China Imperialism


Qing Emperor Agrees to European Ambassador


The Qing emperor agreed to receive gifts from an English ambassador, yet was not interested in the items offered to him.

Opium Smoking Becomes Issue in China


By now, 12 million Chinese are addicted to opium, a drug that the British smuggled into China to increase their capital gain.

Opium War of 1839


Chinese begin a war with the British over their outrage regarding opium, yet are humiliatingly defeated.

Treaty of Nanjing Signed


Treaty signed, giving Britain the island of Hong Kong.

Another Treaty Signed


Treaty allowed US and foreign citizens extraterritorial rights - exemption from Chinese law at four Chinese ports besides Guangzhou.

Taiping Rebellion

Approx. 1848 - 1853

Hong organizes a rebellion against the Qing, dreaming of equal society. By 1853, he has 1 million people in his forces. He captures the city of Nanjing.

Population Reaches 430 Million


The huge increase in population, coupled with a shortage in food production, leads to the starvation of millions.

Dowager Empress Cixi Rules China

1861 - 1908

Her reign marks an era of China in which traditional values were stressed, yet certain educational, diplomatic, and militial reforms were made. By 1875, ammunition supply in China is among the largest in the world.

Taiping Rebellion Crushed


Troops, militias, and British/French forces crush the Taiping Revolution, yet in the process, 20 million die from starvation.

Guangxu's New Reforms are Created and Destroyed

June 1898 - 1899

After believing he had the support of Cixi, Guangxu overhauled many aspects of China, including the economy, military, and education. However, upon Cixi's return, he is arrested, his reforms are reversed, and many of his advisers are executed.

Open Door Policy


This policy opens China's doors to trade with all nations.

Boxer Rebellion


In the spring, the Boxers descended on Beijing, hoping to defeat foreign influences. However, their fury was returned by foreign armies, and the rebellion was crushed in August.

Reforms Made

1905 - 1917

Cixi sends Chinese officials to tour other governments, and by 1908, she announces that a constitutional government would be established by 1917.

Kuomintang Overthrows Qing


Led by Sun Yixian, the Kuomingtang finally overthrow the last emperor of the Qing dynasty, whom had ruled since 1644.

Sun Becomes President of New Republic of China


Sun establishes a modern government based on Three Principles of People - nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood. He immediately passes presidency to Yuan Shikai.

Yuan Rules with Corruption

1913 - 1916

Yuan betrayed the democratic ideals and ruled as a dictator. His actions cause China to stay divided, as civil war breaks out and power falls into the hands of provincial warlords.

China Declares War Against Germany


Hoping to reclaim China by helping against Germany, the Chinese were shocked to discover that the Treaty of Versailles gave Japan the territories in China that had once belonged to Germany.

Tiananmen Square Protests

May 4, 1919

Supported by Mao Zedong, 3,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square and protested against European imperialists.

Chinese Communist Party Established


Led by Mao Zedong, Communist Party formed in China. He is backed by Lenin by 1923.

Nationalist Party Allies With Communist Party


The Nationalist Party and Communist Party unite to fight warlords. Upon completion, the Nationalists turn against the Communists.

Communist Party Massacred

1927 - 1928

Led by Jiang Jieshi, the Nationalist Party killled many Communist leaders, and formed the Nationalist Republic of China.

Civil War Rages in China


Civil war between Communists and Nationalists begin, and do not end until 1949.

Japan Invades China

1931 - 1938

By 1931, Japan invades China. They first take over Manchuria, and later bomb many villages/cities in mainland China that helps them take control of China. This invasion halts the civil war, and causes the Communists and Nationalists to unite to fight against Japan.

Long March


Jiang's army follows the fleeing Communist forces through a 6,000 mile long journey that leads Mao's Red Army to northwestern China. Although 100,000 people began the march, only 10,000-30,000 survived.

Japan Invasion Ends and China Civil War Resumes and Finishes

1946 - 1949

After Japan surrenders, Communist and Nationalist forces re-engage in civil war, and while Nationalists outnumbered the Communist forces, Communists won in popularity and gained many former Nationalist allies. Jiang's army forced to retreat to Taiwan.

Communists Ally with USSR


The Chinese ally with Lenin's Soviet Union. This causes the US to support the Nationalists, while the Soviet Union supports the Communists.

Agrarian Reform Law


This law seized landlords' holdings, and divided them equally among the peasants. Later in 1953-1957, Chinese Communists forced the use of collective farms. By now, all members of society, including women, were equal.

China Invades Tibet

1950 - 1962

China's invasion of Tibet leads them to a near war with India, in which China's border is established.

The Great Leap Forward

1958 - 1961

This plan causes thousands of people to work together, sleep together, and eat together, all while each of them owned nothing. This plan was subject to criticism, and failed, as nearly 20 million died of starvation. In 1961, this program was discontinued.

Soviet Union Halts Aid to China


Due to various disputes, the Soviet Union revokes their support of China.

Red Guards Cause the Cultural Revolution

1966 - 1976

Urged by Mao, millions of students formed the Red Guards and established a society where peasants were equal. They killed intellectuals, shut down schools, and exiled those who had special privileges. This plan threatened civil war, and in 1976, the Red Guards was dissolved. Zhou Enlai begins to restore order.