The 1911 Revolution

The 1911 Revolution

The1911 Revolution

ByStudent Name’s

The1911 Revolution

The1911 revolution was a successful uprising that overthrew the DingDynasty. In context, the Ding Dynasty was the last imperial dynastyin Chinese history. In particular, the 1911 revolution marked the endof the 2000 years of imperial dynasties that ruled China over thehistory of the country. The main result of the revolution was theestablishment of the republic of China. However, the revolution hasbeen viewed by many as a failure. There are any social groups likeconservative local elites, the May Fourth intellectuals, and ordinarypeople who view the revolution differently. Based on the stories ofLu Xun and Liu Dapeng, this paper will discuss the views of thesegroups and illustrate that the revolution was a failure, despitebeing successful in establishing the republic of China.

The1911 revolution was viewed by the conservative social elites as afailure. This is because the revolution failed to solve thechallenges that the Qing Dynasty was facing before it fell to therevolutionary. The establishment of the republic of China was viewedby the elites as unsuccessful in bringing solutions to the challengesthat the Qing Dynasty was facing at the time. A good example of theconservatives who viewed the revolution as unsuccessful was TuanShikai, an emperor and influential figure in the Qing Dynasty rule1.He was strong in the Ding Dynasty and wanted the return of the oldrule after their perception of the revolution as a failure. Thisprompted Shikai to start the short-lived attempt to return thecountry into the monarchical system in 19162.However, his attempt did not succeed as he lacked support from keyleaders of the former and current political systems.

Inaddition, most social conservatives thought that the establishment ofthe constitutional monarchy as a result of the revolution was asuccess. However, they discovered that the governance of theconstitutional rule was not as successful as they had anticipated.However, they supported the new constitutional order as the solutionto the challenge of returning to the old imperialist monarch. Theybelieved that the constitutional monarch would solve the problemsthat the imperial Ding Dynasty experienced in the early twentiethcentury. Some social elites favored constitutional monarchy as thepolitical system that would end the imperialism of the Ding Dynasty.For instance, Liang Qichao supported the establishment of aconstitutional monarch during the Ding Dynasty and even after therevolution3.

Theconservative local elites thought that the revolution had introduceda better system, and wanted to defend it from conservatives. It isfor this reason why Liang Qichao supported the new political orderunder the Republic of China and did not support conservatives likeYuan Shikai, who attempted to restore the monarchy back to power in19164.This shows that the conservatism, social elites viewed the revolutionas a success, even though not a perfect political process.

TheMay Fourth intellectuals view the revolution an unsuccessful attemptto introduce good leadership in China. While they do not consider itas a total failure, they view the revolution as unsuccessful infulfilling the real mission of starting such an uprising. The MayFourth intellectuals were formed a cultural and political movementthat repelled imperialism in the newly formed Republic of China. Theuprising was successful in removing the imperialism of the DingDynasty, but did not introduce any different leadership in China.Their view of the revolution was different from the other groupsbecause they were ideologically against any form of imperialism,whether with the old Qing Dynasty or the new constitutional monarchunder the government of the Republic of China.

Inthe story Mad Man’s diary, Lu Xun provides the right context andperspective of viewing the situation after the revolution. In thestory, he portrays the brother as the person who is turning into athreat to the wellbeing of the family5.By doing this, Lu Xun presents a view that the revolutionists hadturned themselves into a society that was not responsive to the needsof the people. This is the reason why the story is one of the mostinfluential in all the “call to action” collections. Theideologies in the story give a good perspective of viewing therevolution as a failure.

TheMay Fourth intellectuals view the revolution as a failure because thenew government did not implement the reforms and modernization claimsby the new government. According to Liu Dapeng, the new governmentclaimed to be valid and legitimate on the basis of the modernizationcommitment and promise that they would introduce democracy in thecountry. This was not the case because the new government of theRepublic of China did not introduce significant and long lastingreforms. The reforms were short-lived as they were not sustainable.Some people felt that the reforms and ideologies introduced by therevolutionists were not in line with the Confucian beliefs and valuesthat had guided the Chinese for centuries6.

