Author: Wen Boling Source: The Fireworks World of Wen Boling (ID: Wenboling 2020)
In Chinese history, the political power established by each alien ethnic group is a dual system, that is, the ethnic group that established the political power and the Han people who account for the majority of the population implement division and rule, in order to ensure the independence of the ethnic group and thereby maintain the independence of the political power.
This is true of the Northern Wei Dynasty established by Xianbei, the Yuan Dynasty established by Mongolia, and the Qing Dynasty established by Manchuria.
For nearly 150 years from the entry of the Great Qing Dynasty to the end of Qianlong’s reign, the Han people were confined to the south of the Great Wall and the east of Jiayu Pass, and were not allowed to migrate to places outside the traditional Han territory. In traditional nomadic areas such as Northeast China, Mongolia, Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Tibet, almost all military and political officials appointed by the Qing Dynasty were Manchus.
For example, in Xinjiang, since the Qianlong Emperor recovered Xinjiang, the Qing Dynasty appointed 30 Ili generals, of whom 3 were Mongolian Bannermen and 27 Manchurian Bannermen. As for senior officials such as Dutong and Counsellors, they were also basically Manchurian Bannermen.
There are quite a few Han people in the Xinjiang Garrison, but the Qing Dynasty implemented a policy of ethnic segregation in Xinjiang, specifically building cities for Manchu and Han people to live in, and they were not allowed to go down privately with local people in Xinjiang.
In addition, the Qing Dynasty implemented the Zhasa restraint in the north of Xinjiang, and the Bo restraint in the south of Xinjiang. These were not the official systems of traditional Chinese dynasties. The official seals sent by Qianlong to Zasak and Burke were written in Manchu, Mongolian, and Uyghur, except for the absence of Chinese. Moreover, when Zazak and Burke made their pilgrimage to Beijing, they could not pass through the Shaanxi Gansu region, and must follow the regulations to walk in the Mongolian region north of the Great Wall.
The purpose of doing so in the Qing Dynasty was to sever the ties between the Han people and ethnic minorities, force ethnic minorities to form alliances with Manchuria, and utilize the vast land and inland cavalry to balance the Han people, who accounted for the majority of the population.
Therefore, under the rule of the Qing Dynasty, the state power and the main ethnic group were separated.
The same reason is that the Qing Dynasty was a foreign political power that dominated the country with small ethnic groups. After entering the customs, it was filled with a sense of insecurity. In order to enhance the loyalty of the Han people to the Qing Dynasty, successive emperors made great efforts to enhance the status of Confucianism, hoping to weaken the resistance of the Han people using the concepts of the Three Cardinal Principles and Five Constants, monarchs, and ministers.
Moreover, Emperor Kangxi, Emperor Yongzheng, and Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty used the bloody means of writing prison to wrest the interpretation power of Confucian classics from civil servants, scholars, and bureaucrats. Since then, the Emperor of the Qing Dynasty has been promoted to a Confucian sage who speaks his words and follows the law, manipulating the spiritual thoughts of the Han people.
Confucianism also completely alienated from an open and inclusive ideology in the late Ming Dynasty into a distorted and closed religion.
In this way, relying on racial segregation and cultural manipulation, the Qing Dynasty has been firmly established for two hundred years.
To be realistic, the Qing Dynasty was indeed a Chinese dynasty, but all its achievements had nothing to do with the Han people, who were essentially consumables of the Qing Dynasty.
If the Qing Dynasty continues to thrive, the Han people, who constitute the majority of the population, will never emerge. Only when the Qing regime was defeated could the prison cage that enveloped the majority of the people break down, and with this ebb and flow, it was possible for the Han Dynasty to truly regain its strength.
When the majority of the Han population is completely liberated, the country can carry out the largest mobilization and unleash the potential to be sealed by the Qing Dynasty.
From this perspective, after the Opium War, the successive beatings of the Qing Dynasty were not actually a bad thing.
In fact, it was during the process of being beaten that the ethnic boundaries and Confucian religion of the Qing Dynasty gradually collapsed, and the power of the Han people gradually recovered. The sound of a gun at the head of Wuchang changed the color of the rivers and mountains.
In the mid-19th century, the Qing Dynasty was beaten three times in succession, namely, the First Opium War, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Uprising, and the Second Opium War.
