Pu-Yi, the last Chinese Emperor

2. The Final Years of Imperial China, 1908-1910


==Jan.--- > China secretly decides to send an envoy to Washington and Berlin to negotiate a Chinese-American-German alliance - the scheme comes to nothing

==early.1908, to 1911 > Young Chiang Kai-shek attends a Japanese military academy and joins Sun Yat-sen’s Revolutionary Alliance

Japanese Relations.
The Tatsu Maru incident
==Feb.05 > A Chinese warship off Amoy intercepts a Revolutionary Alliance arms shipment from Japan and seizes the ship - Chinese-Japanese friction
==Feb.14 > Japan protests the seizure of the Tatsu Maru
==Mar.13-15 > Japan imposes five demands on China, including the release of the ship, an apology, and an indemnity
==Mar.17 > Merchants in Canton launch a boycott of Japanese goods
==Mar.19 > Mass meetings are held across Kwangtung in response to the Tatsu Maru crisis - ~the anti-Japanese boycott is spreading throughout China
==Mar.21-22 > Under pressure from Japan, the Imperial government orders the anti-Japanese boycott to end
==Apr.05 > Women of Canton hold a shame memorial meeting for the Tatsu Maru incident

==Mar.05 > The first street cars in China begin running in Shanghai’s International Settlement

Economy.Japanese Relations.
==Mar.13 > The Hanyeping Coal and Iron Company is formed, the largest in China - ~it soon falls under Japanese control

Huang Hsing

Radical Unrest.
The seventh Revolutionary Alliance revolt in Kwangtung
==Mar.27 > Huang Hsing leads an incursion into western Kwangtung
==Apr.02 > Revolutionaries defeat Imperial forces at Ch’in-chou
==May.03 > The revolutionaries are driven back into Vietnam from western Kwangtung

Radical Unrest.
The eighth Revolutionary Alliance revolt in Yunnan
==Apr.29 > Insurgents seize Hok’ou on the Yunnan-Vietnamese border
==May.26 > The revolutionaries are driven back into Vietnam from Yunnan after bitter fighting - ~the French expel the Revolutionary Alliance from Annam

Education.US Relations.
==Jun.23 > The US Congress remits half of its Boxer indemnity, applying the balance to establish Tsing Hua University in Peking and to a scholarship allowing Chinese students to study in the United States - the beginning of extensive educational ties between America and China

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==Jun.--- > The ‘Hupei Military Alliance’ is established - ~extensive revolutionary recruitment of New Army troops

Imperial Regime.
==summer > The Empress Dowager suffers a mild stroke

Hong Kong.Drugs.
==summer > The British Parliament votes to close the Hong Kong opium dens - the British in Hong Kong are enraged

Liberals.Imperial Regime.
==Jul.22 > The Imperial regime announces its plans for provincial assemblies - ~self-governing associations and welfare societies are established
==Aug.11 > Provincial reform groups petition the Court to call a Parliament
==Aug.13 > The Imperial regime suppresses the constitutionalist Public Information Club
==Aug.27 > The Imperial regime releases its outline plans for a conservative constitution, with the Court retaining very broad powers - ~an Imperial decree orders the completion of the constitution within nine years

==Oct.19 > Japan suppresses the Revolutionary Alliance newspaper Min Pao

Imperial Regime.
==Nov.14 > Figurehead Emperor Kuang-hsü dies under suspicious circumstances - the ambitious Prince Ch’un is named regent and his son Pu Yi becomes the Imperial heir apparent
==Nov.15 > Empress Dowager Tz’u-hsi dies - ~the regime’s commitment to reform wavers

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==Nov.19-20 > An army revolt at Anking in Anhwei is suppressed
==Nov.--- > A Revolutionary Alliance-inspired army revolt near Canton is suppressed
==Nov.--- > Revolutionary soldiers in Hupei establish the Society for the Study of Popular Government

Imperial Regime.
==Dec.02 > Hsüan-tung (P’u-i/Pu Yi) becomes emperor, with the conservative Prince Ch’un (or Tsai-feng) acting as regent
==Dec.03 > The Imperial Court proclaims that the constitution and Parliament will become operative in 1916
==Dec.25 > The Regent organizes a new palace guard under his direct command
==Dec.--- > The Regent proclaims that any Imperial decree must be countersigned by the Grand Council

