- Empire of China (1915–1916)
Infobox Former Country
native_name = 中華帝國
conventional_long_name = Empire of China
common_name = Empire of China|
continent = Asia
region = China
country = China
status = Empire
government_type = Monarchy
year_start = 1915
year_end = 1916|
event_start = Established
12 December 1915
event_end = Abolished
22 March 1916|
event1 = Outbreak of the National Protection War
25 December 1915
date_event4 = |
date_post = |
p1 = Beiyang Government
flag_p1 = Flag of the Republic of China 1912-1928.svg
s1 = Beiyang Government
flag_s1 = Flag of the Republic of China 1912-1928.svg
flag_type = Flag of Empire of China in actual use [http://www.aiplus.idv.tw/soviet/FCHINA.HTM 中國的旗幟] (Flags of China) zh icon] |
symbol_type = |
image_map_caption = |
capital = Beijing
national_anthem = Zhōnghuá xióng lì yǔzhòu jiān
"China heroically stands in the Universe"
common_languages = Chinese
Chinese Yuan, Cash, Chinese coin
leader1 = Hongxian Emperor
year_leader1 = 1915-1916
title_leader = Emperor
The Empire of China (zh-tsp|t=中華帝國|s=中华帝国|p=Zhōnghuá Dìguó) was a short-lived attempt by statesman and general
Yuan Shikaifrom late 1915 to early 1916 to reinstate monarchy in China. The attempt was ultimately a failure, but it set back the Republican cause by many years and fractured China into a hodgepodge of squabbling warlord factions.
Preparations for formation
Yuan Shikaiwas installed as the second Provisional Great President of the Republic of China, he took various steps to consolidate his power and remove opposition leaders from office. To secure his own power he collaborated with various European powers as well as Japan. Around August 1915, he instructed Yang Du(楊度) "et al" to canvass support for a return of a monarchy. On 11 December 1915, a rubber-stamp assembly unanimously elected him as Emperor. Yuan ceremonially declined, but "relented" and immediately agreed when the National Assembly petitioned again that day.Kuo T'ing-i et al. "Historical Annals of the ROC (1911–1949)." Vol 1. pp 207–41.] On 12 December, Yuan, supported by his son Yuan Keding, declared the Empire of China, becoming the Great Emperor of China (中華帝國大皇帝), taking the era name Hongxian(洪憲). However, Yuan did not formally conduct the ascession rites. Soon after, Yuan started handing out titles of peerageto his closest relatives and friends, as well as those who he thought he could buy with titles.
Aisin Giorofamily, then living within the Forbidden Citybut as foreign monarchs rather than Chinese ones, "approved" of Yuan's accession, and even proposed a "royal marriage" of Yuan's daughter to Puyi.
1916 was to be "Hongxian Year 1" (洪憲元年) rather than "Republic Year 5" (民國五年), but Yuan was opposed by not only the revolutionaries, but far more importantly by his subordinate military commanders, who believed that Yuan's assumption of the monarchy would allow him to rule without depending on the support of the military.
Province after province rebelled after his inauguration, starting with
Yunnan, led by Yuan's governor Cai Eand general Tang Jiyaoand Jiangxi, led by governor Li Liejun(李烈鈞). The revolters formed the National Protection Army (護國軍) and thus began the National Protection War. This was followed by other provinces declaring independence from the Empire. Yuan's Beiyang generals, whose soldiers had not received pay once from the imperial government, did not put up an aggressive campaign against the National Protection Army and the Beiyang Armysuffered numerous defeats despite being better trained and equipped than the National Protection Army.
Seeing Yuan's weakness and unpopularity, foreign powers withdrew their support (but did not choose sides in the war). The
Empire of Japanfirst threatened to invade, then committed to overthrowing Yuan Shikai and recognised both sides of the conflict to be "in a state of war" and allowed Japanese citizens to help the Republicans. Faced with universal opposition, Yuan repeatedly delayed the accession rites to appease his foes. Funding for the ceremony was cut on 1 March. Yuan deliberated abandoning the monarchy with Liang Shiyion 17 Marchand abandoned it on 22 March. The "Hongxian" year was abolished on 23 Marchand the "Republic" calendrical system restored. Yuan reigned a total of 83 days.After Yuan's death on 5 JuneVice President Li Yuanhongassumed the presidency, and appointed Beiyang general Duan Qiruias his Premier and restored the National Assembly and the provisional Constitution. However, the central authority of the Beijing government was significantly weakened and the demise of Yuan's Empire plunged China into a period of warlordism.
Yuan set up the Ritual Regulations Office (禮制館), which issued the new official anthem "China heroically stands in the Universe" (中華雄立宇宙間) on June 1915. Its lyrics was written by Yin Chang (廕昌) and music by Wang Lu (王露). This anthem continued to be used during Yuan's imperial reign.
Yao was a legendary Chinese ruler. The era of "Yao" and "Shun" (堯天舜日) is a
Four-character idiomwhich means times of peace and prosperity.
The national flag was changed from the original was the version commonly used.
List of people given peerage by Yuan
Prince of the First Rank Wuyi (武義親王 "Wǔyì qīn wáng")
Dukes of the First Rank (一等公 "Yī děng gōng")
Marquesses of the First Rank (一等侯 "Yī děng hóu")
*Li Chun (李純)
Counts of the First Rank (一等伯 "Yī děng bó")
Viscounts of the First Rank (一等子 "Yī děng zǐ")
Barons of the First Rank (一等男 "Yī děng nán")
*Lu Yongxiang (盧永祥)
*Jin Yong (金永)
Baron of the Third Rank (三等男 "Sān děng nán")
History of the Republic of China
Military of the Republic of China
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