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Revolutionary feminist Ch’iu Chin (Qiu Jin)
brandishing a knife

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1. Attempts at Imperial Reform and the Rise of Chinese Radicalism, 1904-1907


1904

Education.
==Jan.13 > Chang Chih-tung and other advisers propose ending the old civil service examinations - ~the Chinese education system is undergoing rapid modernization

Radicals.
==end.Mar > The Shanghai radical paper The Alarm Bell is shut down under German pressure
==Apr.06-28 > US Immigration holds Sun Yat-sen in its San Francisco detention shed

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==May.--- > Students organize the revolutionary ‘Institute for the Diffusion of Science’ in Hupei, and begin recruitment of ‘New Army’ troops - in Oct, the organization is suppressed after being implicated in a revolutionary plot

Radicals.Liberals.
==Jun.21 > A special Imperial pardon is extended to all reformers of 1898, except Sun Yat-sen, Liang Ch’i-ch’ao, and Kang Yu-wei

Unrest.
The Kwangsi revolt of the secret Heaven and Earth Society (underway since 1902)
==Jun.24 > The Kwangsi rebels take Liucheng
==Jul.31 > The Imperial Court orders the governors of south China to suppress the Kwangsi revolt after the rebels take Ishan
==Aug.24 > Imperial troops defeat the rebels at Ishan
==Sep.23-Oct.05 > The Kwangsi rebels briefly take Loshing
==Nov.--- > The leader of the Kwangsi revolt is captured by Imperial forces
1905
==late.Jan > Imperial troops suppress the Kwangsi revolt after more than two years

Unrest.
==Jul.19 > Anti-Christian riots in Enshih in Hupei
==Jul.--- > Riots erupt at Leping in Kiangsi, and spread to Anhwei

Communists.
==Aug.22 > Deng Xiaoping (Teng Hsiao-p’ing, in Wade-Giles) is born in northern Szechwan to a wealthy family

Military.
==Sep.12 > The Commission for Army Reorganization draws up plans for a centralized modern army of 36 divisions - ~plans for a military education system - ~army reform meets resistance from local interests concerned about the tax burden

Unrest.
==Oct.19 > A general strike erupts in Chungking protesting high taxes

Radical Unrest.
==Oct.23 > Huang Hsing’s abortive uprising at Changsha in Hunan is uncovered by the Imperial government

Radicals.Women.
==fall > The female revolutionary Ch’iu Chin writes a vigorous early Chinese feminist essay

Unrest.
==Nov.06 > A major Moslem strike takes place in northern Honan

Radical Unrest.
==Nov.19 > A young Shanghai radical makes an attempt to shoot government official Wang Chih-ch’uh - ~the start of revolutionary assassination attempts

Radicals.
==Nov or early Dec > The secret ‘Restoration Society’ is established in Shanghai by revolutionary intellectuals   (see 1910)
==1904 > Sun Yat-sen publishes his manifesto Summary of the Revolution.
==1904 > Huang Hsing and Sung Chiao-jen establish the revolutionary ‘Society for the Revival of the Chinese Nation’ in Changsha


1905

International.
==Jan.13 > At the urging of Germany, American Secretary of State Hay sends a circular note asking the powers to pledge not to carve up China at the end of the Russo-Japanese War - by Jan.19, Britain, France and Italy support the note

Japanese Relations.
==Jan.--- > Japanese Foreign Minister Komura pledges that Japan will ensure Chinese rule in Manchuria “in substance”


Tsou Jung

Radicals.
==Apr.03 > Tsou Jung, the young author of The Revolutionary Army (the first clear call for a Chinese revolution), dies in prison
==spring > Sun Yat-sen tours Europe, organizing revolutionary Chinese students - he seeks affiliation with the socialist Second International

Law.
==Apr.24 > The Imperial Government abolishes the public display of severed heads, the beheading of corpses, and several forms of torture

