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An Unfinished RepublicLeading by Word and Deed in Modern China$
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David Strand

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267367

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267367.001.0001

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Republican China

(p.1) Introduction
An Unfinished Republic

David Strand

University of California Press

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.

Keywords:   monarchy, China, 1911 Revolution, Qing dynasty, Yuan

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