The so-called “Chinese Revolution” refers to two moments in Chinese history: the 1911 Chinese Revolution and the 1949 Chinese Revolution.
The 1911 Chinese Revolution, also called the “Nationalist Revolution” or “Xinhai Revolution”, took place in October of that year and marked the end of the dynastic period in the country.
The movement was triggered by nationalist revolutionaries who removed the Qing (or Manchu) dynasty from power, establishing the Republic of China.
She was led by physician Sun Yat-sen who was elected the first president of the Chinese Republic.
The Chinese Revolution of 1949, also called the “Communist Revolution”, had as its main feature the seizure of power by the Communists.
The country came to be called the People’s Republic of China with Mao Zedong as the country’s head. From then on, China was transformed into a communist country.
Chinese Revolution of 1911
The Qing Empire was marked by a series of foreign invasions in the nineteenth century. Four major battles resulted in the handing over of territories and concessions to foreigners.
These were the two Opium Wars (between 1839 and 1860), the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905).
In the Opium Wars, China lost part of Hong Kong and was forced to open ports for international trade. The English also demanded free movement on Chinese territory.
For the Japanese, China lost Manchuria and Taiwan (Taiwan). The lack of these territories was decisive for the loss of sovereignty over Korea.
Another blow was the Russo-Japanese War, because the Japanese demanded the Northeast Chinese territories. Another important event was the Boxer War (1899 and 1900), which aimed to combat foreign invasion in the country.
All of these events fed nationalist currents and spurred revolutionary ideas. Emperor Qing even attempted in 1906 a constitutional reform to maintain control over the people. It also acted in the modernization of the armed forces and even in the decentralization of power.
In 1905, leader Sun Yat-sen founded the Nationalist Party called the ” Kuomintang “. The party opposed the monarchy and above all European domination in the country.
The decline was inevitable and the revolutionary alliance replaced the Empire. The nationalist revolt, with strong socialist tendencies, was only successful in 1911.
However, it is worth remembering that there was resistance from the landowners and the communists. For this reason, for years the country has been plunged into civil war. This scenario got worse and worse, especially with the death of leader Sun Yat-sen in 1925.
In 1927, General Chiang Kai-shek was charged with leading the nationalist party created by Sun Yat-sen. As a result, the persecution of communists and landowners who opposed the system became ever greater.
These were years of conflict until the communists, led by Mao Zedong, seized power in 1949.
Chinese Revolution of 1949
The Communist Revolution of 1949 begins with the seizure of power by the Communists. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was made official with Mao Zedong elected head of the country, who ruled until his death.
This period became known as the “Mao Tse-tung Age” that took place from 1949 until 1976. From that time onwards, various reforms were established to make China a Communist country.
Among the most important reforms are: state control of the economy and collectivization of land through land reform.
The situation in the country was precarious. After years of the Civil War, people were dissatisfied and hunger and unemployment were recurring.
In 1950 there was the seizure of Tibet, which was annexed to China. Communist China played a leading role in the Korean War (1950-1953), being an ally of North Korea, also a communist.
Backed by the Soviet Union, China has undergone several social changes such as the emancipation of women and gender equality.
The project “The Great Leap Forward” was proposed in 1958, years after the death of communist revolutionary Stalin in 1953. The plan was to modernize the country, and hence its economy.
However, the project was considered a failure, leading to riots and the deaths of many starving peasants. In addition, the economy became increasingly weakened and disorganized.
In 1966, the “Chinese Cultural Revolution” intended to recover the country’s ideology after the failed project and the deaths of thousands.
Headed by Mao Zedong, the movement lasted a decade. It ended with his death in 1976. After this event, China proposes economic opening with other countries in the world.