In What Way Does the Growth of Nationalism Explain the Downfall of Imperial China 1911-12?

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In what way does the growth of nationalism explain the downfall of imperial China 1911-12? From 2200BC to the twentieth century China had been ruled by fifteen imperial dynasties with little variance between them. The people of China believed in the Mandate of heaven which stated that the emperor was entitled to complete power and this hierarchic sense of loyalty and obedience, to the emperor and his mandarin class government as well as one’s own family, was characteristic of the totalitarian, Sino-centric culture in China at that time. However in 1911 the weak Qing dynasty was overthrown by a people’s revolution and the mandate of heaven was passed to a republic. The feeble leadership of the Qing dynasty, whilst a definite cause, was not solely responsible for their downfall as other factors such as foreign influence in China as well as the western impact on economy and society are what demonstrated the inability of the Qing dynasty. The lack of response from the Qing dynasty to said factors enabled the growth of nationalist ideas and attempted rebellions which were the most important contribution to the downfall of imperial China in 1911. A contributing factor of some importance for the downfall of imperial China was the weakness of the Qing dynasty and their inability to respond to the problems they faced. In 1911 emperor Pu Yi was too young to rule however his Regent Prince Chun had very little authority and it was often the Dowager Empress who was in control. Since the Manchu dynasty was technically a foreign power they had limited support from the people and so was dependant on the loyalty of the Beijing army as they had little allegiance from elsewhere. Furthermore the Qing dynasty was out of touch with China’s growing nationalism and its authoritarian tradition, to the increasing resentment of the people, made it incapable of responding to demands of
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