During these three beatings, the Han elite, who had initially emerged from the Jiaqing era, gradually gained control of the armed forces and became qualified to wrestle and reason with the Qing regime.
For example, Zeng Guofan’s Hunan army, although it had been 16 months since the pacification of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, had not been paid military salaries. Due to the declaration of the uprising to uphold the Confucian and Mencius teachings, Zeng Guofan was also unlikely to rise against the Qing Dynasty, and ordered more than 100000 Hunan troops to leave their armor and return to the fields.
However, relying on the military achievements gained through the war, Zeng Guofan, Tang Xunfang, Zeng Guoquan, Liu Kunyi, Liu Changyou, and other generals of the Hunan army have successively assumed the positions of governors, ministers, and other senior officials, and have vigorously promoted their children and subordinates, forming a deeply rooted Hunan faction.
Li Hongzhang’s Huai Army has nearly 50000 troops, receiving 7 million liang of military expenditure each year. After the war, it was deployed in Zhili, Shaanxi, Hubei, Jiangsu, and Shaanxi, becoming a pillar armed force to safeguard the Qing regime. However, with the peace of the world, the military expenditure of the Huai Army was gradually reduced to 3 million liang.
This has formed a huge Huai faction.
Zuo Zongtang did not have a large legitimate army, but by pacifying the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and recovering Xinjiang, Zuo Zongtang was not only the backbone of the Hunan faction, but also a representative figure of the Qing Dynasty in managing the interior and resisting Russia, with a large number of civilian and military generals following him.
Such a situation was unimaginable during the reign of Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong, when the Qing Dynasty was at its peak.
Due to the defeat of the Qing Dynasty in the internal and external wars, the traditional Manchu and Mongolian nobles were weakened, giving the Han elite the opportunity to become larger and stronger.
The power that continues to break the cage that envelops most people comes from Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, and Zuo Zongtang, who founded factories and sent overseas students to study abroad.
As early as 1862, Zeng Guofan, who had seen the power of foreign guns and cannons, wrote in his diary, “In order to seek the way to self-reliance, it is always the urgent task to cultivate political affairs and seek talents, and to learn to bomb artillery, learn to build ships, and other tools as the starting point.”
At about the same time, Li Hongzhang’s Huai army was equipped with foreign guns and cannons, and was invincible in battle with the Taiping Army. He wrote to Zeng Guofan, saying, “If firearms can compete with the West, China will be more than equal to China, and the enemy will be no less than equal to foreign countries. If China and Turkey are willing to do so, they will be able to stand on their own in a hundred years.”
Zuo Zongtang was also shocked by the strong ships and cannons of France during the war against the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom when he formed the French Chinese Allied Army in Zhejiang and France. He said, “Taixi is skillful and China does not have to be complacent, Taixi exists and China cannot be proud of nothing.”
With this understanding, after the war ended, they naturally became the Westernization Movement and founded modern industries such as the Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau, Fuzhou Shipbuilding Bureau, and Lanzhou Wool Textile Factory.
In order to learn Western technical knowledge, the Fuzhou Shipbuilding Bureau established the Fuzhou Shipbuilding School, employing French instructors to recruit young people under the age of 14 to learn French, geometry, calculus, navigation theory, ship manufacturing, and other knowledge. Since 1877, graduates have been studying in Europe, and after returning home, they have become the first generation of ship engineers in China.
Jiangnan Manufacturing Bureau has translated 54 Western books, including steam turbines, casting technology, Krupp gun operation manuals, introduction to using chemistry, and so on.
In 1872, at the suggestion of Rong Hong, Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang promoted young children to study in the United States. By 1875, the number of young children studying in the United States had reached 120.
These events were also unlikely to occur in the first two hundred years of the Qing Dynasty.
After being beaten, the Qing Dynasty promoted these things, of course, in order to save the regime from self-protection. However, the establishment of modern industry meant that the Han people began to master new productive forces, and learning Western knowledge meant that the Han people began to master new culture.
This has had an extremely far-reaching impact on breaking through the old tradition of the dual regime of the Qing Dynasty and governing the country with Confucianism.
