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The Beiyang government (), officially the Republic of China (), also sometimes spelled Peiyang Government or the First Republic of China, refers to the government of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
which sat in its capital
Peking Beijing ( ), alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the capital of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by ...

Peking
between 1912 and 1928. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Chinese government. The name derives from the
Beiyang Army The Beiyang Army (Pei-yang Army; ), named after the Beiyang The term Beiyang (; pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland Chin ...

Beiyang Army
, which dominated its politics with the rise of
Yuan Shikai Yuan Shikai (; 16 September 1859 – 6 June 1916) was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese histo ...

Yuan Shikai
, who was a general of the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
. After his death, the army split into various warlord factions competing for power, in a period called the
Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China The history of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dy ...
. Although the government and the state were nominally under civilian control under a constitution, the Beiyang generals were effectively in charge of it. Nevertheless, the government enjoyed legitimacy abroad along with diplomatic recognition, had access to tax and customs revenue, and could apply for foreign financial
loan In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money avai ...
s. Its legitimacy was seriously challenged in 1917, by
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman ...

Sun Yat-sen
's
Canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division) A canton is a type of administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative r ...

Canton
-based
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
(KMT) government movement. His successor
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured syst ...

Chiang Kai-shek
defeated the Beiyang warlords during the
Northern Expedition The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The p ...
between 1926 and 1928, and overthrew the factions and the government, effectively unifying the country in 1928. The Kuomintang proceeded to install its nationalist government in
Nanking Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal province A province is almost always an administrative divisi ...

Nanking
; China's political order became a
one-party state A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. ...
, and the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
government subsequently received international recognition as the legitimate government of China.


Political system

Under the
Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China After victory in the Xinhai Revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in ...
as drawn up by the provisional senate in February 1912, the
National Assembly In politics, a national assembly is either a unicameral In government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media L ...
(parliament) elected the
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
and
vice president A vice president, also director in British English, is an officer An officer is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously apply ...
for five-year terms, and appointed a
premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, aut ...
to choose and lead the cabinet. The relevant ministers had to countersign executive
decrees A decree is a rule of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, ...
for them to be binding. The most important ministries were army, finance, communications, and interior. The navy ministry's importance declined significantly after most of its ships defected to the
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
's
Constitutional Protection MovementThe Constitutional Protection Movement () was a series of movements led by Sun Yat-sen to resist the Beiyang government between 1917 and 1922, in which Sun established another government in Guangzhou Guangzhou (; , or ; ), also known as Ca ...
in 1917. The communications ministry was also responsible for transportation, mail, and the
Bank of Communications Bank of Communications Limited (BoCom or BoComm) (; often abbreviated as ), is the fifth-largest bank in mainland China. Established in 1908, the Bank of Communications claims a long history in China and is one of the banks to have issued bankno ...
and was the base of the influential
Communications CliqueThe Communications Clique () was a powerful interest group of politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, businessmen, engineers, and labour unionists in China's Beiyang government (1912-1928). It is also known as the Cantonese Clique because many of it ...
. The
interior ministry An interior ministry (sometimes called ministry of internal affairs or ministry of home affairs) is a government ministry responsible for internal affairs, particularly public security, emergency management, civil registration and identification ...

interior ministry
was responsible for policing and security while the weaker
ministry of justice A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry. Lists of current ministries of justice Named "Ministry" * Ministry of Justice (Abkhazia) * Ministry of Justice (Afghanistan) * Ministry of Justic ...

ministry of justice
handled judicial affairs and prisons. The ministry of foreign affairs had a renowned diplomatic corps with figures such as
Wellington Koo Koo Vi Kyuin (; 29 January 1888 – 14 November 1985), better known as V. K. Wellington Koo, was a statesman of the Republic of China. He was one of Republic of China Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East ...

