Wednesday, October 12, 2011
China and the 1911 Revolution
However, with the notable exception of Kang Youwei, most of these people were not truly loyal to the dynasty either and most joined the revolution when it broke out and eventually their constitutional party became the “Progressive Party”. In doing so they effectively put themselves out of a job. They had ceased to represent a legitimate alternative to those advocating a western style republic and thus most support swung over to the republican nationalists, eventually (and that took time) consolidated by General Chiang Kai-shek. Remaining monarchists were scattered, not well organized (partly because the young Emperor and court came to regard any political party as suspicious) and increasingly dependent on foreign support, which is never an ideal position to be in. However, there was nothing outrageous about Chinese monarchists looking to the example of Japan. Japan was the one Asian country that had modernized without throwing away their own culture and traditions and they had been immensely successful, rising in an extremely short period from essentially medieval conditions to the status of an industrialized regional power.