“Because the new productive forces and new culture are entirely new and have little to do with the old forces and traditions of the Qing Dynasty, once these new productive forces and new culture develop, it is impossible to have absolute loyalty to the Qing Dynasty. Instead, they will build new high-rise buildings on this basis.”.
Da Qing thought he was saving himself, but he didn’t know that it had already ignited a spark.
Although the rise of Zeng Guofan, Zuo Zongtang, and Li Hongzhang ignited the spark of the rise of the Han people, the old forces of the Qing Dynasty still had considerable power.
In terms of ideology, Japanese scholars represented conservative forces.
Originally, Zeng Guofan and Prince Gong planned to select a group of scholars from the Imperial Academy to learn astronomy and algorithms, and introduce new culture into the superstructure of the Qing Dynasty. However, Woren said, “The way to establish a country is to uphold benevolence and justice, not power and scheming, and the fundamental purpose is not to rely on skills in the hearts of the people.” He suggested that “loyalty be the armor, and etiquette be the stem”, and reshape the superstructure of the Qing regime in a retro way.
This is not the opinion of the Japanese people alone, but the consensus of the old forces of the Qing Dynasty.
In the face of such a powerful force, Empress Dowager Cixi naturally could not give Prince Gong and Zeng Guofan too much support. After all, the old forces represented by Japanese benevolence were the basic forces of the Qing Dynasty, and the three cardinal principles and five constancy of Confucianism were the political correctness of the Qing Dynasty.
Supporting Japanese benevolence is to maintain the Qing Dynasty, and supporting Prince Gong and Zeng Guofan is to cultivate instability. This logic is clear to Empress Dowager Cixi.
In military terms, although the generals of the Hunan and Huai armies became the most effective military forces in the Qing Dynasty, up to the 1890s, the Qing Dynasty still retained 400000 green battalion troops and horses, consuming 6 million taels of military expenditure each year.
The combat effectiveness of the soldiers of the Eight Banners is not as good as that of the Green Camp, but as the legitimate armed forces of the Qing Dynasty, they cannot be abolished, and they must spend a lot of money to support them.
The combat effectiveness of these old armies is not good, but they have won because of their large numbers, sharing weal and woe with the Qing Dynasty, belonging to their own people who can be used with confidence. They are also an excellent tool for balancing the Han elite such as Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang.
In terms of court politics, Prince Gong and Prince Chun successively assumed power, indicating that the decision-making power in military and political affairs in the Qing Dynasty remained in the hands of Manchuria and the imperial family.
Moreover, to a certain extent, Zuo Zongtang’s frontier defense line was also an old tradition of the Qing Dynasty in managing the interior. It was precisely the saying that “those who restored Xinjiang protected Mongolia, and those who protected Mongolia protected the capital.” Therefore, Zuo Zongtang’s frontier defense line was strongly supported by Empress Dowager Cixi and Minister of Military Aircraft Wen Xiang, and a total of 52.3 million taels of silver were spent in the war to recover Xinjiang.
The late Qing Dynasty spent 30 years in this tangle of new and old, Manchu and Han, sea and Serbia, and China and the foreign. Empress Dowager Cixi used outstanding political means to provoke various forces to struggle against each other, maintaining a glimmer of vitality in the Qing Dynasty.
This kind of relationship between cutting and clearing, as well as the original problem of the dual system of alien regimes, directly led to the fact that when the Qing Dynasty was engaged in the Westernization Movement, it did not dare to mobilize the whole people. The modernization of the Qing Dynasty became a cripple with only machines and no ideas, only the court and no nation.
The result was the 1895 Jiawu War, in which the Qing Dynasty was defeated by Japan mobilized by nationalism, not only completely tearing down Li Hongzhang’s “papermaker” mask, but also breaking the fragile balance of forces in the Qing Dynasty since the “Zhongxing of Tongguang”.
Before the defeat of the Jiawu War, the Western powers still held a trace of respect for the Qing Dynasty, feeling that the Qing Dynasty dominated East Asia and was not easy to provoke. As a result, Japan, which had separated from Asia and entered Europe for 30 years, defeated the Qing Dynasty in World War I, allowing the Western powers to see the fact that the Qing Dynasty was strong outside but weak inside, quickly setting off a frenzy of dividing up the Qing Dynasty.
Through the “Three Kingdoms Intervention to Return Liao” incident, Germany obtained a 99 year lease of Jiaozhou Bay and the privilege of building railways in Shandong.
