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Current time:0:00Total duration:11:07

Video transcript

for those of you who are just starting to learn about the history of China in the first half of the 20th century it can be a little bit confusing so the goal of this video is really to give you an overview to give you a scaffold of the history of the first half of the 20th century in China so as we go into the early 1900s you have the end of Imperial dynastic rule in China this is a big deal China has been ruled by various dynasties for multiple thousands of years but as you get into the 1900s it was getting the the dynastic rule in particular the ching dynasty was getting weaker and weaker it had suffered at the hands of the Japanese during the first sino-japanese war at the end of the 1800s there was growing discontent amongst the opposition that the dynasty that the Emperor's were not modernizing China enough remember this is the early 1900s the rest of the world was becoming a very very modern place China in the 1800's had suffered at the hands of Western powers who were who were essentially exerting their own Imperial influence in China many people felt that this was because China was not as modernized economically politically technologically as it needed to be and so you fast-forward to 1911 you have what is known as the Wu Chang uprising which led to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty by 1912 a Republic of China was established in Nanjing so Nanjing right over here was established Beijing was of course the seat of dynastic rule in China and the first provisional President of the Republic of China was dr. Sun yat-sen right over here and he actually did not directly participate in this final uprising that finally led to the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty he was actually in Denver at the time Denver Colorado but he was a leading or one of the leading figures in the run-up to this uprising one of the leading figures who was providing opposition and had tried multiple times to overthrow dynasty now along with Sun yat-sen he was essentially in cahoots with Yuan Shikai who is a general on in the old dynasty and he has his own fascinating history and Sun yat-sen struck a deal with one Shiki who was very politically ambitious Wan Chu Chi said hey if I can get the Emperor Puyi who was the last emperor of China if I can get him to officially abdicate I want to become the president so Sun yat-sen agrees to this so one shik I becomes the official or becomes the president of the Republic of China but that wasn't enough for him he declares himself Emperor in 1915 which could imagine did not make many people happy because they were tired of having Emperor's and by 1916 he abdicates and he and he passes away actually and this actually begins a period of extremely fragmented rule for China even under imperial rule the Chinese military was not one consolidated body the military was controlled by various warlords in various regions that all had allegiance to the Emperor once you have Wan Chu Chi abdicating and then dying in 1916 and even prior to that when he declared himself Emperor people did not want to pledge allegiance to one Chi Chi and so you had what is known as the beginning of the warlord era in China and this is a fragmented fragmented period where you did not have any centralized leadership and each of these regions here this map over here shows kind of the rough picture of what the warlord era looked like each of these regions were controlled by a different warlord who was in charge of a different military when this was going on during the warlord era especially as we go back into the early 20s in 1921 in particular Sun yat-sen hasn't given up he goes to the south in gwangju and sets up a essentially a revolutionary government essentially a desire to from there to try to consolidate power and china again and reestablish the Republic of China so he goes there buddy unfortunately he passes away in 1925 from cancer and the and the the hands or the power of the the movement that he started which is now being referred to as the Quang Ninh Kuomintang let me write that down Kuomintang Kuo Minh tang me Kuo Minh tang it essentially the power there goes passes on to Generalissimo Chiang kai-shek and Chiang kai-shek the reason why we say the power essentially goes to him is because he was in control of the major part of the military forces of the Kuomintang and this is essentially the very nascent early stages of what would essentially be the Chinese Civil War because in the period from 1921 the period from 1921 until Sun yat-sen's death you actually had a lot of collaboration between the Chinese nationalists of Kuomintang and the Soviet Union and the Chinese competent Communist Party they were trying to collaborate in order to how to think about how China would unify but then once Sun yat-sen dies and the power of the Kuomintang essentially goes into the hands of Generalissimo Chiang kai-shek he starts to consolidate power and right from the get-go he doesn't antagonize the communists but by 1927 he's starting to consolidate he's starting to merge these various various factions in the rest of China so he's able to consolidate power but he also starts to go after the communists so Chiang kai-shek by 27 also starts to go after the Communists and the Congress are saying hey we are the ones that really represent the spirit of what Sun yat-sen represented while the Kuomintang under the leadership of Chiang kai-shek said no no we represent what Sun yat-sen represented when he first established the Republic of China and so in 1927 you have the beginning of the Chinese Civil War this is when the Kuomintang is part of its efforts to consolidate power not only tries to consolidate power at the Warlord's but also goes after the Communist Party now while all of this is happening as we get into the early 1930s Japan once again is trying to exert its its its Imperial its military might on the Chinese mainland they had already captured Formosa which is now known as Taiwan and Korea during the first sino-japanese war at the end of the 1800s and then in 1931 the Japanese the Japanese start to start to encroach on men Korea and this would essentially become a a multi-year occupation and infiltration of Japan into China and this continues all the way until 1937 where it becomes an official all-out war between the Japanese and the Chinese and I have a map here that shows kind of the maximum Japanese control over this period and so in in East Asia between the Chinese and the Japanese World War two was really just part of just part of the sino-japanese war the Japanese had already encroached on the mainland of China well before World War one well before World War Two had officially begun now while all of this is happening Japan is encroaching into Manchuria in 1934 you have to remember the the Kuomintang the Nationalist Party under Chiang kai-shek is going after the Communists and in 1934 he almost has them or he does the the the the Communists are nearly at nearly defeated they're surrounded by the Nationalist Party and this becomes what is a fairly famous event in Chinese history the famous long march where the Chinese Communist Party their military is marched through extremely tough terrain all the way to the northwest of China so this right over here is a map of the long march so this was really the Chinese Communist Party seemed to be on the ropes here in 19:34 and it was during this long march that mouse a tongue really started to exert and show leadership and this is what the leadership during this long march during this retreat to the northwest of china is really what allowed mao zedong to eventually take control of the Chinese Communist Party now as we fast forward we know that the sino-japanese war you could view this as one theater eventually of World War two eventually the u.s. goes in on the side of the Allies against Japan after Pearl Harbor and then in 1945 you have the you have the exploit acts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic weapons which essentially ends the Pacific Theater it's it's defeat for Japan and Japan has lost World War two and at this point full-scale civil war between the two parties break out again the civil war started in 1927 and then it it kept continuing but then once there was a common enemy in Japan that was clearly aggressively trying to take over more and more of China's well people resources exert its imperial influence then you had the two parties kind of go into a low-grade war and say hey we need to fight these Japanese but once World War two ended in 1945 once the Japanese were defeated then you had full-scale Civil War break out again between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang and this is probably one of the biggest comebacks in history this was the Chinese Communist Party that in 1934 and 1935 were looked like they were on the ropes they were forced into and to essentially retreat they were able to come back and in 1949 and there's a lot of theories as to why they were able to pull this off that they were able to get much more of the support from the rural population they were more savvy about getting support generally than the Kuomintang but we could talk about that in a future video but by 1949 they were able to defeat Chiang kai-shek and the Kuomintang forced the Kuomintang to to retreat to retreat to Taiwan establish the government in Taiwan and ever since then you had the establishment by the communists the Chinese Communist Party in 1949 of the People's Republic of China