Chinese Revolution and civil war

Timeline created by a001739
  • 1616

    The Qing dynasty begins in Manchuria. Manchu influence spreads to Korea and China throughout the rest of the 1600s.
  • 1711

    The British East India Company establishes a trading post in Guangzhou.
  • 1793

    The first British envoy to Beijing, Lord Macartney, is appointed.
  • 1807

    The first Protestant Christian missionary, Robert Morrison from the London Missionary Society, arrives in China.
  • 1814

    The first recorded conversion of Chinese people to Christianity. The number of Christian converts in China grows steadily through the 1800s.
  • 1839-42

    The First Opium War with Britain. The war ends with a comprehensive Chinese defeat and a treaty that permits an increased British trading and military presence.
  • 1851-64

    The Taiping Rebellion. A Westernised Christian-based group in south-eastern China, calling itself the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, engages in a long civil war with the Qing rulers. This leads to some perceptions that the Qing dynasty was losing its Mandate of Heaven.
  • 1856-60

    The Second Opium War with Britain and France. Another defeat for the Qing results in a treaty forcing the legalisation of opium and Christianity. This humiliating defeat gives rise to the Self Strengthening Movement, an attempt to industrialise China and increase her capacity for self-defence.
  • 1866

    November 12th: Sun Yixian is born to an affluent middle class family in Guangdong province.
  • 1875

    June 12th: The death of the Tongzhi Emperor. The infant Guangxu Emperor ascends to the throne, aged three. He is adopted by Dowager Empress Cixi, who becomes his regent.
  • 1887

    October 31st: Jiang Jieshi is born in Zhejiang province.
  • 1893

    December 26th: Mao Zedong is born to a peasant family in Hunan province.
  • 1894

    August 1st: The outbreak of the first Sino-Japanese War, caused by disputes over territorial control of Korea.
    November 24th: Sun Yixian forms the Revive China Society in Hawaii. Its membership consists of Chinese nationalist expatriates and exiles.
  • 1895

    April 17th: The first Sino-Japanese War ends after seven months, the outcome a humiliating defeat for China which is forced to cede control of Korea and Taiwan.
    October 26th: Sun Yixian leads an anti-Qing uprising in Guangzhou. It is quickly defeated and Sun is forced into exile in Japan.
  • 1905

    July: The Qing court decides to send two missions abroad to study foreign political systems, suggesting that it is considering political and constitutional reform.
    August 20th: In Japan, Sun Yixian and others form the Tongmenghui or ‘Chinese Revolutionary Alliance’.
    September: Imperial examinations are abolished, part of the late-Qing reforms. 1906
    September: Under pressure from the provinces, the Qing government agrees to consider constitutional reform.
  • 1897

    November 1st: A ground of anti-foreign bandits storm a German precinct in Juye, Shandong province and kill two German missionaries. This incident is a forerunner to violence by the Boxers in subsequent years.
  • 1898

    January: Kang Youwei holds meetings with mandarins of the imperial court and proposes social and political reforms.
    March 5th: Zhou Enlai is born in Jiangsu province.
    June 11th: The Guangxu Emperor issues his first reform edict, marking the beginning of the Hundred Days of Reform.
    September 21st: Conservatives, soldiers and Empress Dowager Cixi collaborate to remove the Guangxu Emperor from power.
    September 28th: Six liberal reformists are beheaded. Kang Youwei manages to escape to Japan.
  • 1899

    March: The Fists of Righteous Harmony movement, or Boxers, begin significant anti-foreign activity against Germans in Shandong province, attacking a church.
    September 6th: Seeking entry into Chinese commerce, the United States proposes the Qing rulers adopt an ‘open door’ trade policy.
  • 1900

    January 11th: Dowager Empress Cixi issues edicts expressing support for Boxers, drawing protests from foreign governments.
    April: Fearing a massacre of foreigners in China, Western navies begin increasing their presence off the Chinese coast.
    June 13th: Boxer forces reach Beijing. The Boxers and sections of the Qing Imperial Army begin attacking foreign legations in Tianjin and Beijing.
  • 1901

    September 7th: The Boxer Protocol is signed by the Eight-Nation Alliance and three other nations. It imposes severe restrictions and reparations on the Qing government.
  • 1902

    January: Dowager Empress Cixi and the Imperial Court return to Beijing.
  • 1911

    May: The Qing government unveils its first ‘constitutional cabinet’. It is dominated by Manchu and royalty, which disappoints reformists.
    May 9th: The Qing government orders that locally funded railways be nationalised and transferred to foreign banks. This was done to fund reparations imposed by the Boxer Protocol.August: The nationalisation of the railways gives rise to various Railways Recovery movements. Thousands of nationalists, students and local investors rally in defiance of the Qing go