Republic of China (1912–1949)

Republic of China

中華民國
Chunghwa Minkuo
1912–1949
Anthem: 
(1937–1949)

Flag anthem
《中華民國國旗歌》
"National Flag Anthem of the Republic of China"
(1937–1949)
Location and maximum extent of the territory claimed by the Republic of China (1945).
Location and maximum extent of the territory claimed by the Republic of China (1945).
CapitalPeking (1912–1928)
Nanking (1927–1949)
Chungking[a] (1937–1946)
Largest cityShanghai
Official languagesStandard Chinese
Recognised national languagesTibetan
Chagatai/Uighur
Manchu
Mongolian
and other languages
Official script
Religion
see Religion in China
Demonym(s)Chinese[1]
GovernmentFederal semi-presidential republic under Beiyang rule (1912–1928)
One-party state under a military dictatorship (1928–1946)
Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic (1946–1949)
President 
• 1912
Sun Yat-sen (first, provisional)
• 1949–1950
Li Zongren (last in Chinese mainland, acting)
Premier 
• 1912
Tang Shaoyi (first)
• 1949
He Yingqin (last in Chinese mainland)
National Assembly
Legislative Yuan
History 
10 October 1911[b]–12 February 1912[c]
1 January 1912
• Beiyang government in Peking
1912–1928
1926–1928
• Nationalist government in Nanking
1927–1949
1927–1936,
1946–1950[d]
7 July 1937[e]–2 September 1945[f]
• People's Republic of China proclaimed
1 October 1949
7 December 1949
Area
191211,077,380 km2 (4,277,000 sq mi)
19469,676,204 km2 (3,736,003 sq mi)
Population
• 1912
432,375,000
• 1920
472,000,000
• 1930
489,000,000
• 1946
535,418,000
• 1949
541,670,000
Currency
Time zoneUTC+5:30 to +8:30 (Kunlun to Changpai Standard Times)
Driving sideright
ISO 3166 codeCN
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Qing dynasty
People's Republic of China
Republic of China
Mongolian People's Republic

The Republic of China (ROC) controlled the Chinese mainland between 1912 and 1949. It was established in January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. Its government moved to Taipei in December 1949 due to the Kuomintang's defeat in the Chinese Civil War. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army. His party, then led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song Jiaoren was assassinated shortly after and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan Shikai tried to reinstate the monarchy before abdicating due to popular unrest. After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, members of cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other. During this period, the authority of the Beiyang government was weakened by a restoration of the Qing dynasty.

In 1921, Sun Yat-sen's Kuomintang (KMT) established a rival government in Canton City, Canton Province, together with the fledgling Communist Party of China (CPC). The economy of North China, overtaxed to support warlord adventurism, collapsed between 1927 and 1928. General Chiang Kai-shek, who became KMT leader after Sun Yat-sen's death, started the Northern Expedition military campaign in 1926 to overthrow the Beiyang government, which was completed in 1928. In April 1927, Chiang established a nationalist government in Nanking, and massacred communists in Shanghai, which forced the CPC into armed rebellion, marking the beginning of the Chinese Civil War.

There were industrialization and modernization, but also conflict between the Nationalist government in Nanking, the CPC, remnant warlords, and the Empire of Japan. Nation-building took a backseat to the Second Sino-Japanese War when the Imperial Japanese Army launched an offensive against China in 1937 that turned into a full-scale invasion. After the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945, the Chinese Civil War quickly resumed in 1946 between the KMT and CPC, with both sides receiving foreign assistance due to the Cold War from the USA and USSR, respectively. During this period, the 1946 Constitution of the Republic of China replaced the 1928 Organic Law as the Republic's fundamental law. Near the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party established the People's Republic of China, overthrowing the nationalist government on the Chinese mainland. The Government of the Republic of China moved from Nanking to Taipei in 1949, controlling only the Taiwan area after 1949.

Names

Republic of China
ROC (Chinese characters).svg
"Republic of China" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese中華民國
Simplified Chinese中华民国
PostalChunghwa Minkuo
China
Traditional Chinese中國
Simplified Chinese中国
Literal meaningMiddle or Central State[2]
Tibetan name
Tibetanཀྲུང་ཧྭ་དམངས་གཙོའི།
་རྒྱལ་ཁབ
Zhuang name
ZhuangCunghvaz Minzgoz
Mongolian name
Mongolian CyrillicДундад иргэн улс
Mongolian scriptᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ
ᠢᠷᠭᠡᠨ
ᠤᠯᠤᠰ
Uyghur name
Uyghurجۇڭخۇا مىنگو
Manchu name
Manchu scriptᡩᡠᠯᡳᠮᠪᠠᡳ
ᡳᡵᡤᡝᠨ
ᡤᡠᡵᡠᠨ
RomanizationDulimbai irgen' gurun

The official name of the state in the mainland was the "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" (Zhōngguó (中國)) to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng ("central" or "middle") and guó ("state, nation-state"),[g] a term which also developed under the Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne,[h] and the name was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state during the Qing era.[4]

The ROC also used alternate names throughout its existence were Republican China or Republican Era,[6][7] as well as the Beiyang government (from 1912 to 1928), and the Nationalist government (from 1928 to 1947).

Other Languages
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Chûng-fà Mìn-koet (1912-1949)