Wellington Koo
. Because the generals required their skills, the foreign affairs ministry was given substantial independence. The ministry's greatest accomplishment was the 1922 return of
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
concessions Concession may refer to: * Concession (contract) (sometimes called a concession agreement), a contractual right to carry on a certain kind of business or activity in an area, such as to explore or develop its natural resources or to operate a "conc ...
in
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subn ...
that were seized by
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
during World War I which greatly boosted the government's reputation. The foreign affairs ministry successfully denied the South's government of any international recognition all the way until the Beiyang government collapsed. China was a founding member of the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: Société des Nations ), was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member state ...
. The assembly was bicameral with a senate that had six-year terms divided into two classes and a house of representatives with three-year terms. The senators were chosen by the provincial assemblies and the representatives were chosen by an
electoral college An electoral college is a set of Voting, electors who are selected to elect a candidate to particular offices. Often these represent different organizations, political parties or Legal entity, entities, with each organization, political party or ...
picked by a limited public franchise. The task of the assembly was to write a permanent constitution, draft legislation, approve the budget and treaties, ratify the cabinet, and impeach corrupt officials. An independent judiciary with a supreme court was also provided. Early law codes were based on reforming the
Great Qing Legal Code The Great Qing Legal Code (or Great Ching Legal Code), also known as the Qing Code (Ching Code) or, in Hong Kong law The law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has its foundation in the English common law English law is the ...
into something akin to German civil law. In reality, these institutions were undermined by strong personal and factional ties. Overall, the government was extremely corrupt, incompetent, and tyrannical. Most of the revenue was spent on the military forces of whichever faction that was currently in power. The short-lived legislatures did have civilian cliques and debates but were subject to bribery, forced resignations, or dissolution altogether. During the
Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China The history of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dy ...
, the government remained very unstable, with seven heads of state, five caretaker administrations, 34 heads of government, 25 cabinets, five parliaments, and four charters within the span of twelve years. It was near bankruptcy several times where a mere million dollars could decide the fate of the bureaucracy. Its income came primarily from the customs revenue, foreign loans, and government bonds, as it had difficulty collecting taxes outside the capital even if the surrounding regions were controlled by allied warlords. After the 1920
Zhili–Anhui War The Zhili–Anhui War was a 1920 conflict in the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China between the Zhili clique, Zhili and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government. Prelude Tensions between the two factions developed durin ...
, no taxes were remitted to Beijing outside of
Zhili province Zhili, Wade–Giles, alternately romanization of Chinese, romanized as Chihli, was a northern administrative region of China from the 14th-century Ming dynasty until 1911, when the region was dissolved, converted to a Provinces of China, province ...
.


History


Under Yuan Shikai (1912–1916)

After the
Xinhai Revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria ...
of 1911–1912, the rebels established a republican
Provisional Government A provisional government, also called an interim government, an emergency government, or a transitional government, is an emergency government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally ...
in
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a sub-provincial city, a megacity and the List ...

Nanjing
under President
Sun Yat-sen Sun Yat-sen (; born Sun Deming; 12 November 1866 – 12 March 1925) Singtao daily. Saturday edition. 23 October 2010. section A18. Sun Yat-sen Xinhai revolution 100th anniversary edition . was a Chinese statesman A statesman or stateswoman ...

Sun Yat-sen
and Vice President
Li Yuanhong Li Yuanhong (; courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam ...

Li Yuanhong
. Since they only controlled southern China, they had to negotiate with the commander of the Beiyang Army, Yuan Shikai, to put an end to the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
. On 10 March 1912, Yuan became provisional president while located in Beijing, his power base. He refused to move to Nanjing, fearing further assassination attempts. It was also more economical to keep the existing Qing bureaucracy in Beijing, so the provisional senate moved north as well; the government thereby began its administration from Beijing on 10 October 1912. The 1912–1913 National Assembly elections gave over half the seats and control of both houses to Sun's
Nationalist PartyNationalist Party may refer to: Current parties * Bangladesh Nationalist Party * Basque Nationalist Party * Cornish Nationalist Party * Nacionalista Party (Philippines) * Nationalist Movement Party (Turkey) * Nationalist Party of Canada * Nationalist ...
(KMT). The second-largest party, the
Progressives Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform. Based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition, ...
led by
Liang Qichao Liang Qichao (February 23, 1873 – January 19, 1929) was a Chinese social and political activist, journalist, and intellectual who lived during the late Qing dynasty and the early Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China. His thou ...

Liang Qichao
, generally favored Yuan.
Song Jiaoren Song Jiaoren (, ; Chinese name, Given name at birth: Liàn 鍊; Courtesy name: Dùnchū 鈍初) (5 April 1882 – 22 March 1913) was a Republic of China (1912–1949), Chinese republican revolutionary, political leader and a founder of the Kuomi ...

Song Jiaoren
was expected to become the next premier, but he riled Yuan by promising to pick a cabinet with only KMT ministers. He was assassinated less than two weeks before the assembly convened. An investigation pinned the blame on Premier
Zhao Bingjun Zhao Bingjun () (1859 – February 26, 1914) was the third premier of the Republic of China from 25 September 1912 to 1 May 1913. Zhao was previously a public security official during the Qing dynasty and became minister of the interior during the ...

Zhao Bingjun
, which suggested Yuan had played a part. Yuan denied that either he or Zhao killed Song, but the Nationalists remained unconvinced. Yuan then took out a huge foreign loan without parliament's consent. Sun led a faction of Nationalists against Yuan in a Second Revolution during the summer of 1913 but suffered complete defeat within two months.


Revival of the monarchy

In response to threats and bribes, parliament elected Yuan for a five-year term beginning on 10 October 1913. He then expelled the Nationalist legislators causing the assembly to lose quorum which forced it to adjourn. In 1914, a Constitutional Conference rigged in his favor produced the Constitutional Compact, which gave the presidency sweeping powers. The new legislature, the National Council, had the power to impeach him but Yuan also had the power to dismiss it at whim before any proceedings could take place. Still not satisfied, he reasoned that the Chinese people were used to
autocratic rule Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a State (polity), state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (ex ...
and that he should seek to install himself as a new emperor. Yuan furthermore began participating in old Confucian rites connected to the monarchy. In 1915 Yuan crafted a monarchist movement which symbolically begged him to take to the throne. He would politely and humbly refuse each time until a special national convention of nearly two thousand delegates unanimously endorsed him. Yuan Shikai "reluctantly" accepted and was crowned Emperor of China. Former Justice Minister Liang Qichao saw through the ruse and encouraged the
Yunnan clique The Yunnan clique () was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang Government in the Republic of China Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the ...

