To What Extent Was Yuan Shikai the Key Influence in the Fall of the Manchu Dynasty Essay

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Yuan Shikai was a Chinese general and politician with the wish to ‘regenerate’ his nation by removing foreign control and powers and also to see China be influenced by Western principles such as their strong nationalism and political democracy. Yuan Shikai wasn't a direct influence to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty, possibly due to agreements with Sun Yatsen when in presidency. Though, he gave clear views during the time of the 100 Days Reform and in this instance, could be influential to the public. To some extent it can be argued that Shikai's actions resulted and strongly influenced rebellion and later the fall of the Manchu Dynasty. After the 1911 revolution, specifically at the Double Tenth (10th October 1911), Yuan Shikai's involvement clearly displayed what his initial ideas were. The Government at the time appealed to Yuan Shikai to lead Beijing’s army against the current rebels who were based upon the thought process that they didn't have to follow their government or be under their central control. Shikai took this offer, and marched southwards declaring against said rebels. Though, he held back himself and the army from seizing the Double Tenth in Wuhan. His aim was to come to terms with the revolutionists, to use his own authority and power – involving his army – to betray his masters by plotting an overthrow. In this sense, I see Yuan Shikai as a key influence to the fall of the Manchu Dynasty, showing the social factors. I also feel that there was a subconscious side of wishing for revenge against the Manchu Dynasty, who humiliated him when imprisoning him previously. This could give the public, such as the rebels of Wuhan, some hope to the concept that if someone higher than them in hierarchy agrees with their views and reasons to rebel; then they must be doing something right. Adding to all of this, Yuan Shikai made a deal with Sun Yatsen stating;

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