This film covers China's political history including Mao Tse-tung, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Nationalist - Communist victory. Made possible by a donation from John and Paige Curran.Producer: National Archives and Records Administration; Creative Commons license: Public DomainTV documentary. An introduction to the complex state and cultural ambivalence of China. The programme covers a period of one hundred and seventy years. The visuals include lithographs and line drawings from the early 1800's, still photographs from mid-century, early footage from Burton Holmes, Pearl Buck, Reuters newsmen and current footage. Experience the American Journey through our country's visual heritage in this historical recording provided by the National Archives of the United States. This film covers China's political history, including Mao Tse-tung, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Nationalist-Communist victory. From the Central Intelligence Agency Securities and Exchange Commission.
On 1 January 1912, the Republic of China was established, heralding the end of the Qing Dynasty. Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang (the KMT or Nationalist Party) was proclaimed provisional president of the republic. However, the presidency was later given to Yuan Shikai, a former Qing general, who had ensured the defection of the entire Beiyang Army from the Qing Empire to the revolution. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself Emperor of China but was forced to abdicate and return the state to a republic when he realized it was an unpopular move, not only with the population but also with his own Beiyang Army and its commanders.
After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, China was politically fragmented, with an internationally recognized but virtually powerless national government seated in Peking (Beijing). Warlords in various regions exercised actual control over their respective territories. In the late 1920s, the Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control, moving the nation's capital to Nanking (Nanjing) and implementing "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's program for transforming China into a modern, democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang.
The Sino-Japanese War of 19371945 (part of World War II) forced an uneasy alliance between the Nationalists and the Communists as well as causing around 20 million Chinese civilian deaths. With the surrender of Japan in 1945, China emerged victorious but financially drained. The continued distrust between the Nationalists and the Communists led to the resumption of the Chinese Civil War. In 1947, constitutional rule was established, but because of the ongoing Civil War many provisions of the ROC constitution were never implemented in mainland China.
Territories currently administered by two states that formally use the name China: the PRC (in purple) and the ROC (in orange).Post Civil War (1949present)
Main articles: History of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China on Taiwan. After its victory in the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China (CCP) led by Mao Zedong gained control of most of Mainland China. On 1 October 1949, they established the People's Republic of China as a Socialist State headed by a "Democratic Dictatorship" with the CCP as the only legal political party, thus, laying claim as the successor state of the ROC. The central government of the Chinese Nationalist Party led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated to the island of Taiwan that it had occupied at the end of World War II, and moved the ROC government there. Major armed hostilities ceased in 1950 but no peace treaty has been signed. An estimated 36 million died during the Great Chinese Famine of 195861.
Beginning in the late 1970s, the Republic of China began the implementation of full, multi-party, representative democracy in the territories still under its control (Taiwan, and a number of smaller islands including Quemoy and Matsu). Today, the ROC has active political participation by all sectors of society. The main cleavage in ROC politics is the issue of eventual political unification with the Chinese mainland vs. formal independence of Taiwan.
After the Chinese Civil War, mainland China underwent a series of disruptive socio-economic movements starting in the late 1950s with the Great Leap Forward and continuing in the 1960s with the Cultural Revolution that left much of its education system and economy in shambles.