Russia marched into the Northeast and obtained Lushun and Dalian under the pretext of protecting the Qing Dynasty from German aggression.
The British divided up Weihaiwei and the New Territories of Hong Kong, forcing the Qing Dynasty to declare that it would not cede the Yangtze River basin to other countries.
With the acquisition of Guangzhou Bay, France can establish a sphere of influence in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan in a fair and aboveboard manner.
In just two or three years, the Western powers have gained more benefits than in the previous three decades.
Those civil servants, scholars, and doctors who read the books of sages and sages originally thought that the Qing Dynasty was only backward in equipment and far more civilized than the barbarians in the West. However, the defeat of the Qing Dynasty by Japan, which left Asia and entered Europe, made them wonder about a problem:
“The Qing Dynasty is not only backward in equipment, but also backward in culture and systems.”
Therefore, the most conservative literati and doctors gradually abandoned the traditional Confucian ideology and began to embrace Western culture and systems. There is no doubt about this. The areas of debate are nothing more than constitutional monarchy, republicanism, and revolution. What kind of Western culture and system is suitable for China, and how to integrate with China.
The Reform Movement of 1898 initiated by Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao, Tan Sitong, and others took place against this background.
The imminent collapse of Li Hongzhang’s Huai army in North Korea proved that simply purchasing equipment to arm the army was not effective. In 1900, the “Eight Power Allied Army” invaded China and demanded that the Qing Company pay 982 million taels of silver with interest, further deepening the fact of the “decline of the military morality of the Qing Dynasty.”.
Looking back at the “loyalty as the armor, etiquette as the dry oar” of Japanese benevolence, it feels like a joke. Armed forces such as the Huai Army, the Green Camp, and the Eight Banners are not even worthy of mention, as dog meat cannot make it to the banquet.
At this stage, the Qing Dynasty is facing a major choice no less than entering the GATT – conservative or reform?
This seems to be a multiple choice question, but in fact, Qing didn’t have a choice at all.
If China did not enter the customs territory in 1644, the Qing Dynasty could still become a regional power in eastern Liaoning. Before and after 1900, the Qing Dynasty became a national power, and the Northeast was occupied by the Han people. Therefore, apart from reforming the corrupt policies and extending the life of the regime, the Qing Dynasty had no way out.
Empress Dowager Cixi did not deny this.
Han governors and local literati also support reform, as they all rely on the Qing regime for survival. If the Qing regime disappears, their power and interests will also disappear. For them, protecting the Qing regime means protecting themselves.
Therefore, after the Sino-Japanese War and the attack of the Allied Forces of the Eight Kingdoms, the dual regime of the Qing Dynasty and the line of governing the country by Confucianism have completely gone bankrupt, and the prison that enveloped 40000 Han people has been beaten to pieces by Japan and Western powers.
Under the ruins, the new productive forces and new culture cultivated by the elites of the generation of Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, and Zuo Zongtang can finally grow unchecked and free from the shackles of the old system, tradition, and power.
The reform needs of the Qing Dynasty, combined with new productivity and new culture, are a great opportunity for the Han people to rise and rebuild China.
After Empress Dowager Cixi returned from Xi’an, the reform of the New Deal in the late Qing Dynasty was launched with great intensity. In addition to traditional reform projects such as reforming the official system, establishing postal services, and building railways, there were three reforms that had a decisive impact on the Qing regime.
One is to abolish the imperial examination.
Since the Tang Dynasty, the imperial examination has been the link between the imperial court and local literati. No matter which dynasty unifies China, as long as it opens the imperial examination and protects the interests of landlords and literati, it can quickly establish a stable rule. It was also because of the imperial examination that the landlord literary talent had an upward path, quickly establishing loyalty to the dynasty.
In 1905, the Qing Dynasty decided to abolish the imperial examinations and use new schools to cultivate talents.
In the Qing Dynasty, there were 4222 new schools with 92169 students. By 1909, the total number of new schools reached 52348, with 1.56 million students.
It seems that the new talent index level in the Qing Dynasty has increased, but the problem is that the new school has expanded its enrollment. Graduates do not necessarily obtain official positions, nor do they have stable channels for career advancement, and the privileges enjoyed by scholars who have once achieved fame have also disappeared.
