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Southern China Revolt

Also called: The National Protection War and the Constitutional Protection War or China’s Third and Fourth Revolution

Years: 1915-1918
Battle deaths: 1,000 [1]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2014-08-03 23:32:39
The Southern China Revolt was a revolt against the Beiyang regime in Bejing 1915-18 by military cliques in the Southwest regions of the mainland regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia, Guangdong, Guangxi, Gansu, Yunnan and Xinjiang.

The wars connected with this revolt described here are the National Protection War 1915-16 between the Beiyang regime and warlords in the Yunnan province and the Constitutional Protection War 1917-18 which broke out after after the Koumintang leader Sun Yat Sen set up a new military government in Guangzhou, and unified six provinces in the south under its command. These wars are also sometimes called China’s third and fourth revolutions.

The National Protection War 1915-16

Wikipedia, retrieved 2014-08-02

The National Protection War (simplified Chinese: 护国战争; traditional Chinese: 護國戰爭), also known as the anti-Monarchy War, was a civil war that took place in China between 1915 and 1916. The cause of this war was Yuan Shikai’s proclamation of himself as Emperor. Only three years earlier, the last Chinese dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, had been overthrown and a Republic of China established in its place. As a result of this declaration, military leaders including Tang Jiyao, Cai E, and Li Liejun declared their independence in Yunnan Province and launched expeditions against Yuan. Yuan’s army faced several defeats which led other provinces in the south to declare independence as well. With immense pressure from the entire nation, Yuan Shikai was forced to abdicate and died a few months later.

See also globalsecurity.org

The Constitutional Protection War 1917-18

From Globalsecurity.org

The "Fourth Revolution," though at first considered insignificant in the political circles of Peking and even by the diplomatic corps, steadily grew in magnitude, until six out of eighteen provinces of China proper were occupied or controlled by the revolutionists. The six provinces were Kwangtung (Canton), Kwang-si, Kwei-chow, Hu-nan, Yunnan, and Sze-chuan. Engrossed in petty politics the politicians at Peking did not consider the southern situation with the seriousness which it called for, until Yo-chow, a strategical point on the Yangtse River, fell into the hands of the revolutionists in January 1918. With the fall of Yo-chow, the fate of the triplet cities of Hankow, Hang-yang, and Wuchang, the most important commercial and strategical points on the great river, became somewhat precarious. Awakened by this serious turn of events, Peking at last dispatched expeditionary forces to the Yangtse region.

During the summer of 1918 a quorum of the old Parliament was obtained, and for the rest of the year China had two Parliaments - the one sitting at Peking, the other at Canton - each subscribing to the Provisional Constitution and claiming to be the sole legal legislative body of the Republic. Throughout the whole of 1918 desultory fighting had been taking place between‘North’and‘South,’the chief provinces affected being Hunan, Szechuan, Kiangsi, Fukien, and Hupeh. The inability of the Northern party to make any headway in the campaign, the financial embarrassment of both sides, and the growing dissatisfaction with a state of affairs that promised to lead nowhere, were at last responsible for an attempt to find a modus vii’endi for the two factions, and the President proclaimed an armistice when the news of the armistice in Europe reached China. Towards the end of 1918 it was agreed that a peace conference should be held. A controversy arose over the place of meeting, but eventually it was decided that the northern and southern delegates should deliberate in the native city of Shanghai in February 1919.

See also Wikipedia: Constitutional_Protection_War


Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Intra-State War Data v4.1 #675 No source for fatality data

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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