James Joll - “the Balkan crisis demonstrated that even apparently firm, formal alliances did not guarantee support and co-operation in all circumstances.”
Causes of Chinese Civil WarLong TermNationalism / Collapse of Imperial Power-Throughout the 19th century, foreign powers had begun to increase their influence in China. E.g. Opium Wars with Britain from 1838.-China was being exploited by the great powers. There were 92 treaty ports by 1917. -This exploitation undermined the Qing dynasty. Nationalist movements like Sun Yatsen’s Revolutionary Alliance wanted to kick out the foreign powers. Others wanted Western government reform and were frustrated when this was not given. -Nationalists were convinced that abdication of the Emperor was necessary for China’s future. -The Imperial Government introduced reforms but it was too little too late. E.g. National assembly in 1910, but not followed up by more changes. China wouldn’t modernise and had failed to fight foreign aggression.-1911, nationalist Xinhai revolution. Emperor overthrown. This created a power vacuum that would lead to civil war. -Yuan Shikai set up a military dictatorship in 1912 but failed to resolve problems and died in 1916 without naming a successor. Warlords took power 1916-1927. This division caused civil war in three ways:-Nationalism rose as people wanted to unify China, social conditions worsened so peasants were exploited and looked for solutions, China was weak so had to accept the TOV and a Japanese port in Shandong. -May Fourth Movement, May 1919. Nationalists demonstrated against Shandong clause. Strengthened Yatsen’s GMD and gave rise to the Chinese Communist Party, formed by students/lecturers in 1921.Short TermIdeological Divide/White Terror-Initially worked together to defeat warlords. GMD-CCP alliance of 1923. Some success in Northern Expedition 1926-27. Chiang Kai Shek succeeded Sun Yatsen in 1925 and turned on the CCP in Shanghai in 1927, massacring many of them to establish the GMD as China’s leaders. Chiang took the party further to the right than Yatsen. He was conservative and distrusted the Communists. CCP ideological aimsGMD ideological aims-Communist. Wanted equal classless society.-Abolish foreign influence. -Peasant based revolution.-Nationalism, people’s democracy, people’s livelihood.-Sparked Nanjing Decade 1927-1937.Nanjing Decade (failures of the GMD here contributed to their overall defeat via loss of support)-GMD government based in Nanjing. Failed to resist Japanese invasion. Didn’t defeat all warlords, rather, negotiated with some. Economic difficulties in late 1930s including high inflation. Chiang didn’t fulfill Yatsen’s three principles of the people (People’s livelihood, representative government, nationalism). -The GMD became almost authoritarian and represented the interests of landlords/businessmen. The GMD also failed to control all of China. Only 66% in 1937.