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Wuchang Uprising

The Wuchang Uprising (武昌起義 wu3 chang1 qi3 yi4) of October 1911 triggered the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China.

In 1900, the ruling Qing Dynasty decided to create a modernized army, called the "New Army". At the time, the city of Wuchang, in the province of Hubei, had the most modernized military industry, so it was chosen to be the city where weapons and other equipment were manufactured for the New Army. Officers and soldiers of the New Army in Wuchang were influenced heavily by the revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen and many participated in revolutionary organizations

The uprising itself broke out largely by accident. Revolutionaries intent on overthrowing the Qing dynasty were building bombs and one accidentally exploded. This led police to investigate, and they discovered lists of revolutionaries within the New Army. At this point elements of the New Army revolted rather than face arrest. The provincial government panicked and fled. Sun Yat-Sen himself was not involved with the uprising and was traveling in the United States at the time where he found out about the uprising by reading it in a newspaper.

The Qing emperor failed to respond for a crucial few weeks. This gave the revolutionaries time to declare a provisional government. Other provincial assemblies then joined the revolutionaries. Within a month, representatives of the seceding provinces had met to declare a Republic of China. In a compromise between the conservative gentry and the revolutionaries, Sun Yat-sen was chosen as provisional president.

In Taiwan, the date of the uprising, October 10, is celebrated as a national holiday known as Double-Tenth Day.

See also History of China, Republican revolution, Min Guo.



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