Yüan Shih-k’ai with his bodyguards

5. The Collapse of Parliamentary Government, 1913-1914


Military Unrest.
==early.Mar > An attempted revolt in Hunan by military revolutionaries

==Mar.03 > Europeans demand increased control over the Chinese government in return for the proposed Reorganization Loan - China balks
==Mar.18 > American President Wilson denounces the Chinese Reorganization Loan as a threat to Chinese independence, ending of Taft’s ‘Dollar Diplomacy’ in the Far East - US bankers withdraw the next day

==Mar.20 > The dynamic Kuomintang leader Sung Chiao-jen is shot in the Shanghai train station (he dies Mar.22) - ~parliamentary government rapidly breaks down in China
==Mar.24 > Sung’s murderer is arrested - at his home, evidence is found implicating Premier Chao

==Mar.25 > Sun Yat-sen, Huang Hsing, and other KMT leaders meet in Shanghai to plot against Yüan
==Mar.--- > Provincial assemblies convene

Military Unrest.
==early.Apr > The Hupei government exposes a major revolutionary plot - repeated local military plots to summer

==Apr.08 > The National Assembly convenes - the provisional Senate disbands

==Apr.08 > Brazil formally recognizes the Chinese Republic

==Apr.20 > Yüan’s secret Austrian loan is exposed in Parliament
==Apr.26-27 > Yüan’s government signs a £25 million Reorganization Loan without parliamentary approval, in preparation for civil war against the KMT - heavy concessions to foreign creditors - public outrage

==Apr.26 > The assassination of Sung Chiao-jen is clearly linked to Premier Chao, probably acting on orders from Yüan - ~Sun Yat-sen is ready to remove Yüan by military force
==Apr.28 > Premier Chao denies any involvement in Sung’s assassination

==Apr.29 > The foreign consortium pays Yüan £2 million despite pledges to Sun Yat-sen - the Senate declares the loan of Apr.26 null and void

US Relations.
==Apr.--- > Courting US public opinion, Yüan asks for American Protestants to pray for China - the gullible President Wilson is “stirred and cheered.”

==spring, to spring 1918 > Mao Tse-tung attends teachers’ college in Changsha - ~he begins forming a coherent set of political beliefs, advocating a centralized state with strong radical leadership

==May.01 > Premier Chao resigns for ‘health reasons’ - Army Minister Tuan becomes acting Prime Minister

US Relations.
==May.02 > America becomes the first power to extend full diplomatic recognition to Yüan’s government, which the British ambassador to Peking calls “outrageous”

==May.05 > The Kuomintang-dominated Parliament declares that the Reorganization Loan is illegal - the KMT is moving toward clash with Yüan
==May.07 > Yüan orders the provinces to prevent revolutionary movements
==early May > Yüan publicly repudiates the KMT
==May.29 > The Republican, Democratic, and Unification Parties unite to form the moderate-conservative Progressive Party in opposition to the KMT

==May.29 > Arsenal workers strike in Hanyang

==May.31 > The Yüan regime closes down the Nanking branch of the KMT

==Jun.08, to 1914 > The Yüan government nationalizes railroads

Second Revolution.Japanese Relations.
==Jun.09 > Japan declares her neutrality in the impending ‘Second Revolution’ - ~in fact, Japan quietly aids the anti-Yüan forces

Second Revolution.
==Jun.09-30 > Yüan demands the dismissal of opposition governors in Kiangsi, Kwangtung, and Anhwei provinces and orders troops to advance on Kiangsi
==end.Jun > A revolt at Wuhan is quickly suppressed

Politics.Business.Japanese Relations.
==Jun.--- > Japanese firms set up the China Industrial Company with Sun Yat-sen as director, to further Japanese exploitation of China in return for Japanese financial aid

Second Revolution.
==Jul.02 > Sun Yat-sen publicly demands that Yüan resign
==Jul.07 > Yüan’s agents burn down the Hunan provincial arsenal