Yunnan clique
to rebel against Yuan, sparking the
National Protection War The National Protection War (), also known as the anti-Monarchy War, was a civil war that took place in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies b ...
. The war went badly for Yuan, as he faced almost universal opposition. Most of his lieutenants deserted him. In order to win them back he announced the end of the
Empire of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was mentioned as the twenty-first Shang king by the same. Ancient histo ...
on 22 March 1916. However, his enemies called for his resignation as president. In June, Yuan died of
uremia Uremia is the condition of having high levels of urea in the blood. Urea is one of the primary components of urine. It can be defined as an excess of amino acid and protein metabolism end products, such as urea and creatinine, in the blood that w ...
, leaving a fractured republic in his wake.


The beginning of the Warlord Era (1916–1920)

Li Yuanhong Li Yuanhong (; courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam ...

Li Yuanhong
succeeded Yuan as president on June 7. Due to his anti-monarchist stance in Nanjing,
Feng Guozhang Féng Guózhāng, (; courtesy Courtesy (from the word ''courteis'', from the 12th century) is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the ...

Feng Guozhang
became vice president.
Duan Qirui Duan Qirui (; ) (March 6, 1865 – November 2, 1936) was a Chinese warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national government; largely because of coer ...

Duan Qirui
retained his spot as premier. The original parliament elected in 1913 reconvened on August 1 and restored the provisional constitution. There were three factions in parliament now: Sun Yat-sen's
Chinese Revolutionary Party The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
, Liang Qichao's Constitution Research Clique, and
Tang Hualong Tang Hualong (1874 – September 1, 1918), was the education minister from 1914 to 1915 and the interior minister in 1917 in the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China. Biography He was born in 1874. A prominent member of the Progr ...

Tang Hualong
's Constitution Discussions Clique. The first order of business was the creation of a national army. This was problematic as the southerners reacted suspiciously in fear that they may be deprived of their commands to untrustworthy Beiyang generals. No progress was made on this issue. The second issue was World War I. Premier Duan and Liang Qichao was in favor of entering the war on the
Allied side
Allied side
. President Li and Sun Yat-sen were opposed. Duan managed to strongarm parliament into breaking ties with the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
. Li fired Duan when his secret loans from Japan were revealed. Duan denounced his removal as illegal and set up base in
Tianjin Tianjin (; ; Mandarin: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Tientsin, is a Direct-administered municipalities of China, municipality and a coastal metropolis in North China, Northern China on the shore of the Bohai Sea. It is ...

Tianjin
. Most of the Beiyang generals sided with Duan and demanded the dissolution of parliament. In June 1917, General
Zhang Xun Zhang Xun (; September 16, 1854 – September 11, 1923), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cu ...

Zhang Xun
offered to mediate and went to Beijing with his soldiers. Backed with German funds and arms, he occupied the capital and forced Li to dissolve parliament. On July 1, he shocked the country by restoring
Puyi Puyi (; February 7, 1906 – October 17, 1967), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cult ...
as
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
. After escaping to the Japanese legation, Li reappointed Duan Qirui as premier and charged him with protecting the republic. Duan led an army that quickly defeated the
Manchu Restoration The Manchu Restoration or Dingsi Restoration (), also known as Zhang Xun Restoration (), or Xuantong Restoration (), was an attempt to restore the Chinese monarchy by General Zhang Xun Zhang Xun (; September 16, 1854 – September 11, 1923) ...
. Li resigned as president and was succeeded by Feng Guozhang. Duan refused to restore parliament due to his unpleasant experiences with it in the past. He argued that his victory over the Manchu Restoration counted as a second Xinhai Revolution and set out to craft a new provisional senate which will draft the election rules for a new parliament. This senate cut the number of seats in the future parliament by nearly half. His opponents disagreed claiming that under Duan's argument, he should resign as the premier's position cannot exist independently from parliament. Sun Yat-sen and his followers moved to
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
to set up a rival government under the
Constitutional Protection MovementThe Constitutional Protection Movement () was a series of movements led by Sun Yat-sen to resist the Beiyang government between 1917 and 1922, in which Sun established another government in Guangzhou Guangzhou (; , or ; ), also known as Ca ...
with the backing of the Yunnan clique and the
Old Guangxi clique After the founding of the Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to ...
. A rump of the old parliament held an extraordinary session. The Beiyang government declared war on the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought World ...
in August 1917 and began sending
labor battalions
labor battalions
to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
and a token force to Siberia. Duan took out large loans from Japan, claiming that he planned to build an army of a million men to send to Europe but his rivals knew this army would never leave the country, its true purpose was to crush internal dissent since it existed outside the jurisdiction of the army ministry. Meanwhile, the war between the northern and southern governments led to a stalemate as neither side could defeat the other. Duan's favoritism in promoting relatives, friends, Anhuites, and proteges to high positions in the military and government caused strong divisions within the Beiyang army. His followers became known as the
Anhui clique The Anhui clique () was a military and political organization, one of several mutually hostile clique A clique ( AusE, CanE, or ), in the social sciences, is a group of individuals who interact with one another and share similar interests. Inter ...
. His detractors rallied around President Feng and formed the
Zhili clique #REDIRECT Zhili clique#REDIRECT Zhili clique The Zhili clique () was one of several mutually hostile cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang clique The term Beiyang (; pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is th ...
. The Zhili clique favored peaceful negotiations with the south while Duan wanted to conquer it. Duan resigned as premier due to the president's interference but his underlings pressured Feng to restore him. The 1918 elections for the new parliament were rigged to favor Duan's
Anfu Club The Anhui clique () was a military and political organization, one of several mutually hostile Ruling clique, cliques or factions that split from the Beiyang clique in the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China's Warlord Era. It was name ...
which took three-fourths of the seats. The rest went to
Liang Shiyi Liang Shiyi (; May 5, 1869 – April 9, 1933) was a Chinese minister who served as premier of China during the Beiyang government The Beiyang government (), officially the Republic of China (), also sometimes spelled Peiyang Government ...