Since the Qing Dynasty could not provide benefits to the landlord literati, their loyalty to the Qing Dynasty would inevitably plummet. Affected by Western culture, students studying in new style schools would inevitably not be interested in the monarchs, ministers, fathers, and sons of the Qing Dynasty.
This means that the ties between the Qing Dynasty and the landlords and literati were severed, and the influence of the Qing regime in the local areas quickly lost.
In addition, many wealthy young students chose to study in Japan, and by the end of 1906, the number of students studying in Japan had soared to nearly 20000.
Stimulated by the defeat of the Sino Japanese War of 1894-1895 and the Eight Power Allied Forces, these people were very sensitive. However, the Japanese thought that the Qing Dynasty was a defeated country, and laughed at the students studying in Japan all day long as “Chingkuo” and “** pig”, which made them feel very humiliated.
In this way, students studying in Japan began to discuss national affairs, but when studying in Japan, they were unlikely to publicly denounce the Japanese invasion of China. Therefore, the discussion focused on domestic issues, and after talking, a consensus was reached:
The decline of the country is due to the incompetence of the Qing Dynasty. If we want to revitalize China, we must first overthrow the Qing Dynasty.
Zou Rong wrote in “Revolutionary Army”:
“Kill five million Manchu species with Mao Dai Jiao, wash away the humiliation of two hundred and sixty years of cruelty, and make Chinese Mainland a clean land.”
In general, students studying in Japan and students in new style schools have received the education provided by the Qing Dynasty, but under the influence of the new culture, they have moved towards the opposite of the Qing Dynasty.
The second is to establish a new army.
As early as after the defeat of the Jiawu War, the Qing Dynasty knew that the Huai Army, the Green Camp, and the Eight Banners were no longer viable, and ordered Yuan Shikai to establish a “new army” in Zhili, while Zhang Zhidong established a “self strengthening army” in Hubei. This was the starting point for the establishment of a new army in the Qing Dynasty.
In 1901, the Qing Dynasty officially decided to reform, ordering provincial governors to establish military readiness schools, cultivate new types of military officers, and eliminate 30% of green battalion soldiers. In 1904, the Qing Dynasty re planned military reform, decided to train the new army in 36 towns, and publicly sent students to study in Japan.
There are only two ways for a regime to control an army.
Either the regime was formed from scratch when it started, and the army and regime grew together, creating a bond of flesh and blood during the process of seizing cities and territories. Either the regime should reform its interest structure, recruit personnel from a large beneficiary group, and complete the binding of interests between the regime and the military.
However, the new army established by the Qing Dynasty had neither flesh and blood ties with the regime, nor did its soldiers and generals benefit from the reform of the Qing Dynasty.
This new type of army naturally has no sense of identity with the Qing Dynasty, and is nothing more than serving as a soldier and eating food.
Moreover, the Wubei School established in the Qing Dynasty aims to teach students new culture. Foreign students sent to Japan will also be influenced by Japanese nationalism, and will inevitably merge with anti Manchurian students studying in Japan.
In the end, the source of officers in the new army of the Qing Dynasty was also a group of young students who had no connection with the old forces and were firmly anti Manchurian under the influence of the new culture.
The third is to establish a consultative bureau.
In August 1908, the Qing Dynasty announced the implementation of constitutionalism, preparing to establish a consultative bureau first. Eight years later, it promulgated the Constitution, and nine years later, it convened a parliament to officially become a constitutional state.
According to the regulations for the election of members of the Advisory Bureau promulgated by the Qing Dynasty, the “voting qualification” is stated as follows:
Have been engaged in education or other public service in the province for at least three years.
Graduated from a middle school or a domestic or foreign university.
Have a reputation of being a student or above.
Having served as a civil official with a rank of seven or above or a military official with a rank of five or above.
Has assets worth more than 5000 yuan in the province.
Anyone who meets any of the conditions can participate in the voting, which means that the elected members of the advisory board must also have the above conditions.
Who are those who possess these conditions?
In that era, those who were able to study in a new style school, have achieved fame as a student, have served as a seventh grade civil or fifth grade military official, and have assets of more than 5000 yuan were undoubtedly landlords, gentry, and wealthy merchants, all of whom were representatives of local forces.
