A republic was formally established on 1 January 1912 following the Xinhai Revolution, which itself began with the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911, successfully overthrowing the Qing dynasty and ending over two thousand years of imperial rule in China.[8] From its founding until 1949 it was based on mainland China. Central authority waxed and waned in response to warlordism(1915–28), Japanese invasion (1937–45), and a full-scale civil war (1927–49), with central authority strongest during the Nanjing Decade (1927–37), when most of China came under the control of the Kuomintang (KMT) under an authoritarian one-party military dictatorship.[9]

 

In 1912, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established to replace the monarchy.[8] The Qing dynastythat preceded the republic experienced a century of instability throughout the 19th century, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism.[13] The ongoing instability eventually led to the outburst of Boxer Rebellion in 1900, whose attacks on foreigners led to the invasion by the Eight Nation Alliance. China signed the Boxer Protocol and paid a large indemnity to the foreign powers: 450 million taels of fine silver (around $333 million or £67 million at the then current exchange rates).[14] A program of institutional reform proved too little and too late. Only the lack of an alternative regime prolonged its existence until 1912.[15][16]

The establishment of the Chinese Republic developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against the Qing government on 10 October 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day, also known as the "Double Ten Day". On 29 December 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected president by the Nanjing assembly with representatives from seventeen provinces. On 1 January 1912, he was officially inaugurated and pledged "to overthrow the despotic government led by the Manchu, consolidate the Republic of China and plan for the welfare of the people".[17]

An attempt at a democratic election in 1912 ended with the assassination of the elected candidate by a man recruited by Yuan. Ultimately, Yuan declared himself Emperor of China in 1915.[19] The new ruler of China tried to increase centralization by abolishing the provincial system; however, this move angered the gentry along with the provincial governors, usually military men. Many provinces declared independence and became warlord states. Increasingly unpopular and deserted by his supporters, Yuan gave up being Emperor in 1916 and died of natural causes shortly after.[20][21]

China declined into a period of warlordism. Sun, forced into exile, returned to Guangdong province in the south with the help of warlords in 1917 and 1922, and set up successive rival governments to the Beiyang government in Beijing; he re-established the KMT in October 1919. Sun's dream was to unify China by launching an expedition to the north. However, he lacked military support and funding to make it a reality.[22]

Meanwhile, the Beiyang government struggled to hold on to power, and an open and wide-ranging debate evolved regarding how China should confront the West. In 1919, a student protest against the government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, considered unfair by Chinese intellectuals, led to the May Fourth movement. These demonstrations were aimed at spreading Western influence to replace Chinese culture. It is also in this intellectual climate that the influence of Marxism spread and became more popular. It eventually led to the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1921.[23]

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Moshe "Morris" Levy

Bodyguard and General to Chinese Nationalist Army

Two-Gun Levy was a real person named Morris Cohen and given the nickname "2-Gun" because he always carried two guns. He protected both Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek from 1911 until his death in the 1950s.

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Pinchas Levy

Poet and Warrior

Pinchas Levy participated in a love battle that became the talk of Ottoman Palestine. He fought with the Jewish Legion in WWI and then settled down at one of the first Kibbutzim.

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Dovid "Davey Boy" Levy

Head of the Freedman Gang and Mobster

David Levy joined one of the lower East side New York City gangs and eventually became head of one of the most notorious mobs in the US.

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Leah Levy

Bolshevik revolutionary

Leah Levy was a member of the wealthy and influential Polyakov family who became disillusioned and radicalized. She joined the Bolsheviks and through much suffering remained a member of the Communist party until her death in the late 1950s.