Explain why there was a revolution in China in 1911 and assess the consequences of that revolution.

In October of 1911, the Qing Dynasty faced a revolt, led by a group of revolutionaries in southern China. It is also called the Xinhai Revolution. The revolution ceased the era of the last imperial dynasty of China and flagged off the Republic of China.

Causes: The reason behind the Chinese Revolution started appearing since the very beginning of the Qing dynasty when they suffered its first defeat in the First Opium War in 1842.

  • The increased demand for opium and increased tax rate weakened the military system and made the people disappointed.
  • To strengthen the position in front of the major European powers, the modernization of China became essential. It seemed intangible to the People as the Qing state was incapable of introducing modernization.
  • Corruption in politics became the bone of contention.
  • The working class was not happy with the Qing emperor’s decisions. They were expecting a change.

Immediate causes:

  • Floods in the Yangtze river created turmoil.
  • Military commander, Sun Wu got injured by accidental bombing.
  • The reforms of the state which were enforced from 1901-1911.

Consequences:

  • Cessation of a four thousand year monarchy and the establishment of the Republic of China.
  • Modernization of China under the light of socialism.
  • Shifting China to follow the path of imperialism.
  • Development of the culture and lives of the people.
  • Election of Sun Yat-sen as the first provisional president.

The development and liberation put forward the concept of democracy.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Explain why there was a revolution in China in 1911 and assess the consequences of that revolution.

Published: March 21, 2017 | Modified:August 15, 2020

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