The appeal of local forces is often to encroach on the rights of the imperial court and strengthen local forces. Only in this way can they legitimately strengthen their own interests.
In other words, these local forces represent the new productive forces and actively participate in the election of the Council. What they most want is local autonomy.
However, local autonomy and centralized power in the Qing Dynasty were incompatible.
Will the Qing Dynasty give local governments the right of alienation and benefits? “If you don’t let it go, the representatives of local forces in the advisory bureau will fight for power. If you let it go, will the Qing Dynasty still be the Qing Dynasty?”?
Regardless, this is a dead end.
Therefore, no matter how dazzling the reform of the Qing Dynasty may be, the core content of the above three reforms basically destroyed the life of the Qing Dynasty.
When Empress Dowager Cixi was alive, she could still use the accumulated power of her administration for decades to temporarily suppress the voice of resistance. Once Empress Dowager Cixi died, the Han people had already infiltrated the empty Qing Dynasty, and the countdown began.
In November 1908, Empress Dowager Cixi passed away. In 1909, the provincial advisory boards held their first elections, with no suspense. The candidates were all representatives of local forces around the age of 40.
Originally, these representatives of local forces were prepared to live in harmony with the Qing Dynasty for a period of time after seizing local power from the Qing Dynasty, like the older generations such as Zeng Guofan, Li Hongzhang, and Zuo Zongtang.
However, at the first meeting of the Advisory Bureau, conflicts broke out between the Advisory Bureau and the governor in many provinces.
Because in the Qing Dynasty, the Consultative Council was just a decoration, never thinking of ceding local power to local forces, the actual power of each province remained in the hands of the governor, who had the veto power over the decisions of the Consultative Council.
This angered the members of the advisory board – “What we want is actual local rights, not political vases. We must convene a Congress as soon as possible and hand over local rights to us.”
Against this background, in 1910, the Qing Dynasty erupted four petitions to enter Beijing, demanding the immediate establishment of a responsible cabinet and the convening of a parliament. In order to express dissatisfaction, many provinces even experienced business strikes, student strikes, and worker strikes.
This is a blatant request for power from the Qing Dynasty.
In the face of fierce public opinion, Regent Wang Zaifeng was forced to announce the convening of a parliament in the fifth year of Xuantong, and in May 1911, a responsible cabinet was established in advance. There were 13 people from the prime minister to ministers, including only Xu Shichang, Liang Dunyan, Tang Jingchong, and Sheng Xuanhuai, who were Han people, while the other 9 were all Manchus, of whom 6 were imperial clans.
As soon as the news came out, the crowd surged.
The members of the provincial consultative bureaus want to appoint people from the provincial consultative bureaus to form a cabinet after the convening of the Congress, so that representatives of local forces representing the new productive forces can control the Qing regime.
However, the regent Wang Zaifeng thought that he should firmly hold the family property handed down from his ancestors and never hand over the political power, otherwise the Qing Dynasty would fall.
Conflicts and contradictions cannot be reconciled at this point.
After the farce of the “royal cabinet”, local forces in various provinces also understood that the Qing Dynasty could not count on it. If they wanted everything, they could only overthrow the alien regime.
So the members of the provincial advisory boards quickly turned to the revolutionary party.
Since 1905, students and officers studying in Japan, representing the new culture, have gradually joined Sun Yat sen’s Chinese Revolutionary League in Tokyo, Japan, and began to openly publicize the revolution. After returning to work, they spread the revolutionary ideas and established close ties with the Jianghu parties.
So in 1911, young students representing the new culture, the new army representing the armed forces, and local forces representing the new productive forces formed the Han People’s Grand Alliance with the greatest consensus of “excluding Manchus and opposing the Qing Dynasty.”.
At this stage of the Qing Dynasty, the dual regime that once dominated East Asia has become a groundless castle in the air, and its demise is only a matter of time.
Shortly after the establishment of the “Imperial Cabinet”, the Qing Dynasty announced the nationalization of the Sichuan Han Railway and the Guangdong Han Railway. In order to acquire the equity interests of these two railways, the Qing Dynasty was prepared to borrow a large sum of money from foreign countries.
