In what ways and to what extent was China modernized during the Republican period (1912-49)?
After the fall of Qing Dynasty in 1911, the unprecedented, new form of government emerged in China immediately. Whereafter the betrayal of the Republic of Yuan Shikai (1913-1916) and the turmoil of Warlordism (1916-27), China was in a relative stable situation till the Nationalist Government was established in Nanjing in 1928, a period first possible for any modernization effort. That is, most of the modernization efforts, both externally and internally, which including diplomacy, financial, industry, education, of the Republican period (1912-49), were done in the Nationalist Government period, from 1928-37, and subsequently disturbed and made impossible by the Sino-Japanese War.
The external modernizations made by the Nanjing Government were unprecedented, which revealed by the revival of tariff autonomy and recovery of foreign concessions. Diplomatically, during the Nanjing Government period, the tariff autonomy was regained, to replace the fixed tariff of 5 percent ad valorem imposed after the Opium War in 1842. Adding to this, in 1928, two guiding principles in which treaties and agreement s that had expired would be abolish and renegotiated according to legal procedures. That is, the foreign powers agreed in principle to give up their consular jurisdiction. Furthermore, several municipal foreign concessions, including the one in Hankow, Kiukiang, Chinkiang, Weihaiwei, Amoy and Tientsin, were recovered. And in 1943 finally the United States and Britain voluntarily abolished all unequal treaties with China. The century-long humiliation upon the Chinese was finally abolished while China could gain a place in the foreign diplomatic map.
Internally, political structure was modernized in terms of the clear establishment of separating powers as changed from the absolute Chinese monarchical rule. The dominant feature of the Nanjing Government was its five-yuan...
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