Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chinese Republic, Sun Yat Sen, 1912

"An individual should not have too much freedom. A nation should have absolute freedom." - Sun Yat Sen

Sun Yat Sen is known as the Father of Modern China. He was born in Guangdong, China in 1866 and died in Beijing in 1925. A member of the Kuomintang Party, he is best remembered for his political philosophy outlined in his Three Principles of the People. These three principles were nationalism, democracy and equalization. He believed that China should be controlled by Chinese, not by foreign imperialist powers and that the government should be republican with democratic elections. His equalization theory said that wealth should be more evenly distributed and ownership of land by private citizens should be prohibited. Much like the government of the United States, his idea for a democratic state included executive, legislative and judicial branches, as well as the censurate and the civil service branches.
Sun Yat Sen fought for many years to establish a republic in China. He achieved this goal in 1912, only to be overthrown by the dictator Y√ľan Shih Kai after only four months as provisional president of the Republic. Despite this failure, his work opened the door for the formation of the Chinese Republic by Chiang Kai-Shek in 1928.

1 comment:

A. Mattson said...

A good, substantive post with nice a nice use of links.

Sun Yat Sen is the father of Chinese nationalism. His struggle for Chinese independence from European imperialism helps us to understand that there was resistance to Western expansionism that would grow until the final collapse off the colonial system after WWII.

Nationalism is still a strong force in Chinese culture and politics. The current troubles with Tibet and other ethnic and religious minorities in China show us just how powerful nationalism is in Chinese public opinion.