Liang Shiyi
's
Communications CliqueThe Communications Clique () was a powerful interest group of politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats, businessmen, engineers, and labour unionists in China's Beiyang government (1912-1928). It is also known as the Cantonese Clique because many of it ...
,
Liang Qichao Liang Qichao (February 23, 1873 – January 19, 1929) was a Chinese social and political activist, journalist, and intellectual who lived during the late Qing dynasty and the early Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China. His thou ...

Liang Qichao
's
Research Clique The Progressive Party () was a political party in the Republic of China (1912-1949), Republic of China from 1913 to 1916. Origins Chinese constitutionalism was a movement that originated after the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). A young gro ...
, or to independents. Because President Feng was simply finishing the five-year term Yuan began in 1913, he was obliged to resign in October. Duan replaced his archrival with
Xu Shichang Xu Shichang (Hsu Shih-chang; ; courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including China, Japan, Ko ...

Xu Shichang
as president, the closest to a normal transfer of power in this government's history. Duan promised Feng's ally,
Cao Kun General Cao Kun (; Courtesy name: Zhongshan () (December 12, 1862 – May 15, 1938) was a Chinese warlord and politician, who served the President of the Republic of China from 1923 to 1924, as well as the military leader of the Zhili clique in ...

Cao Kun
, the vice presidency but the Communications Clique and the Research Clique opposed it after newspapers reported that Cao lavished enormous amounts of money on a prostitute. They also preferred to give it to a figure in the renegade South as a token of reconciliation. However, no southerner took up the offer and this left the vice presidency vacant. This set up an enmity between Cao Kun and Duan. When Feng relinquished the presidency, Duan resigned his premiership. Duan, however, remained the country's most powerful man through his network in the government and military. Convening on 12 August, the new parliament spent much of its time trying to draft a new constitution to replace the 1912 provisional one and engaged in polemics against the rump old parliament in the south. In the
1919 Paris Peace Conference Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
, Duan's ally,
Cao Rulin Cao Rulin (; January 23, 1877 – August 1966, Midland, Michigan, United States) was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Beiyang Government, and an important member of the pro-Japanese movement in the early 20th century. He was a Shanghai ...

Cao Rulin
, promised Japan all of Germany's concessions in
Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subn ...
. This sparked the
May Fourth Movement The May Fourth Movement was a Chinese anti-imperialist Anti-imperialism in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisi ...
which seriously weakened the Anhui clique's hold in government. Though the First World War had ended, the army Duan had created to send to the trenches was not disbanded. Instead, it was given to his deputy
Xu Shuzheng Hsu Seu-Cheng or Xu Shuzheng (; ) (11 November 1880 – 29 December 1925) was a Chinese warlord in Republican China. A subordinate and right-hand man of Duan Qirui, he was a prominent member of the Anhui clique. Early life Xu was born ...

Xu Shuzheng
to invade Outer Mongolia. This soured relations with
Zhang Zuolin Zhang Zuolin (; March 19, 1875 June 4, 1928) was an influential Chinese bandit, soldier, and warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national government ...

Zhang Zuolin
of
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
's
Fengtian clique The Fengtian clique () was one of several opposing military factions that constituted the early Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with t ...
who considered such a large army bordering his territory as a threat. The Zhili clique demanded more influence in the government but in December Feng Guozhang died leaving the group momentarily leaderless. Cao Kun and
Wu Peifu Wu Peifu or Wu P'ei-fu (; ; April 22, 1874 – December 4, 1939) was a major figure in the struggles between the List of warlords and military cliques in the Warlord Era, warlords who dominated History of the Republic of China, Republican Ch ...

