Second Revolution

This article is about the history of the state which currently governs Taiwan Area. For the history of the island of Taiwan, see History of Taiwan. For the history of Imperial China and People's Republic of China, see History of China and History of the People's Republic of China.

History of China
3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors
Xia Dynasty c. 2100–c. 1600 BCE
Shang Dynasty c. 1600–c. 1046 BCE
Zhou Dynasty c. 1045–256 BCE
 Western Zhou
 Eastern Zhou
   Spring and Autumn period
   Warring States period
Qin Dynasty 221 BCE–206 BCE
Han Dynasty 206 BCE–220 CE
  Western Han
  Xin Dynasty
  Eastern Han
Three Kingdoms 220–280
  Wei, Shu and Wu
Jin Dynasty 265–420
  Western Jin 16 Kingdoms
  Eastern Jin
Southern and Northern Dynasties
Sui Dynasty 581–618
Tang Dynasty 618–907
  (Second Zhou 690–705)
5 Dynasties and
10 Kingdoms

Liao Dynasty
Song Dynasty
  Northern Song W. Xia
  Southern Song Jin
Yuan Dynasty 1271–1368
Ming Dynasty 1368–1644
Qing Dynasty 1644–1911
Republic of China 1912–1949
People's Republic
of China

Republic of
China on Taiwan


The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing Dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China as the first constitutional republic in Asia put an end to over 2,000 years of Imperial rule. The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, ruled from 1644-1912. Since its founding, the republic had experienced many trials and tribulations, being dominated by elements as disparate as warlord generals and foreign powers.

In 1928 the republic was nominally unified under the Kuomintang (KMT)—Chinese Nationalist Party—after the Northern Expedition, and was in the early stages of industrialization and modernization when it was caught in the conflicts among the Kuomintang government, the Communist Party of China which was converted into a nationalist party, local warlords and Japan. Most nation-building efforts were stopped during the full-scale War of Resistance against Japan from 1937 to 1945, and later the widening gap between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party made a coalition government impossible, causing the resumption of the Chinese Civil War.

A series of political, economic and military missteps led to the Kuomintang's defeat and its retreat to Taiwan in 1949, where it established an authoritarian one-party state that considered itself to be the sole legitimate ruler of all of China. However, since political liberalization began in the late 1970s, the Republic of China has transformed itself into a multiparty, representative democracy on Taiwan.

Early republic (1912–1916)

Founding of the republic

Main article: Xinhai Revolution

The last days of the Qing Dynasty were marked by civil unrest and foreign invasions. Various internal rebellions caused millions of deaths, and conflicts with foreign powers almost always resulted in humiliating unequal treaties that exacted costly reparations and compromised the country's territorial integrity. In addition