Xinhai Revolution

The Xinhai Revolution, or the Hsin-hai Revolution, also known as the Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, and established the Republic of China. The revolution was named Xinhai (Hsin-hai) because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar.

The revolution consisted of many revolts and uprisings. The turning point was the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911, that was a result of the mishandling of the Railway Protection Movement. The revolution ended with the abdication of the "Last Emperor" Puyi on February 12, 1912, that marked the end of over 2,000 years of imperial rule and the beginning of China's republican era.

The revolution arose mainly in response to the decline of the Qing state, which had proven ineffective in its efforts to modernize China and confront new challenges presented by foreign powers, and was exacerbated by ethnic resentment against the ruling Manchu minority. Many underground anti-Qing groups, with the support of Chinese revolutionaries in exile, tried to overthrow the Qing. The brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the late Qing military strongman, and Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui (United League). After the Qing court transferred power to the newly founded republic, a provisional coalition government was created along with the National Assembly. However, political power of the new national government in Beijing was soon thereafter monopolized by Yuan and led to decades of political division and warlordism, including several attempts at imperial restoration.

Today, both the Republic of China in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China on the mainland consider themselves to be successors to the Xinhai Revolution and continue to pay homage to the ideals of the revolution including nationalism, republicanism, modernization of China and national unity. October 10 is commemorated in Taiwan as Double Ten Day, the National Day of the Republic of China. In mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, the same day is usually celebrated as the Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. Many overseas Chinese also celebrate the anniversary in Chinatowns across the world.

Read more about Xinhai Revolution:  Background, Strata and Groups, Uprisings and Incidents, After Wuchang, Echoes From Other Provinces

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