Wu Peifu
emerged as the leaders of the Zhili clique and they issued circular telegrams denouncing the Anhui clique. Cao and Zhang pressured the president to dismiss Xu Shuzheng. The president was already leaning against Duan for sabotaging his Shanghai peace talks with the South in 1919. Both Xu and Duan denounced the dismissal and promptly declare war on 6 July 1920. On July 14, the two sides clashed in the
Zhili–Anhui War The Zhili–Anhui War was a 1920 conflict in the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China between the Zhili clique, Zhili and Anhui cliques for control of the Beiyang government. Prelude Tensions between the two factions developed durin ...
. Within a few days, the Anhui clique was defeated and Duan retired from the military. The new parliament was dissolved on August 30.


Ascendancy of the Zhili clique (1920–1924)

Although
Zhang Zuolin Zhang Zuolin (; March 19, 1875 June 4, 1928) was an influential Chinese bandit, soldier, and warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national government ...

Zhang Zuolin
's
Fengtian clique The Fengtian clique () was one of several opposing military factions that constituted the early Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with t ...
played a minor role assisting the Zhili clique in the war, they were allowed to share power in Beijing.
Jin Yunpeng Jin Yunpeng (); ; 1877 – 30 January 1951) was a Chinese general and politician of the Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China when control of the country was divided among former Warlord, military c ...

Jin Yunpeng
, who had ties to both sides, was chosen as premier. President Xu called for parliamentary elections in the summer of 1921 but because only 11 provinces took part the elections became invalid and no assembly was convened. Zhang became worried over Wu Peifu's growing military strength and anti-Japanese stance which threatened his backers in Japan. Using a financial crisis as a pretext, he removed Jin and replaced him with Liang Shiyi in December 1921. Wu forced Liang to resign after a month accusing him of being pro-Japanese. He exposed Liang's telegram ordering diplomats to back Japan on the
Shandong Problem The Shandong Problem or Shandong Question (, Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectan ...
during the
Washington Naval Conference The Washington Naval Conference was a disarmament Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elim ...
. Zhang then formed an alliance with the Duan Qirui and Sun Yatsen. Both sides sent circular telegrams to rally their officers and denounce their enemies. On April 28, the
First Zhili–Fengtian War The First Zhili–Fengtian War (First Chihli-Fengtien War; ) was a 1922 conflict in the Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the Chin ...
began with Wu clashed with Zhang's army in
Shanhaiguan Shanhai Pass or Shanhaiguan () is one of the major passes in the Great Wall of China The Great Wall of China () is a series of fortifications that were built across the historical northern borders of ancient Chinese states and Imperi ...
and won a major victory forcing Zhang to retreat to
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
. Next, the Zhili clique started a national campaign to restore Li Yuanhong as president. Despite having co-existed with Xu Shichang for two years after the fall of Duan, they declared his presidency illegal as he was elected by an illegal parliament. They demanded Xu and Sun Yatsen resign their rival presidencies in favor of a unified government. Wu convinced
Chen Jiongming Chen Jiongming, (; 18 January 187822 September 1933), was a Hailufeng Hokkien Hokkien (; , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ''Hok-kiàn-ōe'', ) or Minnan (閩南語/闽南语), known as Quanzhang or Tsuan-Tsiang (泉漳) in linguistics, is a Southern Min ...

Chen Jiongming
to oust Sun from Guangzhou in return for recognition of his control over
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternately romanized as Canton Province or Kwangtung, is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...

Guangdong
. Enough members of the old parliament moved to Beijing to constitute a quorum which superficially gave the government an appearance that it operated as it did before the Manchu Restoration in 1917. Li's new administration was more powerless than his first. His cabinet appointments had to be approved by Wu Peifu. Wu's growing power and prestige outshone his mentor and superior officer, Cao Kun, which strained relations between the two. Cao wanted to become president himself but Wu tried to restrain his ambitions. President Li tried to create an "Able Men Cabinet" consisting of experts but he ruined it by arresting Finance Minister
Luo Wengan
Luo Wengan
on spurious rumours supplied by the speakers of parliament. The cabinet resigned en-masse and Wu was no longer able to shield Li. Cao Kun's followers controlled the new cabinet and bribed parliament to impeach Li. Next, Cao orchestrated strikes by unpaid police and had the utilities for the presidential manor cut. Li tried to take the presidential seal with him but was intercepted. Cao Kun spent the next few months promoting his presidency by openly offering five thousand dollars to any member of parliament willing to elect him. This created universal condemnation but he was nevertheless elected and was inaugurated on
Double Ten Day The National Day of the Republic of China or the Taiwan National Day, also referred to as Double Ten Day or Double Tenth Day, is a public holiday A public holiday, national holiday, or legal holiday is a holiday A holiday is a day set asi ...
, 1923 with a new constitution, the only formal constitution promulgated until 1947. He neglected his presidential duties and would rather meet with his officers than the cabinet. The vice presidency was again left vacant to entice Zhang Zuolin, Duan Qirui, or Lu Yongxiang but none wanted to associate with Cao's infamy. In September 1924, the Zhili clique general and
Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal Provinces of the People's Republic of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. It is one of the leading provinces in finance, education, ...