US Relations.
The anti-American boycott:
==May.10 > A conference of Chinese commercial groups in Shanghai decides to boycott American goods to protest the US Asian exclusion laws
==May.26 > Agitation begins to generate popular support for a boycott - for China, it is the first modern boycott, and an early manifestation of mass political activity
==Aug.01 > The anti-American boycott formally begins
==Aug.21 > The Imperial government orders governors to oppose the boycott
==Aug.27 > The alarmed Imperial government denies any responsibility for anti-American activity - ~the height of the boycott
==end.Aug > America pledges to treat visiting Chinese merchants and travelers fairly
1906
==spring > The anti-American boycott gradually declines

Radicals.Press.
==Jun.25 > The revolutionary Huang Hsing briefly publishes the journal Twentieth Century China in Tokyo

Poverty.
==Jun.--- > The regime sets up refugee camps for vagrants and the unemployed

Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Jul.02 > Chang Chih-tung, Yüan Shih-k’ai, and other Imperial advisers call for constitutional government within twelve years
==Jul.16 > An Imperial edict creates a government commission to study foreign constitutions - ~purported government plans to form a constitutional monarchy and attempts to distract reformers - ~high-level power struggles between Manchu nobles and Chinese officials

Radicals.
The Revolutionary Alliance is formed:
==Jul.30 > The organization holds its preliminary meeting shortly after Sun returns to Japan from a fund-raising trip to Indochina, Hawaii and America
==Aug.20 > Sun’s Revolutionary Alliance (aka the Alliance Society, United League, Sworn Brotherhood, or T’ung-meng hui) is formally established in Tokyo - it adopts an idealistic and unrealistic program - the Chinese revolutionary movement is unified under Sun Yat-sen

Disasters.
==Sep.01-06 > Thousands are killed by a typhoon in Kiangsu

Education.
==Sep.02 > The Imperial government decrees that traditional Chinese civil service examinations are to be abolished in Jan.1906

Transportation.
==Sep.06 > China regains the rights to the Hankow-Canton Railroad from an American company, to the delight of Chinese public opinion - ~Chinese control of railroad rights is becoming a major political issue

Radical Unrest.Imperial Regime.
==Sep.24 > As it leaves on a world fact-finding tour, the Imperial Constitutional Commission is nearly assassinated by a bomb in the Peking train station: two of its five members promptly resign   (see Dec.11)

Police.
==Oct.08 > The Imperial Ministry of Police is established, the forerunner of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Unrest.US Relations.
==end.Oct > Anti-missionary riots in Canton - ~Roosevelt orders US warships into position off the Chinese coast

Military.
==Oct.--- > Yüan Shih-k’ai is appointed as a military inspector-general; he holds maneuvers in Hupei - attempts at army reform

Imperial Regime.
==Nov.18 > The Imperial court orders the government to draft a constitution

Radicals.Press.
==Nov.26 > The first issue of the revolutionary paper People’s Tribune (Min Pao) is published in Tokyo

European Relations.
==Nov.28 > Germany agrees to withdraw its garrisons from Kaomi and Kiaohsien in Shantung, retaining only Tsingtao

Japanese Relations.
==Nov.--- > Japanese Foreign Minister Komura opens negotiations with China on a Manchurian settlement - China resists his demands for broad concessions

Education.Imperial Regime.
==Dec.06 > The Ministry of Education is established in an attempt to tighten Manchu control over the school system

Imperial Regime.
==Dec.11, to July.1906 > A reconstituted government commission travels abroad to study foreign constitutions    (see Sep.24.1905 and Aug.23.1906)

Japanese Relations.
==mid.Dec > Chinese students studying in Japan vigorously protest restrictions, forcing the Japanese government to ease constraints by Jan.1906
==Dec.22 > The Treaty of Peking: Japan gains Chinese consent to Japanese control of the Liaotang Peninsula and gains further railroad concessions in Manchuria

