Caixin OnlineOpinionCommentaries The Revolution of 1911
12.21.2010 14:26

The Revolution of 1911

For many people in the countryside, China without an emperor had been unthinkable; but life went on after 1911
By Nailene Chou Wiest

In the countdown to the centenary of the Republican Revolution on October 10, academics and amateur historians are coming out of the woodwork. The revolution that ended two millennia of imperial rule in China and established the first republic in Asia stands as a valuable mirror to today's China.

The 1911 revolution has been labeled in PRC history textbooks as the "Bourgeois Revolution," a mere prelude to the more defining and transformative "Proletariat Revolution" of 1949.  Contemporary historians focus on finding the seeds of destruction of the imperial order. What sealed its fate? How did the empire implode?

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