Jiangsu
governor
Qi Xieyuan
Qi Xieyuan
demanded control of
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
, which belongs in his province, from Lu Yongxiang's
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
the last province controlled by the Anhui clique. Fighting broke out between the two provinces with Qi quickly gaining ground. Sun Yatsen and Zhang Zuolin pledged to protect Zhejiang, sparking the
Second Zhili–Fengtian War The Second Zhili–Fengtian War (Second Chihli-Fengtien War; ) of 1924 was a conflict between the Japanese-backed Fengtian clique based in Manchuria, and the more liberal Zhili clique controlling Beijing and backed by Anglo-American business inter ...

Second Zhili–Fengtian War
. Zhejiang fell and for the next two months Wu was gradually winning against Zhang. In the early morning hours of October 23, General
Feng Yuxiang Feng Yuxiang (; ; 6 November 1882 – 1 September 1948), courtesy name Huanzhang (焕章), was a warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national ...

Feng Yuxiang
betrayed the Zhili clique by pulling off the
Beijing Coup The Beijing Coup () refers to the October 1924 ''coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state") or coup is the removal and seizure of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a po ...

Beijing Coup
. He put President Cao under house arrest. Wu reacted furiously at this betrayal by pulling his army from the front to rescue Cao. Zhang pursued and attacked Wu's rear, defeating him at Tianjin. Wu escaped to the Central Plains where
Sun Chuanfang Sun Chuanfang () (April 17, 1885 – November 13, 1935) a.k.a. the "Nanking Warlord" or leader of the "League of Five Provinces" was a Zhili clique#REDIRECT Zhili clique The Zhili clique () was one of several mutually hostile cliques or fa ...

Sun Chuanfang
held the line against Zhang.


Provisional Executive Government (1924–1926)

On 2 November 1924,
Huang Fu
Huang Fu
was made acting president after Feng Yuxiang's request. He declared Cao Kun's presidency illegal as it was obtained by bribery. Any member of parliament who voted for him was subject to arrest. The 1923 constitution was invalidated and replaced with "Regulations for the Provisional Government".
Puyi Puyi (; February 7, 1906 – October 17, 1967), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cult ...
was expelled from the
Forbidden City The Forbidden City () is a palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a or . The word is derived from the name palātium, for in Rome which housed ...

Forbidden City
and several other reforms were made. Zhang, a monarchist, objected to the expulsion and Huang's government. Feng and Zhang agreed to make Duan Qirui the head of the provisional government and permanently dissolve the old parliament. The Provisional Chief Executive had the combined powers of the president and premier, the ability to pick his cabinet freely, and could rule without a legislature. While theoretically very powerful, in reality, Duan was at the mercy of Feng and Zhang. Feng, Zhang, and Duan invited Sun Yat-sen north to discuss national reunification. Sun travelled to Beijing but his liver cancer progressed. Duan created a 160-member Reconstruction Conference on 1 February. Sun was skeptical of Duan and Zhang who toyed with the idea of restoring Puyi. Sun died in March, leaving his southern followers divided. Duan created a provisional legislature on July 30, the Beiyang government's last assembly. A constitutional drafting commission was also held from August to December but its draft was never accepted as warfare broke out after Fengtian clique general
Guo Songling Guo Songling () (1883 – 24 December 1925) was an important general of the Manchurian Fengtian clique warlord army led by Zhang Zuolin during the Warlord Era, Chinese Warlord Era. A republican sympathiser who briefly served under Sun Yat-Se ...

Guo Songling
defected to Feng Yuxiang's
Guominjun The Guominjun (), a.k.a. Nationalist Army, KMC, also called the Northwest Army (西北軍) or People's Army, refers to the military faction founded by Feng Yuxiang, Hu Jingyi and Sun Yue during China's Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a pe ...
in November, sparking the
Anti-Fengtian War The Anti-Fengtian War () was the last major civil war within the Republic of China Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest a ...
. Wu Peifu made an alliance with Zhang against Feng in revenge for the coup. Guo was killed on December 24 and fighting went so badly against the Guominjun, Feng resigned and moved to the Soviet Union but was recalled by his officers in a few months. When the tide turned against the Guominjun, Duan restored the office of premier to shift responsibilities away from himself. The March 18 Massacre of protesters in Beijing led to Duan's downfall. Under heavy pressure, Duan held a special session of the provisional legislature that passed a resolution condemning the massacre. It did not stop Guominjun soldiers from disarming Duan's guards and forcing the Chief Executive to flee to a diplomatic legation the next month. When Zhang's troops retook the capital weeks later, he refused to restore Duan whom he saw as a treacherous double-dealing opportunist. The capital suffered heavily during the initial occupation as Zhang and Wu's troops raped and pillaged the city's inhabitants. Zhang and Wu disagreed on who should succeed Duan. Wu wanted to restore Cao Kun as president but Zhang was vehemently opposed. What followed was a series of weak interim governments. The civil service collapsed due to the pillaging and lack of pay and the ministries existed in name only. There were mass resignations with remaining cabinet ministers pressured by the military to stay on. The only functioning parts of the bureaucracy were the postal service, customs revenue service, and the salt administration which was staffed by foreign employees. No legislature was created as it would have been too expensive and difficult to assemble.


