the fall of the Qing dynasty.

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What is happening in China in 1914CE

The long imperial era of China’s history has ended and the last of its dynasties has left the stage.

In 1894-5, a war with Japan ended in humiliating defeat for the China. Japan gained Taiwan and other territories, and other foreign powers joined in a free-for-all at China’s expense: they demanded (and got) more ports along the coast of China and claimed wide “spheres of influence” around them. The complete dismemberment of the Chinese empire was only averted by rivarlies between the great powers of the day.

These developments undermined support for the Qing dynasty, now widely seen as puppets of the foreign powers, and they deepened the already bitter hatred of foreigners within China. The last years of the 19th century saw the rise of a particularly violent anti-foreign movement known as the Boxers, and many Western missionaries were killed. The Qing court seemed to endorse the movement, and the foreign community in Beijing came under threat from Boxer groups. The Western powers sent an international force to protect their compatriots, which sacked Beijing (1901). The foreign governments then demanded a huge indemnity from China.

At this point the Qing court enacted a wide range of modernizing measures, but these were too little, too late to save the last of China’s imperial dynasties. In 1911 some Qing policies aimed at bolstering their rule sparked opposition throughout the country, and local garrisons and provincial assemblies one by one seceded from the empire. The commander of the army in Beijing declared a Republic on January 1st, 1912.

Despite the best efforts of such figures as the widely-respected Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Chinese republic almost immediately starts collapsing into civil war.

Next map, China in 1960

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