Republic of China (1912 AD－1949 AD)
As a turbulent and decisive period of Chinese history, the Republic of China experienced a short period of 37 years, which succeeded the Qing Dynasty in China and ruled mainland China from 1912 to 1949. In 1905 Sun Yat-sen founded the Tongmeng Hui centered on the three Principles of the People: "nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood ." With the "bourgeois" revolution of 1911, he introduced a Western style administration system, who was inaugurated in Nanjing as the first provisional president.
In August 1912 the Kuomintang (KMT) was founded by Song Jiaoren. It was an amalgamation of small political groups, including Sun's Tongmeng Hui. In the national elections held in February 1913 for the new parliament, Song campaigned against the Yuan administration, whose representation at the time was largely by the Republican Party, led by Liang Qichao. Song was an able campaigner and the KMT won a majority of seats.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Japan fought on the Allied side and seized German holdings in Shandong Province. In 1917 China declared war on Germany in the hope of recovering its lost province, then under Japanese control. When the Treaty of Versailles confirmed the Japanese claim to Shandong and Beijing's sellout became public, internal reaction was shattering. On May 4, 1919, there were massive student demonstrations against the Beijing government and Japan . The political fervor, student activism, and iconoclastic and reformist intellectual currents set in motion by the patriotic student protest developed into a national awakening, known as the May Fourth Movement. The intellectual milieu in which the May Fourth Movement developed was known as the New Culture Movement and occupied the period from 1917 to 1923. The May Fourth Movement helped to rekindle the then-fading cause of republican revolution. Just in this historical period, the Communist Party of China was founded in 1921, which fought the Kuomintang during the Chinese Civil War.
The Chinese resistance stiffened after July 7, 1937, when a clash occurred between Chinese and Japanese troops outside Beijing near the Marco Polo Bridge. This skirmish not only marked the beginning of open, though undeclared, war between China and Japan but also hastened the formal announcement of the second KMT-CPC united front against Japan . The capital of Nanjing fell in December 1937. It was followed by a series of mass killings and rape of civilians in the Nanjing Massacre.
After the ending of Anti-Japanese War of Resistance, or Eight Years' War of Resistance in 1945,and accommpanyed with the breakdown of peace talks, the War of Liberation had broken out. While the Soviet Union provided limited aid to the Communists, the United States assisted the Nationalists with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of now surplus military supplies and generous loans of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military equipment. Basically, the Nationalist government sought to enlist popular support through internal reforms. The effort was in vain, however, because of the rampant corruption in government and the accompanying political and economic chaos including massive hyperinflation. The demoralized and undisciplined Nationalist troops proved no match for the communist People's Liberation Army. The Communists were well established in the north and northeast. In January 1949 Peiping was taken by the Communists without a fight, and its name was changed back to Beijing . Between April and November, major cities passed from Nationalist to Communist control with minimal resistance. In most cases the surrounding countryside and small towns had come under Communist influence long before the cities. Ultimately, the Communist Party was victorious. On October 1, 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China. Chiang Kai-shek and 600,000 Nationalist troops and 2,000,000 refugees, predominantly from the government and business community, fled from the mainland to the island of Taiwan, and there remained only isolated pockets of resistance. In December 1949 Chiang proclaimed Taibei , Taiwan , the temporary capital of the Republic of China and continued to assert his government as the sole legitimate authority in China.