Northern Expedition and military government (1926–1927)

In July 1926, the Kuomingtang launched their
Northern Expedition The Northern Expedition was a military campaign launched by the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) of the Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the "Chinese Nationalist Party", against the Beiyang government and other regional warlords in 1926. The p ...
to reunify China and defeat the warlords. They rapidly defeated the armies of Beiyang-affiliated warlords Wu Peifu and Sun Chuanfang, sparking Zhang Zuolin to establish the National Pacification Army (NPA; also known as the ''Anguojun''/''Ankuochun'') anti-Kuomintang warlord coalition in November 1926. Following a series of internal struggles within the KMT,
Chiang Kai-shek Chiang Kai-shek (31 October 1887 – 5 April 1975), also known as Chiang Chung-cheng and romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured syst ...

Chiang Kai-shek
purged the
Communists Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be ...

Communists
from his
National Revolutionary Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, was the military arm of the Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan ...
in April 1927, and the expedition was halted. During this period, the a conference of the warlord leaders of the NPA was held in June 1927. They resolved that all civil and military power would be concentrated in the person of Zhang Zuolin. Zhang was declared "
Generalissimo ''Generalissimo'' ( ) is a military rank of the highest degree, superior to field marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer A general off ...
", and consequently formed a new military government. This was the only time in the history of the Beiyang regime that it was explicitly a military government.
Pan Fu Pan Fu () (22 November 1883 – 12 September 1936) was a Chinese politician and premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government) ...

Pan Fu
was made Prime Minister and Minister of Communications, Liu Changqing was made Minister of Agriculture and Labor, Yan Zebo was made Minister of Finance, Wang Yingtai was made Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liu Zhe was made Minister of Education,
He Fenglin He Fenglin (; courtesy name Maoru (); 1873–1935) was a general in the Beiyang government, Republic of China. He belonged to the Anhui clique and the Fengtian clique. Biography Born in Pingyin County, Pingyin, Shandong, He Fenglin graduated the ...

He Fenglin
was made Minister of Military Affairs (including the navy), Shen Ruilin was made Minister of the Interior,
Zhang Jinghui Zhang Jinghui (Chang Ching-hui; ; Hepburn: ''Chō Keikei''); (1871 – 1 November 1959) was a Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. ...

Zhang Jinghui
was made Minister of Industry, Yao Zhen was made Minister of Justice, and Xia Renhu was made Chief Cabinet Secretary. Zhang published a manifesto for the new government, declaring that he would free China from Bolshevism (the "Reds") and chaos, and that he would reverse the unequal treaties through negotiation. Soon after, Zhang's Foreign Office sent a request to the Japanese Legation in China to request the withdrawal of Japanese troops from Shandong. The civil service began to improve and start functioning again. The navy and army ministries were merged to create the Ministry of Military Affairs. In early 1927, the NPA Political Commission, in an effort to make Zhang Zuolin seem more legitimate and popular, declared that a new policy would be taken by Zhang: "Development of the democratic spirit and opposition to oppression by force. Restoration of the national sovereignty and abolition of the "unequal treaties." Improvement of economic conditions and co-operation between capital and labor. Encouragement of popular education. Enforcement of a system of local self government. Reclamation of the frontiers and colonization of undeveloped areas. Preservation of the national sovereignty and characteristics. Readjustment of official morality and development of the morality of the people." Immediately following the defeat of Wu Peifu, the Fengtian clique and the KMT had to decide what to do with the political situation in Manchuria. In August 1926,
Jiang Zuobin
Jiang Zuobin
, a KMT general in Hubei, was sent from Guangzhou to Mukden to discuss a possible alliance. Towards Winter 1926-1927, foreign observers were predicting the possibility of a Fengtian–KMT settlement. On 14 January,
Reuters Reuters (, ) is an international news organisation owned by Thomson Reuters. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world. The agency w ...
reported that Yang Yuting was working with
Liang Shiyi Liang Shiyi (; May 5, 1869 – April 9, 1933) was a Chinese minister who served as premier of China during the Beiyang government The Beiyang government (), officially the Republic of China (), also sometimes spelled Peiyang Government ...

Liang Shiyi
to draw up a compromise between the two governments. During the early 1927 Fengtian–KMT negotiations, the KMT promised to "end the Northern Expedition (at Hubei, where they had already reached)", and allow the Fengtian clique to expand towards the south. According to the KMT, Zhang Zuolin would be made the Chair of the Central Executive Committee of the government according to the KMT, while Zhang himself wanted either himself or another Fengtian representative to be made President, with KMT representatives in the positions of Vice President and Premier. Zhang asked the KMT to stay to the provinces of Hunan, Hubei, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangdong and Guangxi, as well as ridding themselves of any foreign influence. The military government was seen as something that could be redeemed from warlordism. There was a push for reform and reconstruction, as well as adopting a new modernity in politics. Below is an extract from ''Dagongbao'' in August 1927, after the NPA defeated the Kuomintang in Xuzhou: However, the military government was never really able to establish its legitimacy well, as Zhang Zuolin lacked the political power to make reforms. Additionally, NPA military failures were detrimental to the public view of the NPA.


