Szechwan Uprising of 1911

Szechwan Uprising of 1911

 

a popular uprising in the Szechwan Province of China in September 1911. It was an outgrowth of an antigovernment and anti-imperialist movement that spread through China in the summer of 1911 in response to the Manchu government’s conclusion of a one-sided credit agreement with a consortium of banks from the USA, Great Britain, France, and Germany. The government also nationalized the railroads running from Ch’engtu and Canton to Hank’ou, the construction of which had been financed by the Chinese, in effect handing them over to the foreigners.

The popular movement was led by liberal landowners and members of the bourgeoisie. On August 24, 10,000 people attended a rally in Ch’engtu at which it was decided to call upon all the people of Szechwan Province to stop paying taxes and boycott trade and the schools. On September 7, the imperial vicegerent Chao Erhfeng ordered his troops to fire on the peaceful demonstrators gathered in front of his residence. Dozens of people were killed and wounded. In response to this action, armed uprisings erupted in the suburbs of Ch’engtu and spread to other districts of the province. On September 25 and 26, the rebels, mainly peasants and urban poor, occupied the cities of Junghsien, Hsinchin, and Shuangliu.

The rebels had neither a clear program nor strong leadership. The liberals did not support the uprising, and the members of the T’ung-meng Hui were unable to bring the situation under control quickly and lead an armed struggle on all fronts. The Manchu government sent some armed forces from Hupeh Province to suppress the Szechwan uprising. However, the attempt to put down the uprising failed; on Oct. 10, 1911, the Wuch’ang uprising took place and started the revolution of 1911–13 in China (the Hsinhai Revolution).

E. A. BELOV

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