Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Chinese Revolution
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Series of great political upheavals in China between 1911 and 1949 which eventually led to Communist Party rule and the establishment of the People's Republic of China. In 1912 a nationalist revolt overthrew the imperial Manchu dynasty. Under the leaders Sun Zhong Shan (Sun Yat-sen) (1923–25) and Jiang Jie Shi (Chiang Kai-shek) (1925–49), the Nationalists, or Guomindang, were increasingly challenged by the growing communist movement. The 10,000-km/6,000-mi Long March to the northwest, undertaken by the communists from 1934 to 1935 to escape Guomindang harassment, resulted in the emergence of Mao Zedong as a communist leader. During World War II the various Chinese political groups pooled military resources against the Japanese invaders, but in 1946 the conflict reignited into open civil war; see China: history 1900–49, the civil war resumes. In 1949 the Guomindang were defeated at Nanjing and forced to flee to Taiwan. Communist rule was established in the People's Republic of China under the leadership of Mao Zedong.

First republican government The Chinese revolution came about with the collapse of the Manchu dynasty, a result of increasing internal disorders, pressure from foreign governments, and the weakness of central government. A nationalist revolt from 1911 to 1912 led to a provisional republican constitution being proclaimed and a government established in Beijing (Peking) headed by Yuan Shihai. The Guomindang were faced with the problems of restoring the authority of central government and meeting the challenges from militaristic factions (led by warlords) and the growing communist movement.

Communists retreat After 1930 Jiang launched a series of attacks that encircled the communists in southeast China and led to an attempt by communist army commander Chu Teh to break out. The resulting Long March to northwest China, from October 1934 to October 1935, reduced the communists' army from over 100,000 to little more than 8,000, mainly as a result of skirmishes with Jiang's forces and the severity of the conditions. During the march a power struggle developed between Mao Zedong and Jiang Guo T'ao which eventually split the force. Mao's group finally based itself in Yan'an, where it remained throughout the war with the Japanese, forming an uneasy alliance with the nationalists to expel the invaders.

Communist victory Mao's troops formed the basis of the Red Army that renewed the civil war against the nationalists in 1946 and emerged victorious after defeating them at Huai-Hai and Nanjing in 1949. As a result, communist rule was established in China under Mao Zedong's leadership.

weblinks

Fundamentals Of National Reconstruction

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles


Full text Article Mao Zedong (1893–1976)
Modern China

Mao Zedong was the most important Chinese Communist leader in the 20th century as cofounder and chairman of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as we

Full text Article China: history 1900–49
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

For Chinese history prior to 1900, see China: prehistoric and ancient history to 221 BC; China: early imperial history 221 BC–AD 1279: and China: lat

Full text Article Dong Biwu (1886–1975)
The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Chinese communist politician, vice-president 1959–67. After the communist victory in 1949, he became a vice premier and, before becoming vice-preside

See more from Credo