==Jul.10 > Yüan prohibits troops from joining political organizations

Second Revolution.
==Jul.12 > Yüan’s forces clash with Kiangsi provincial troops at Chiuchiang (Kiukiang) - Kiangsi Governor Li Lieh-chün declares war on Yüan and seizes Hukow - the ‘Second Revolution’ to Sep
==Jul.14 > Nanking declares its independence from Yüan
==Jul.15 > KMT leader Huang Hsing arrives in Nanking to organize anti-Yüan forces
==Jul.15 > The KMT compels the Governor of Kiangsu to pledge support for rebel forces in Kiangsi - ~there is only half-hearted provincial support for the war against Yüan and widespread opposition to the KMT - ~the constitutionalist Progressive Party supports Yüan
==mid.Jul > Hupei province sides with Yüan
==Jul.17 > Anhwei province declares independence from the Yüan government
==Jul.18 > The Governor of Kwangtung declares independence from the Yüan government
==Jul.20 > The Governor of Fukien declares independence from the Yüan government
==Jul.22-29 > Rebel attempts to seize Shanghai are repelled by Yüan’s forces
==Jul.25 > Hunan province declares independence from the Yüan government
==Jul.25 > Yüan’s forces decisively route Kiangsi provincial troops at Hukow - the rebels retreat toward Nanchang
==Jul.29 > The Governor of Kiangsu breaks with the KMT and re-aligns with Yüan
==Jul.29 > The KMT’s situation around Nanking is deteriorating - Huang Hsing retreats toward Shanghai

==Jul.31 > Hsiung Hsi-ling is appointed Prime Minister of the Peking government with the support of the moderate Progressive Party  (see Aug.28)

==summer, to 1914 > The White Wolf peasant revolt in northwest China

Second Revolution.Business.Japanese Relations.
==Jul.--- > The Mitsui Corporation’s offer of funds to Sun Yat-sen is blocked by the hesitant Japanese government

Second Revolution.
==Aug.03 > Military mutiny in Canton - the KMT Governor of Kwangtung province flees to Hong Kong

Japanese Relations.
==Aug.05-11 > Yüan’s forces assault Japanese officers at Yenchow and Hankow - Sino-Japanese tension

Second Revolution.
==Aug.07 > Yüan’s forces crush the rebels in Anhwei and regain control of the province
==Aug.11 > Yüan’s forces enter Canton
==Aug.13 > Yüan’s forces defeat the rebels in Shanghai
==Aug.13 > The Governor of Hunan breaks with the KMT and re-aligns with Yüan
==Aug.18 > Yüan’s forces peacefully occupy Nanchang - they soon control all of Kiangsi province
==Aug.--- > Sun Yat-sen flees to Tokyo and soon begins re-organizing the remnants of the KMT into the Chinese Revolutionary Party
==Sep.01 > Yüan’s forces take Nanking after tough resistance and loot the city for three days - central Chinese opposition to Yüan is crushed: the end of ‘Second Revolution’ - Peiyang clique warlords control the lower Yangtze till 1926

==Aug.10 > Yüan arrests National Assembly opposition members
==Aug.27 > Yüan arrests more National Assembly members
==Aug.28 > Hsiung Hsi-ling takes office as Premier in Peking - he finds that Yüan has already filled most of the important cabinet posts
==Sep.11 > Premier Hsiung announces his ‘first-class cabinet’ of Progressives and moderate KMT members, dominated by Yüan’s appointees

Second Revolution.
==Sep.12 > Szechwan cancels its declaration of independence

Japanese Relations.
==Sep.16 > Japan sends a naval force to the Yangtze River, in response to China’s failure to honor a reparation agreement
==Sep.28 > The Chinese commander at Nanking apologizes to Japan for the deaths of three Japanese soldiers killed in the looting of Nanking

==early.Oct > Yüan gains control of Hunan, ousting moderate Governor Tan
==Oct.05 > A Parliament committee draws up articles for electing a president, under pressure from Yüan
==Oct.06 > Parliament is compelled to formally elect Yüan president for a five year term after he has it surrounded by police disguised as ‘Citizens Corps’ vigilantes

==Oct.06-10 > Britain, Russia, France, and Japan recognize the Republic of China

US Relations.
==Oct.09 > US President Wilson congratulates Yüan on being elected President of China

==Oct.10 > Yüan is formally inaugurated as President - the provisional government becomes the regular government
==Oct.13 > Yüan orders the arrest of Kiangsi province assemblymen who supported the KMT ‘Second Revolution’
==Oct.13 > A KMT/Progressive Constitutional Commission prepares the liberal ‘Temple of Heaven’ draft constitution
==Oct.15 > Yüan’s government issues warrants for the arrest of Sun Yat-sen and other Kuomintang leaders
==Oct.18 > Yüan’s supporters try to force their way into the parliamentary constitutional committee - ~Yüan demands the right to decree constitutional law
==Oct.25 > By circular telegram, Yüan orders his followers nationwide to oppose the constitution and to press for dissolution of the KMT
==Oct.31 > Parliament promulgates the liberal T’ien-t’an Constitution, with a cabinet rather than a presidential system - the enraged Yüan has eight KMT members arrested
==Oct.--- > ~The  People’s Constitution Party is formed by Progressives and moderate KMT members in opposition to Yüan
==Nov.04 > Yüan orders the Kuomintang dissolved - 438 parliamentary delegates are ousted, leaving too few for a quorum - Yüan effectively shuts down Parliament - ~the KMT goes underground
==Nov.12 > Yüan orders the dismissal of all provincial KMT assemblymen
==Nov.26 > Yüan orders that a ‘Political Conference’ should replace the assembly - ~Parliament announces an indefinite adjournment
==Dec.09 > Yüan gains control of Hupei, ousting moderate Governor Li Yüan-hung
==Dec.15 > A ‘Political Conference’ of local representatives (appointed by the Yüan’s government) meets in Peking - Hsiung’s proposal to abolish the provinces is overwhelmingly rejected

