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The collapse of the Chinese Imperial system in 1911 was an event that had been in the making since the mid 1850s Between 1850 and 1911 there were many uprisings and wars fought in China These events compounded and eventually caused a Republican Revolution that forever changed the face of Chinese History This paper will attempt to explain the causes and events that led to the Republican Revolution of 1911 In the 103 days from June 11 to September 21 1898 the Quing emperor Guangxu 1875-1908 ordered a series of reforms aimed at making sweeping social and institutional changes This effort reflected the thinking of a group of progressive scholar-reformers that had impressed the court with the urgency of making innovations for the nations survival Influenced by the Japanese success with modernization the reformers declared that China needed more self-strengthening and that innovation must be accompanied by institutional and ideological change The imperial edicts for reform covered a broad range of subjects including stamping out corruption remaking the academic and civil service examination systems restructuring the legal system a makeover of government structure defense establishment and modernization of other government services These edicts attempted to modernize agriculture medicine and mining and to promote practical studies instead of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy The court also planned to send students abroad for firsthand observation and technical studies All of these changes were supposed to be brought about under a de facto constitutional monarchy Opposition to the reform was intense among the conservative ruling elite especially the Manchus whom in condemning the announced reform as too radical proposed instead a more moderate and gradualist course of change Supported by ultraconservatives and with the tactic support of the political opportunist Yuan Shikai 1859-1916 Empress Dowager Ci Xi engineered a coup dtat on September 21 1898 forcing the young reform-minded Guangxu into seclusion Ci Xi took over the government as regent The Hundred Days Reform ended with the rescindment of the new
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