TheMay Fourth was founded on the values of democracy and believed in anew republic that would have the power vested in the people. However,the revolution did not achieve that as the country was stillexperiencing elements of monarchy, despite the new constitutionalorder under the Republic of China7.For instance, the new constitutional monarch recommended thatelections will be important in determining the leaders8.Therefore, Yuan Shikai wanted to become emperor and participated inalmost every stage of the elections in a bid to exert influence overthe process9.This shows that the new constitutional order was not as democratic asit was thought to be during the revolution. Therefore, the May Fourthintellectuals further viewed the revolution as unsuccessful becauseof its failure to achieve democratic leadership in the country.

The1911 revolution was viewed as a failure among the ordinary people.This is because the revolution failed in establishing a democraticrule after the fall of the imperial Ding Dynasty. The end of the DingDynasty marked a good opportunity to establishing a strong governmentthat was governed by the principles of democracy and goodleadership10.The main opportunity was presented by the change of leadership wherethe revolutionists introduced a new government that was supposed toestablish a government that was responsive to the ordinary people.However, the establishment of the republic of China did not have anysignificant impact on the ordinary people.

Tothe ordinary people, life had not changed with the end of the DingDynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. Their socialand economic life was not affected in any positive way by the resultsof the revolution that promised strong reforms in the country. Thisis because only the people who held leadership positions in the oldQing Dynasty were having the advantage of holding positions in thenew constitutional order11.At the same time, the elites in the community at the time were actingas the impediments to the realization of a constitutional order thatwould benefit the ordinary people12.Therefore, the ordinary people believed that the revolution did nothave any much impact that could impact positively on their lives.

Therevolution failed to have a significant change in the economic statusof the country. This is because the new Republic of China did notpropel the country into economic development or any sustainableimprovement in the economic status of the people’s lives. Accordingto Liu Dapeng, the modernizing reforms that were anticipated by thechange in the political system from the Ding Dynasty led to economicdecline as a result of the 1911 events13.As a result, the economic situation among the ordinary people did notimprove with the establishment of the Republic of China. Therefore,the ordinary people viewed the revolution as a failure as it had noimpact that could trickle down to their lives.

Inconclusion, the 1911 revolution was only successful in ending theDing Dynasty and introducing a new government of the Republic ofChina. However, the revolution did not lead to democratic leadershipand social reforms by into the Chinese societies. Therefore, theconstitutional monarch maintained the same values that were not inthe perspective of the expectations of the May Fourth and theordinary people. While the revolution led to some social changes anda sense of change, it did not live into its expectations of havingdemocracy in China.

Bibliography

Henrietta,Harrison. TheMan Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village,Stanford,Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2005, 1857-1942

DeBary, William. Sourcesof East Asian Tradition: The modern period, Volume 2.ColumbiaUniversity Press, 2008,

Yang,Gladys.&nbspSelectedStories of Lu Hsun.W.W. Norton &amp Company, 2003

1 De Bary, William. Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period, Volume 2. Columbia University Press, 2008

2 ibid

3 De Bary, William. Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period, Volume 2. Columbia University Press, 2008

4 Ibid

5 Yang, Gladys.&nbspSelected Stories of Lu Hsun. W.W. Norton &amp Company, 2003

6 Henrietta, Harrison. The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2005, 1857-1942

7 De Bary, William. Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period, Volume 2. Columbia University Press, 2008

8 ibid

9 ibid

10 ibid

11 Henrietta, Harrison. The Man Awakened from Dreams: One Man’s Life in a North China Village, Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 2005, 1857-1942

12 ibid

13 De Bary, William. Sources of East Asian Tradition: The modern period, Volume 2. Columbia University Press, 2008