Railway is a high investment project, such as the Yuehan Railway. At the time of the initial public offering, it required 4 taels of silver to purchase 1 share. At that time, the living expenses of a family of four for a month were only 2 taels of silver, so the unit price per share of Yuehan Railway is equivalent to the current 6-8000 yuan.
With such a high unit price, investors’ goal is to obtain high returns. At the touch of the mouth of the Qing Dynasty, they will be nationalized, which means that after depriving local forces of their political rights, they will also be deprived of their economic interests.
Moreover, the Qing Dynasty borrowed money from foreign countries. Who knows whether it was really to acquire railways or to suppress local areas by armed forces?
If it were true that the acquisition of railways would be enough, but if it were to arm the army, the Han people would not only have to become serfs in the Kangxi and Qianlong dynasties, but also pay taxes to repay the debts of the Qing Dynasty.
What’s the matter, I killed myself?
Therefore, a road protection movement immediately broke out in the southwest region, and the Qing Dynasty transferred the Hubei New Army to Sichuan to quell the rebellion, which led to the weakening of the military strength in Wuchang, the capital of Hubei Province.
Coincidentally, on October 9th, when Sun Wu and others from the Hubei New Army were deploying a bomb, the bomb accidentally exploded, and the military police began searching for the Revolutionary Party. The Revolutionary Party of the Hubei New Army temporarily decided to launch an uprising on the night of October 10th, and in the early hours of the morning, it broke through the Yamen of the Governor’s Office in Huguang. The next afternoon, the Hubei Military Government was established.
After Hubei seceded from the Qing Dynasty, the southern provinces immediately responded, and within three months, the Qing Dynasty lost half of its territory.
On the New Year’s Day of 1912, the Republic of China was founded, and Sun Yat-sen became interim president in Nanjing.
The whole process was dull and without suspense.
So why did Sun Yat-sen elect him interim president since he did not directly lead the uprising?
Mainly because Sun Yat sen made his debut early.
As early as 1895, Sun Yat sen launched an uprising in Guangzhou, becoming a pioneer in the anti Qing revolution. At that time, the Qing Dynasty had just experienced the defeat of the Jiawu War, and the social atmosphere was beginning to shift towards the anti Qing revolution. Therefore, Sun Yat sen, who had already launched the uprising, became a representative figure of the anti Qing revolution.
After that, Sun Yat sen proposed the slogan of “expelling the Tartars and restoring China”, and drafted a program of the Three People’s Principles of “nation, civil rights, and people’s livelihood”, providing ideological weapons for the anti Qing revolution.
Most importantly, Sun Yat sen has been traveling abroad for many years, and has relatively close relationships with overseas Chinese and foreign governments. He belongs to the anti Qing revolutionary camp, and is the only person who can communicate with China and foreign countries. This is a very important ability in the late Qing Dynasty, when the great powers surrounded him.
Therefore, after the Wuchang Uprising, Sun Yat sen was an acceptable figure in the revolutionary camp in all provinces and mountains, and he was the interim president of the Republic of China.
In this way, the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China for 267 years, perished under the impact of new culture, new forces, and new productive forces.
But behind the success of the anti Qing revolution, there is a serious problem.
The origins of the new culture, new forces, and new productive forces of the late Qing Dynasty were all from Western powers, whose sphere of influence was basically located in coastal cities in China, and at most, they passed through large rivers and reached the provincial capitals of inland provinces.
This means that the members of the anti Qing revolution are more inclined to the West in their thinking and their activities are limited to cities, with little connection to China’s vast rural areas.
This is completely different from the ancient landlords and gentry.
Therefore, the Wuchang Uprising was only a military uprising that occurred in the cities, and it did not change the production relations in the countryside at all, let alone extend the tentacles of the new regime into the countryside. In this way, the Xinhai Revolution became an incomplete revolution.
The real change in this revolutionary trend is the CPC, a political party initiated by university professors and urban elites and then rooted in rural development and growth.
Mao Zedong, the greatest leader in the past five thousand years, discovered the immense power hidden in rural areas, fought against local tyrants and divided fields to change rural production relations, and mobilized farmers to join the army and defend their country.
In the following days, these Han people who overthrew the Qing Dynasty will continue to divide and combine according to different ideas, different organizations, and different regions, and eventually trickle down to the sea, creating a rising and advancing New China together.
History has turned a new page.