Unrest.European Relations.
==mid.Dec > The Mixed Court Incident: a foreign-dominated Shanghai court imprisons a Chinese woman despite the advice of its Chinese judges, provoking protests and riots

Chiang.
==1905 > At school in Chekiang, the teenage Chiang Kai-shek is first attracted to a military career and to Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary nationalism

Radicals.Liberals.
==1905 > Disillusioned revolutionary leader Liang Ch’i-ch’ao embraces peaceful reform - ~a split occurs between the radical revolutionaries and the liberal constitutionalists

Radicals.
==1905 > Revolutionaries in central China gain control of the American missionary ‘Society for Daily Improvement’ and secretly affiliate it with Revolutionary Alliance

Finance.International.
==1905 > The Imperial regime grants no further foreign railroad concessions, but instead increasingly pursues massive foreign loans


1906

Radicals.
==Jan.--- > The radical ‘Society for the Daily Increase in Knowledge’ forms in Hupei

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==early.1906 > Small, local constitutionalist groups begin to appear - ~the Chinese provincial gentry begins backing reformists and turning against the Manchus; the rapid crumbling of Imperial authority to 1911

Radical Unrest.
==early.1906 > An unplanned Revolutionary Alliance revolt on the border of Hunan, at P’ing-hsiang, blazes up but is soon suppressed - ~the Revolutionary Alliance forms a committee to organize future revolts

Imperial Regime.
==Feb.07 > The birth of Pu-yi, who will become the last Chinese Emperor

Education.Women.
==Feb.21 > The Empress Dowager orders the establishment of girls’ schools

Unrest.European Relations.
The Nanchang Incident
==Feb.25 > Anti-Christian riots in Nanchang, in Kiangsi Province- nine missionaries are killed
==Feb.26 > British and French gunboats move into Poyang Lake in Kiangsi
==Apr.08 > The French make demands on China in response to Nanchang Incident
==Jun.20 > China agrees to indemnify France

Law.
==Mar.25 > The buying and selling of human beings is prohibited by Imperial decree

Imperial Regime.
==May.09 > China establishes a Customs Board as a first step toward removing foreign influence from the Imperial Customs

Drugs.European Relations.
==May.30 > The opium trade is denounced in the British House of Commons - ~Parliament mandates the gradual abolition of opium exports from India

Unrest.
==Jul.04 > Tax revolt in Juichang in northern Kiangsi

Radical Unrest.
==summer > The Revolutionary Alliance stages an unsuccessful revolt in Canton

Imperial Regime.
Putative Imperial steps toward a Chinese constitution
==Aug.23 > The Imperial Constitutional Commission, returned from abroad, recommends that China adopt a constitution
==Aug.28 > An Imperial conference is held on adopting a constitution
==Sep.01 > An Imperial Edict pledges that the government will prepare a constitution and reform the administration, but the Empress Dowager fails to specify a date
==Sep.02 > Manchu officials begin deliberations on constitutional reform

Hong Kong.Disasters.
==Sep.18 > A typhoon kills 10,000 at Hong Kong, only 20 of which are Europeans (among them is the Anglican Bishop) - Europeans refuse to allow Chinese victims into their homes

Drugs.
==Sep.20 > An Imperial Edict orders the suppression of opium in China within 10 years, provoking widespread resentment - unlike most late Imperial reforms, this one proves effective: 80% of opium acreage is converted to food crops by 1911

Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Sep, to Jun 1907 > Bitter factional struggles in the Imperial regime with Yüan Shih-k’ai and Prince Ch’ing pitted against their rivals (see Jun.17.1907)

Military.Imperial Regime.
==Oct.22-25 > Army maneuvers show Yüan Shih-k’ai’s Peiyang Army to be the strongest in China - the Manchus grow increasingly wary of him; on Nov.20, they remove four of the six divisions of the Peiyang Army from his command

Imperial Regime.
==Oct.27 > Peking orders every province to establish libraries, museums, zoos, and parks