Finance.Imperial Regime.
==1908 > The Imperial government begins to publish the details of its budget

==1908 > ~The Constitutionalist ‘Comrades’ Association’ is formed; it later becomes Friends of the Constitution and eventually the Progressive Party

==1908 > The Shanghai-Nanking Railroad is completed

==1908 > Working full-time on the family farm, fourteen-year-old Mao Tse-tung is betrothed in an arranged marriage, which he never consummates - he reads his first radical literature


Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Jan.02 > The Regent dismisses the powerful Yüan Shih-k’ai from office - the Manchus dominate the highest levels of the administration

==Feb.01 > An international preliminary conference on controlling the opium trade meets in Shanghai - the start of attempts to control the international drug trade

==Feb.05 > The start of preliminary local elections for the provincial assemblies, with the franchise limited to local notables

Imperial Regime.
==Feb.06 > An Imperial edict prohibits the purchase of female slaves
==Feb.17 > The Regent calls for the establishment of provincial assemblies by the end of the year

==Feb.19 > The Regent reorganizes the navy in preparation for a buildup

Imperial Regime.
==Mar.06 > The Regent confirms the Court’s intention to adopt a constitution

Transportation.European Relations.
==Jun.06 > A British-French-German consortium reaches a draft agreement on funding the Hukuang (Hankow-Szechwan) Railroad   (see Jul)

Military.Imperial Regime.
==Jul.15 > The Regent announces himself commander-in-chief of both the army and navy, independent of the War Minister

Imperial Regime.
==Jul.17 > When Imperial Grand Secretary Chang Chih-tung warns that Manchu policies could provoke a revolution, the Regent coldly replies “We have troops.”

==Jul.18 > Riots in Fengch’eng and other parts of Kiangsi, set off by fears of conscription

==Jul.--- > Taft intervenes to get J. P. Morgan’s American banks included in a European consortium financing the Hukuang Railroad, annoying the other partners and protracting negotiations

==Aug.06 > Female textile workers strike in Shanghai

==Aug.--- > Overcoming his father’s opposition, Mao resumes his education at a school in Siangsiang - ~Mao encounters his first foreign histories

Imperial Regime.Politics.
==Oct.04 > Imperial Grand Secretary Chang Chih-tung dies - reactionary Manchus fully control the Imperial government

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Oct.14 > Provincial assemblies are organized - they quickly become centers of opposition to the Manchu regime

==Nov.--- > Delegates from 16 provinces meet in Shanghai and form a committee to further the establishment of a Chinese national parliament

==Nov.--- > The ‘Southern Society’ is established by revolutionary intellectuals

US Relations.
==Dec.14 > American Secretary of State Knox proposes China’s "commercial neutralization"

==Dec.29 > A Shanghai court arbitrarily permanently closes the radical paper The People’s Sigh under Japanese pressure - angry protests by Chinese progressives

==1909 > The ‘Great Ch’ing Criminal Code’ is promulgated (actually, the law code is both civil and criminal)

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==1909 > The revolutionary ‘Progressive Association’ begins recruiting New Army soldiers

==1909 > Over 100,000 modern schools are operating in China

==1909-1911 > Disastrous floods in central China - rising rural unrest

==1909 > ~China’s effective suppression of opium is encouraging the smuggling of morphine and heroin - ~the rise of the Shanghai Green Gang begins


Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Jan.26 > Delegates to the Peking conference of provincial assemblies petition for an immediate parliament - on Jan.30, the Court rejects the petition  (see Jun.22)

==Jan.31 > The buying and selling of human beings is prohibited
==Jan.--- > The Imperial Court announces regulations for local governments and for the compilation of a legal code

==Jan.--- > A revolt breaks out in the interior of Chekiang, led by Huang Fei-lung
==Feb.09 > Clashes between troops and police in Canton

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==Feb.11-12 > The Ninth Revolutionary Alliance revolt: a bungled army mutiny in Canton is quickly defeated

