Thursday, February 18, 2010
Rare Photos Of The The Wuchang Uprising
The Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911 started the Xinhai Revolution, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China (ROC).
In 1900, the ruling Qing Dynasty created a modernized army called the "New Army". At the time, the city of Wuchang, on the Yangtze River in the province of Hubei, had the most modern military industry. It began manufacturing weapons and other military equipment for the New Army. Sun Yat-sen's revolutionary ideas extensively influenced the officers and soldiers of the New Army in Wuchang; many joined revolutionary organizations.
The uprising itself broke out by accident. Revolutionaries in the Russian concession of the city had been building bombs, one of which accidentally exploded. This led police to investigate, and they discovered lists of Literary Society members within the New Army. Facing arrest, and certain execution, they staged a coup. The local officials panicked and fled, and the army took over the city in less than a day. The revolutionaries then telegraphed the other provinces asking them to declare their independence. Within six weeks, fifteen provinces had seceded.
The revolt was still considered merely the latest in a series of mutinies that had occurred in southern China. It was widely expected to be put down quickly, and ended up having much larger implications only because the Qing dynasty delayed action against the rebellion, allowing provincial assemblies in many southern provinces to declare independence from the Qing and declare allegiance to the rebellion.
October 10 is not the National Day of the People's Republic of China, but there may also be memorial activities in mainland China, usually referring to the day as the Anniversary for the Wuchang Uprising (simplified Chinese: 武昌起义纪念日).