Military.Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Nov.06 > Feeble administrative reform: the old Six Boards are replaced by eleven ministries - a modern War Ministry is established, but it’s unable to impose centralized control on the military - Yüan prevents effective local reforms -  the Manchus concentrate more power in their hands at the expense of Han Chinese officials

Radicals.
==Nov.15 > Sun Yat-sen meets with the leading Russian Socialist Revolutionary terrorist Gershuni

Famine.Unrest.
==early winter, to sum, 1907 > ~Severe famine, especially in east-central China - the start of a series of poor harvests - widespread unrest and revolts

Radical Unrest.
Revolt in Hunan:
==Dec.04-late Dec > Secret societies with ties to revolutionary groups stage a large scale revolt in P’ing-hsiang (Pingjiang) and Li-ling in northeastern Hunan
==Dec.07 > The Hunan revolt spreads to Liuyang
==Dec.13 > Imperial forces defeat the Hunan rebels; the revolt is completely suppressed within about a week - widespread arrests and executions - the revolutionaries temporarily loose their revolutionary base in the Yangtze area

Famine.Unrest.
==Dec.24 > Suppression of a famine revolt at Suancheng in Anhwei
==Dec.25 > Bloody suppression of famine revolts in Kiangsu

Radicals.
==1906 > The first translation into Chinese of Marx’s Communist Manifesto… in toned-down and summarized form
==1906 > Chinese radicals living in Paris establish the anarchist New World Society

Japanese Relations.
==1906 > 13,000 Chinese students are studying in Japan
==1906 > The aborigines of Taiwan have been largely exterminated by Japanese military actions


1907

Radicals.Japanese Relations.
==Jan.16 > Speaking to a large audience in Japan, Sun Yat-sen suggests that Japan could be rewarded with Manchuria for its aid to the revolution

Radical Unrest.
==Feb.19 > The second Revolutionary Alliance rising, at Chaochow in Kwangtung, is  defeated by the government

Radicals.Japanese Relations.
==Mar.04 > Under pressure from the Chinese regime, Japan expels Sun Yat-sen - the headquarters of the Revolutionary Alliance shifts to Hanoi, and the movement becomes most active in south China

Famine.Unrest.
==Mar.06-16 > Food riots erupt in the lower Yangtze and around Canton
==late.Apr. > Reports of 5000 deaths per day due to famine

Radical Unrest.
==May.22-27 > The third Revolutionary Alliance rising at Chaochow in Kwangtung, assisted by secret societies, is soon defeated

Culture.
==Jun.01-02 > The Spring Willow Society performs the first Chinese spoken play, in Tokyo, an adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Radical Unrest.
==Jun.02-12 > The fourth Revolutionary Alliance rising at Waiyeng in Kwangtung is soon defeated

Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Jun.17 > Yüan Shih-k’ai and Prince Ch’ing defeat and purge their main rival on the Imperial Grand Council

Famine.Unrest.
==Jun.25 > Food riots at Shaohing in Chekiang

Radicals.Press.
==Jun.--- > The first Chinese anarchist journals are established - ~Chinese radicals are  strongly influenced by anarchism

Radical Unrest.
==Jul.06 > Hsü Hsi-lin launches an inept revolt in Anking - he murders the Governor of Anhwei, but is quickly captured and executed

Imperial Regime.
==Jul.07 > Cosmetic local reform fails to restrict the powers of the over-mighty governors-general

Radical Unrest.
==Jul.09 > A secret society revolt in Kwoyang in Anhwei is defeated
==Jul.13 > Imperial troops take Ta-t’ung (Datong) School in Chekiang after a brief battle, and capture the feminist revolutionary Ch’iu Chin - on Jul.15, she is beheaded after interrogation under torture

Imperial Regime.
==Jul.23 > Chang Chih-tung is named Imperial Grand Secretary

Radicals.
==Jul, to 1908 > Sun Yat-sen’s Revolutionary Alliance is active in Kwangsi