Demise (1928)

The National Pacification Army attempted to make other warlords, and, to some extent, ordinary people, perceive it as a peaceful unifying force, in contrast to the violent, revolutionary unification offered by the Kuomintang. The militarists in the NPA tried to reach a compromise with moderates in the KMT, believing that they could unify the country without bloodshed. From March to August 1927, the Fengtian clique and the KMT entered into negotiations. However, the leaders of the KMT were determined to pursue the destruction of the Beijing Government, and in mid-1927,
Feng Yuxiang Feng Yuxiang (; ; 6 November 1882 – 1 September 1948), courtesy name Huanzhang (焕章), was a warlord A warlord is a person who exercises military, economic, and political control over a region in a country without a strong national ...

Feng Yuxiang
's
Guominjun The Guominjun (), a.k.a. Nationalist Army, KMC, also called the Northwest Army (西北軍) or People's Army, refers to the military faction founded by Feng Yuxiang, Hu Jingyi and Sun Yue during China's Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a pe ...
and Yan Xishan's Shanxi clique, Shanxi army swore allegiance to Chiang's Nationalist government, KMT government in Nanjing, dealing a substantial blow to the Beiyang government. Following their retreat from Henan, NPA leaders (excluding Sun Chuanfang and Zhang Zongchang) came together on 7 June 1927. The generals agreed to try to seek rapprochement with Nanjing and to endorse the Three Principles of the People. They proposed a new principle of "morality" (民德; ''míndé''). They agreed on a reformation of the national government and suggested for Zhang a choice to either return to Manchuria and distance himself from politics or to establish his position as an important politician in the government. Two of the clauses agreed upon were the total destruction of Feng Yuxiang and joint decision-making in diplomacy between both the Beijing and Nanjing governments. With the continuing advance of the KMT, Zhang was forced to abandon Beijing on June 3, 1928. On the way back to his power-base in Manchuria the next morning, his train was blown up by officers of the Japanese Kwantung Army, killing him, in what is known as the Huanggutun incident. Yan Xishan's troops soon occupied Beijing, effectively dissolving the Beiyang government; unification was declared on June 16 by the Nationalists. Beijing was renamed Peiping until the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Zhang's son, Zhang Xueliang, took over the National Pacification Army and retained a government in exile led by Premier
Pan Fu Pan Fu () (22 November 1883 – 12 September 1936) was a Chinese politician and premier Premier is a title for the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government) ...

Pan Fu
. However, many civil servants, including former ministers and presidents, had already switched over to the Nationalist government. The United States became the first major power to switch recognition to the Nationalist government in Nanjing on October 1. Japan was the last major power to switch because they detested the anti-Japanese attitude of the KMT. Zhang negotiated with Chiang Kai-shek to end this pretense leading to the dissolution of the Beiyang government, the NPA, and the Northeast Flag Replacement, unification of China under the Nationalist flag on 29 December 1928.


Maps of China from 1911 to 1928

File:Chine 1911-1916.png, From 1911 to 1916. File:Chine de 1917 à 1920.png, From 1916 to 1920. File:Chine 1921-1922.png, From 1921 to 1922. File:Chine 1923-1924.png, From 1923 to 1924. File:Chine 1925-1926.png, From 1925 to 1926. File:Chine 1927-1928.png, From 1927 to 1928.


Japanese attempts at revival

The Empire of Japan, Japanese had poor relations with the new KMT
one-party state A one-party state, single-party state, one-party system, or single-party system is a type of sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. ...
in Nanjing. When the Japanese created the separatist Manchukuo in 1932, the new country used Beiyang symbolism. These were followed by Mengjiang, the Provisional Government of the Republic of China (1937–1940), Provisional Government, and the Reformed Government of the Republic of China, Reformed Government; which all used Beiyang symbols. When the high ranking Nationalist Wang Jingwei defected to the Japanese, he was put in charge of the Reorganized National Government of China, Reorganized Government in 1940. Wang insisted upon adopting Nationalist symbols to create a parallel rival government against the Free China (Second Sino-Japanese War), KMT government in Chongqing instead of reviving the Beiyang government. Both Wang's government and Chongqing's Nationalist government used near identical symbols and claimed their continuity from Sun Yatsen's rather than Yuan Shikai's regime.


See also

*
Beiyang Army The Beiyang Army (Pei-yang Army; ), named after the Beiyang The term Beiyang (; pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland Chin ...

Beiyang Army
*Republic of China (1912–1949) **Provisional Government of the Republic of China (1912) **Nationalist government (1924–1948) *History of the Republic of China *Politics of the Republic of China *
Warlord Era The Warlord Era was a period in the history of the Republic of China The history of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dy ...


Notes


References


Further reading

* *


External links

{{Authority control Republic of China (1912–1949) Government of the Republic of China History of the Republic of China Warlordism in Republican China 1912 establishments in China 1910s in China 1920s in China 1928 disestablishments 1920s disestablishments in China Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War 1911 Revolution Former polities of the interwar period