The 1911 Xinhai Revolution was a democratic nationalist revolt that overthrew the Qing imperial dynasty, which had been established in China since 1636. The revolt was led by a group of revolutionaries who were determined to eliminate the imperial system and establish the ‘Republic of China’. When, on 10 October 1911, an army unit mutinied in Wu-Chang, it became a flashpoint for full-scale republican revolts throughout provincial China. The Qing dynasty responded by declaring that it would replace imperial authoritarianism with constitutional monarchy. However, by late 1911 nationalist revolutionaries had formed a new government and in Peking (modern Beijing) a compromise was agreed with Yuan Shikai, imperial general and warlord. He became president of the new Republic of China, after he arranged the abdication of the child emperor, Pu Yi. Dr Sun Yat-sen, the provisional president (now referred to as ‘Father of the Nation’) resigned and Shikai was formally sworn in as president on 10 March 1912.
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