Monarchy was gone for good in China once the 1911 Revolution defeated the Qing dynasty. Revolutionaries themselves complained that the Republican was little more than a “signboard” without real substance. President Yuan Shikai, who inherited the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen's brief and rough presidency tried to make himself emperor. Although Yuan had in his possession formidable political skills and resources, he miserably failed in attempting to pick up where the child emperor Puyi left off at his forced abdication. His failure was not the effect of the early Republic's clear attainment. Republics by their nature are less than democratic. Leaders, including those in polities with deeper cultural commitments to popular sovereignty and political equality than China, spent a great deal of time attempting to fix the game of politics in favor of incumbency of person and class.
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