In 1896, under circumstances not entirely clear, Sun was caught and detained for 13 days by the Chinese legation in London. The political crises of that remote kingdom repeatedly offered him opportunities to prove the correctness of his judgment and the promptness of his action, especially in military and economic affairs. In 1907 the Japanese government gave him a sum of money and asked him to leave the country. Influential in overthrowing the Qing (Manchu) dynasty (1911/12), he served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China (1911–12) and later as de facto ruler (1923–25). The legation planned to ship Sun back to China, but, before this could be done, Sun had converted a British employee at the legation to his side and got word through to James Cantlie, former dean of Hong Kong College of Medicine. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. He started … Author of. Cause of Death: Liver cancer. Author of. In that office, and later as a grand councillor, he was to play a decisive part in China’s modernization and defense programs; throughout, he enjoyed the trust and unflinching support of the dowager empress Cixi. In the next few years it reorganized the army, instituted a school system, abolished the civil-service examinations based on traditional Chinese scholarship, reconstructed many government organs, and convened provincial and national assemblies. Sun Yat-sen, Chinese (Pinyin) Sun Yixian or (Wade-Giles romanization) Sun I-hsien, original name Sun Wen, courtesy name (zi) Deming, literary name (hao) Rixin, later Yixian, also called Sun Zhongshan, (born November 12, 1866, Xiangshan [now Zhongshan], Guangdong province, China—died March 12, 1925, Beijing), leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang [Pinyin: Guomindang]), known as the father of modern China. Top left: Sun Yat-sen was the first President of the Provisional Government. For this decisive change Sun owed much to two factors: the steady decline of the Qing dynasty and the powerful propaganda of Liang Qichao, a reformist who fled to Japan in 1898, founded a Chinese press, and turned it into an instant success. Although not trained for a political career in the traditional style, Sun was nevertheless ambitious and was troubled by the way China, which had clung to its traditional ways under the conservative Qing dynasty, suffered humiliation at the hands of more technologically advanced nations. But help was to come from the Qing. Forsaking his medical practice in Guangzhou, he went north in 1894 to seek political fortunes. Worse still, all the revolts Sun and the others organized ended in failure. Quite fittingly, the Chinese Communists called him “a pioneer of the revolution.”. Emeritus Professor of History, Queens College, City University of New York. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Yuan-Shikai, The China Story - Biography of Yuan Shih-kai. As a consequence, Sun’s stock rose steadily among the Chinese students abroad. Returning to Asia in June 1910, he left for the West again in December after a meeting with other revolutionaries, in which they decided to make a massive effort to capture Guangzhou. After spending much of the ensuing eight months reading in the British Museum, Sun traveled to Japan by way of Canada. Yuan Shikai, Wade-Giles romanization Yüan Shih-k’ai, courtesy name (zi) Weiting, literary name (hao) Rong’an, (born Sept. 16, 1859, Henan province, China—died June 6, 1916), Chinese army leader and reformist minister in the twilight of the Qing dynasty (until 1911) and then first president of the Republic of China (1912–16). Yuan understood clearly that full-scale suppression of the Wuc… When the Wuchang Uprising broke out on October 10 th, 1911, led by Li Yuanhong, neither the warlords from the northern provinces nor the Beiyang Army had a clear stance for or against the uprising. As the division under his command was the only remnant of China’s army that survived the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, Yuan’s political stature became greater than that of all others, and in 1901 he was given the viceroyalty of the metropolitan province. In 1879 his brother Sun Mei, who had earlier emigrated to Hawaii as a labourer, brought him to Honolulu, where, as a student at a British missionary school for three years and at an American school, Oahu College, for another year, he first came into contact with Western influences. The British Foreign Office intervened, and Sun was released from his captivity. Sun was born to poor farmers in Xiangshan, in the South China province of Guangdong. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sun Yat-sen was the leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang [Pinyin: Guomindang]) and is known as the father of modern China. Influential in overthrowing the Qing (Manchu) dynasty (1911/12), he served as the first provisional president of the Republic of China (1911–12) and later as de facto ruler (1923–25). He was appointed to serve as Provisional President of the Republic of China when it was founded in 1912. 1911-12-29 Sun Yat-sen elected 1st President of the Republic of China; 1912-01-01 Sun Yat-sen forms the Republic of China; 1916-06-06 The death of Yuan Shikai, ruler of much of China since 1912, causes the central government to virtually collapse in the face of warlords, including Sun Yat-Sen Yuan began his career in the Qing brigade of the Anhui army, commanded by Li Hongzhang, which was dispatched to Korea in 1882 to try to prevent Japanese encroachment in the area. Xiangshan [now Zhongshan], Guangdong, Qing Dynasty. Because his brother objected to his penchant for Christianity, Sun returned to his native village in 1883 and went to study at the Diocesan Home in Hong Kong in the fall; late that year, he was baptized by an American missionary. At this critical juncture, Yuan appeared to conservatives and revolutionaries alike as the only man who could lead the country to peace and unity, and so both the emperor in Beijing and the provisional president in Nanjing recommended Yuan to be the first president of China. Miyazaki introduced Sun to many influential Japanese, including the elder statesmen Ōkuma Shigenobu, Soejima Taneomi, and Inukai Tsuyoshi, from some of whom Sun was to receive both political and financial assistance. After the success of the revolution in 1911, he quickly resigned as President of the newly founded Republic of China and relinquished it to Yuan Shikai. During the turmoil of 1900, Sun participated in secret maneuvers involving Sir Henry Blake, the British governor of Hong Kong, and He Kai, an influential Chinese in that colony. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. After his return to China, he was involved in a series of revolutions and tried to unify China under his leadership. Sun resigned on March 10 and was succeeded by Qing Empire Prime Minister Yuan Shikai. The United League was very loosely organized, and Sun had no control over the individual members. Which country did Alexander the Great not conquer? On November 1st, 1911, the Guangxu Emperor appointed Yuan Shikai as Chancellor (Prime Minister), because Yuan had gained support from various parties. Born: November 12, 1866 He failed to win even the lowest of the classical-examination degrees but was to have the distinction of being the first Han Chinese to hold a viceroyalty and to become a grand councillor without any academic qualification. Birthplace: Xiangshan [now Zhongshan], Guangdong, Qing Dynasty This time Sun raised more money in Canada and the United States, but the uprising of April 27 in Guangzhou (known as the March 29 Revolution, because of its date in the Chinese calendar) fared no better than the earlier plots. Liang did not actually oppose the Qing regime, but his attacks on Cixi, the empress dowager, who effectively ruled the country, served to undermine the regime and make revolution the only logical choice. The incident engendered great publicity and gave Sun’s career a powerful boost. With the destruction of China’s navy and army by Japan in the war, the Qing capital of Beijing was exposed to external and internal attack; in consequence, the training of a new army became an urgent task that fell on Yuan. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In 1884 he transferred to the Government Central School (later known as Queen’s College) and married Lu Muzhen (1867–1952), who was chosen for him by his parents. Instead, he was represented by Miyazaki and two other Japanese at the meeting, which proved fruitless. Their aim was to persuade Li Hongzhang to declare independence from the Qing. In the circumstances, Sun spent a year in 1909–10 touring Europe and the United States. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the years leading up to the Xinhai Revolution. In 1879 his brother Sun Mei, who had emigrated to Hawaii as a labourer, brought him to Honolulu, where he studied at a British missionary school for three years and at an American school, Oahu College, for another year.

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