Hong Kong.
==Jul, to 1912 > Frederick Lugard serves as Governor of Hong Kong

Chiang.
==summer-late 1907 > Young Chiang Kai-shek attends Paoting military school

Imperial Regime.
==Aug.10 > An Imperial edict abolishes racial distinctions between Manchus and Chinese - the reform proves to be a token gesture
==Aug.13 > A Constitutional Government Commission is established

Finance.
==Aug.17 > Chinese currency is reformed; the tael is replaced by the yuan


Liang Ch'i-ch'ao

Liberals.Radicals.
==Aug.25 > The first congress of the constitutionalist Public Information Club (Political Information Society) in Tokyo - founder Liang Ch’i-ch’ao is attacked by Chinese revolutionaries during his opening speech

Transportation.
==Aug.--- > Large protests against foreign control of the Shanghai-Ningpo Railroad

Radicals.
==Aug.--- > The revolutionary ‘Common Advancement Society’ is established by Hupei intellectuals

Unrest.
==Aug, to ~late 1907 > A revolt in Kinhwa, in Chekiang, is crushed after stubborn fighting

Radical Unrest.
==Sep.01-17 > Sun Yat-sen’s fifth Revolutionary Alliance revolt at Ch’in-chou and Lien-chou in western Kwangtung is defeated after initial successes

Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Sep.04 > After transfer to Peking, powerful Governor-general Yüan Shih-k’ai is appointed Foreign Minister and Grand Councilor; possibly a Manchu attempt to undercut his regional power base - ~the Imperial regime attempts to restrict the power of governors - Yüan dominates the Grand Council to Jan 1909

Imperial Regime.
==Sep.09 > Imperial officials are sent to Britain, Germany, and Japan study their constitutions
==Sep.20 > An Imperial edict is issued for the future establishment of a national assembly

Unrest.
==Sep.25-Oct.27 > Anti-Christian revolt at Nankang and Kanchou in south Kiangsi

Imperial Regime.
==Oct.19 > Imperial edict for the establishment of provincial assemblies

Unrest.
==Oct-Nov. > Revolt in Shaohsing, in Chekiang

Radical Unrest.
Sun Yat-sen’s sixth Revolutionary Alliance revolt in Kwangsi
==Nov.30 > Rebels attack the Chen-nan-kuan forts on the Kwangsi-Vietnamese border
==Dec.02 > Sun arrives in Kwangsi and personally leads the fighting
==Dec.08 > The Kwangsi revolt is defeated - ~Sun is driven back to Vietnam and is soon expelled by the French

Communists.
==Dec.05 > Lin Piao is born in Hupei

Imperial Regime.
==Dec.25 > The Imperial regime prohibits students from political activity - on Dec.26, it bans public meetings in Peking

Unrest.
==end.1907-May.1908 > A smugglers’ revolt south of Shanghai is defeated with difficulty

Law.
==1907 > A proposed criminal code would make all citizens outside the Imperial family equal before the law, but the reform is rejected

Military.
==1907 > The Imperial government decrees the gradual disbandment of the old Manchu Banner Army, but little is done

Radicals.
==1907 > In Tokyo, dissident members of the Revolutionary Alliance establish the  Progressive Association
==1907 > Scholar Chiang K’ang-hu becomes the first Chinese to seriously study socialism

Economy.International.
==1907 > 84% of Chinese shipping and 100% of Chinese iron production is controlled by foreigners

Drugs.European Relations.
==1907 > The British and the Chinese reach agreement on a ten year reduction of opium exports from India

Culture.
==1907 > ~Translations of western literature are becoming widely available in China


 

China, 1904-1914: Introduction   ///   (2) The Final Years of Imperial China, 1908-1910

(3) The First Chinese Revolution, 1911   ///   (4) The Birth of the Chinese Republic, 1912

(5) The Collapse of Parliamentary Government, 1913-1914   ///   Biographies and Glossary - Place Names
 

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