REVOLUTIONARY CHINA

By the late 19th century, the Chinese Empire was growing weak, and foreign nations were controlling its trade. In 1911 the last emperor, Puyi, was overthrown in a nationalist revolution. Many years of turmoil followed.

Table 57. CHINA 1912–1949

1912 Chinese republic founded
1919 Japan gains Shandong
1931 Japan occupies Manchuria
1934–1935 The Long March
1937–1945 Japan invades China
1949 Communist victory

WHO CONTROLLED CHINA AFTER THE REVOLUTION?

Many forces fought to control China. First there were the nationalists, who founded a republic in 1912. Then there were the generals and regional warlords and, in 1921, the Chinese Communist Party. Finally, there was Japan, which gained Chinese territory in 1919.

WHO WON THE STRUGGLE?

After 1925, Chiang Kai-Shek became nationalist leader. Nationalists and communists became rivals but were forced into alliances as Japan overran China. Japan’s defeat in 1945 was followed by civil war. By 1949, the communists had defeated the nationalists.

WHAT WAS “NEW CHINA”?

The nationalists fled to Taiwan, and the communist leader Mao Zedong proclaimed a people’s republic. Its successes in the 1950s included better education, literacy, and health. However, unrealistic agricultural and industrial reforms caused hardship, leading to political chaos during the CULTURAL REVOLUTION.

CULTURAL REVOLUTION

Economic failures caused dispute within the Chinese Communist Party. Fearing that the ideals of the revolution would be lost, Mao Zedong called for a “cultural revolution,” a change in public attitudes.

WHO WERE THE RED GUARDS?

Students and young people took up Mao’s ideas with fervor. They declared themselves “Red Guards,” dedicated to never-ending revolution. They tore down temples, denounced their teachers, and rooted out “traitors.” The suffering was immense. By 1967, the regular army was clashing with the Red Guards, and Mao had little choice but to disband them in 1968.

DID CHINA REMAIN COMMUNIST?

When Mao died in 1976 there was a struggle for power. In the years that followed, China was still governed by the Communist Party, but it started to adopt some capitalist economic policies.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Free Homework Help Websites
Is helping your child with homework more frustrating and confusing than ever before, thanks to the new Common Core standards? Check out the best free homework help websites to boost kids' success in math, science, English, and more.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

11 Fantastic Fall Apple Desserts
Nothing says fall like the smell of an apple dessert baking in the oven. Use up your family's surplus of apples with our 11 favorite apple dessert recipes.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!