==Dec.21 > Kunming in Yunnan province is largely destroyed by an earthquake

==Dec.29 > The ‘Political Conference’ announces revised presidential election laws, essentially making elections meaningless

==Dec.--- > In exile, the young Chiang Kai-shek begins working closely with Sun Yat-sen

==end.1913 > China’s foreign debt has reached a staggering $835 million

==1913 > China legalizes autopsies

==1913 > Britain agrees to end opium exports from India


==Jan.10 > Yüan formally dissolves Parliament

==Jan.11 > Rebels in south Honan take Kwangshan

==Jan.19 > Ying, one of the assassins of Sung Chiao-jen, is murdered near Peking, presumably on Yüan’s orders

Finance.European Relations.
==Jan.21 > China contracts a 600 million franc French railroad loan - on Mar.09, an £8 million British railroad loan is contracted

==Jan.26 > The Political Conference is reorganized as a Constitutional Conference, to enable Yüan to revise the constitution
==Feb.03 > Yüan orders the dissolution of local self-governing bodies

==Feb.07 > The National Currency Law restricts the right to issue money to the central government - the beginning of the standardization of Chinese currency

==Feb.12 > The disillusioned Premier Hsiung and other key cabinet members resign: the end of the ‘first class cabinet’

==Feb.17 > The sudden death of former Premier Chao - probably poisoned by Yüan

==Feb.21 > Resisting Japanese inroads, British Foreign Secretary Grey asserts that the Yangtze Valley is a British sphere of influence

==Feb.21 > Rebel White Wolf troops attack Chankiang, in Kwangtung

==Feb.28 Yüan orders the dissolution of provincial assemblies

==Feb.--- > Sun Yat-sen secures a ¥1.5 million loan by pledging that all Chinese industrial development will be co-financed by Japanese capital - many of Sun’s followers fall away

==Mar.02 > Yüan promulgates the Security Police Act

==Mar.06 > Unrest at Yuhsien in Shansi province is bloodily suppressed
==Mar.15 > A revolt at Tungchwan in Yunnan province is soon suppressed
==Mar.29-31 > Rebels briefly seize Tingyuan in Anhwei province

==Mar.18 > The first meeting of Yüan’s Constitutional Conference

==Apr.11 > The article Explaining the term 'Anarchist-Communism' is published - ~another article on the subject is published by the Chinese anarchist Shih Fu

Japanese Relations.
==Apr.--- > Japanese Foreign Minister Makino contemplates direct intervention in the event of a Chinese collapse

==Apr.--- > Yüan’s funds from the Reorganization Loan are exhausted

==spring > ~Sun Yat-sen proposes a full military alliance and customs union with Japan in a bid for support

The walls of Peking

==May.01 > A revised constitution is proclaimed - Yüan achieves virtually absolute power in China

==May.04 > Rebels take Tienshui in Kansu province
==Jun.02 > The Kansu rebels are defeated north of Tienshui

==May.23 > Yüan’s new system of provincial government is promulgated, with civil power vested in the Governors
==May.24 > Yüan’s Constitutional Conference announces that Senators will be appointed by the President

==May-Jun > Locust plague in east central China

==Jun.09 > Peking’s first Western-style theatre (‘First Stage’) is established

==Jun.12 > The government orders the suppression of the Boxer-like ‘Republican Society of the 10,000 Buddhas’ in east central China

==Jun.20 > An appointive Senate is established - Yüan dissolves the Constitutional Conference
==Jun.29 > Yüan announces that the Senate will be the sole national legislature

==Jun.30 > Yüan replaces provincial military governors with Generals-in-Chief

==Jun.--- > Sun Yat-sen forms the Chung-hua Ko-ming-tang to replace the KMT, requiring members to take an oath of allegiance to him

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

(2) The Final Years of Imperial China, 1908-1910   ///   (3) The First Chinese Revolution, 1911

(4) The Birth of the Chinese Republic, 1912   ///   Biographies and Glossary - Place Names