==Feb.12 > 2,000 Chinese troops occupy Lhasa - the first Chinese attempt to establish direct rule in Tibet - the Dalai Lama flees

Hong Kong.Education.
==Mar.16 > Governor Lugard lays the foundation stone of the University of Hong Kong

==Mar.24 > Sun Yat-sen inquires whether the United States would be interested in buying Japanese War Office Documents

==Apr.10 > Tax riots is northern Chekiang
==Apr.14-15 > Major rioting at Changsha in Hunan: rioters attack foreign businesses and sack the Governor’s mansion - troops fire on demonstrators

==Apr.16 > Wang Ching-wei and other revolutionaries are arrested for plotting to assassinate the Regent

==Apr.18 > Food riots at Ch’ingchiang in Kiangsu
==Apr.19-25 > Rioters burn down schools in Tz’uch’i in Chekiang
==May.02 > Prolonged food rioting in Hupei province

==Apr.--- > A rail link to Vietnam through Yunnan Province is completed

Imperial Regime.
==May.09 > The Imperial Court announces that a National Assembly will convene Oct.03; half of its members are to be appointed rather than elected

==May.15 > A new Imperial legal code is issued

==May.23 > At President Taft’s recommendation, American financiers join Germans, British and French in a consortium to build the Hukuang Railroad

==May.24 > China goes on the silver standard

==late spring > A revolt breaks out in central Hunan, led by a secret brotherhood
==Jun.06-16 > Tax riots at Haiyang and Laiyang in Shantung

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Jun.22 > A renewed constitutionalist petition is submitted by the provincial assemblies, signed by 300,000 - on Jun.27, the Imperial Court rejects the second petition (see Oct.03)

==Jun.--- > In Tokyo, Chiang Kai-shek meets Sun Yat-sen

==Jul.07 > Food riots at Hsuanch’eng in Anhwei
==Jul.14 > Troops fire on rioters at Laiyang in Shantung, killing hundreds
==Jul.27 > Rioters in Hopei attack schools

Radicals.Military Unrest.
==Jul.--- > Revolutionary groups begin recruiting New Army troops in Hunan
==Aug.--- > Revolutionary soldiers in Hupei establish the ‘Society for the Promotion of Military Studies’

==Sep.15-Nov > Rioting in Lienhsien in Kwangtung, attacks on schools

==Sep.22 > China requests a large development loan from the United States - American bankers refuse under Japanese and Russian pressure
==Sep.28 > China concludes a £4.8 million railroad loan from German, British, and French bankers

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Oct.03 > The consultative National Assembly convenes in Peking - provincial assemblies present a third petition for an immediate parliament, this time with 25 million signatures and support from high provincial officials - ~the Comrades’ Association transforms into Friends of the Constitution
==Oct.26 > The National Assembly urges that a responsible parliament be quickly convened

Finance.Imperial Regime.
==Oct.22 > The Imperial Court orders the Finance Ministry to prepare the first Chinese national budget - the budget shows an inadequacy of revenues

==Oct.--- > Courts of law are introduced in each provincial capital and in treaty ports

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Nov.04 > An Imperial decree shortens the time to the adoption of a constitution to 1913 from 1916 - officials are appointed to compile a constitution - reformist petitioning organizations ordered to disband

==Dec.04 > The Chinese Navy Ministry is established

==Dec.05-Oct 1911 > As part of his military education, Cadet Chiang Kai-shek briefly serves in the Japanese Army in northern Honshu

Imperial Regime.Liberals.
==Dec.18 > The Imperial Court rejects the National Assembly’s call for replacing the Grand Council with a responsible cabinet

==Dec.--- > Sun Yat-sen again leaves for a trip to the west
==1910 > The Restoration Society is revived in opposition to the Revolutionary Alliance
==1910 > Sun Yat-sen establishes the Revolutionary Party in San Francisco - ~his hold over the Revolutionary Alliance is weakening

==1910 > The Progress Troupe is established, perhaps the first professional western-style theatrical company in China


China, 1904-1914: Introduction   ///   (1) Attempts at Imperial Reform and the Rise of Chinese Radicalism, 1904-1907

(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