Chinese Dynasty after the Qing?

This is kinda a half AHC and half a question but what was the possibility that any Chinese entity that would go on to claim the mantle of "the China" be a monarchy of any flavour and not a republic and what path would be needed to followed by such? I've heard it said that in many ways WWI was to be a kind of referendum by the Chinese intelligentsia on Monarchies vs Republics and the lost of the CP in it killed any post-QIng monarchist support but how true is such and importantly what was the monarchist support like anyway?
 
After the numerous failures and crises of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people had had enough by 1911. When Yuan Shiikai attempted to restore the Imperial throne, it ignited 38 years of war.

I've heard it said that in many ways WWI was to be a kind of referendum by the Chinese intelligentsia on Monarchies vs Republics and the lost of the CP in it killed any post-QIng monarchist support but how true is such and importantly what was the monarchist support like anyway?

A lot of the military officers who wanted to join in on World War I were former Qing loyalists. During the early stages of the Warlord Era, there were two attempts to put Pu Yi back on the throne in Beijing, but both attempts failed.
 
As far as I know, there were some Western-influenced Chinese scholars who wished to install a Han emperor. They proposed either the heir of Confucius or the heir of the Ming dynasty.
 
After the numerous failures and crises of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people had had enough by 1911. When Yuan Shiikai attempted to restore the Imperial throne, it ignited 38 years of war.



A lot of the military officers who wanted to join in on World War I were former Qing loyalists. During the early stages of the Warlord Era, there were two attempts to put Pu Yi back on the throne in Beijing, but both attempts failed.
They'd had enough of the Qing but was it so that it was viewed there was no alternative but various forms of republicanism?
As far as I know, there were some Western-influenced Chinese scholars who wished to install a Han emperor. They proposed either the heir of Confucius or the heir of the Ming dynasty.
But there were no attempts for a warlord or the like to create his own new dynasty? Aside from Yuan Shikai, I guess reading up on it.
 
From some notes I had: The case against Yuan Shikai
  • Yuan was probably not the man to found a new dynasty in any case.
  • One of the benefits of dynastic change is that it allows for a fresh start in policies and personnel; Yuan offered neither.
  • Yuan could not have created a dynasty on the traditional model without bringing the country back to 1800.
  • A would-be dynastic founder; they simply needed to be assured that government would again become predictable and comprehensible.It was precisely this cultural consensus that reformers in China had spent the prior 50 years destroying.
  • Though no democrat, Yuan Shikai still falls into this class. His modernized national army, and his use of it as the primary instrument of government, was as un-Confucian as the democratic assemblies favored by Sun Yatsen.
  • Although considered to be a friend of the reformers who sought to establish a constitutional monarchy, he supported the Dowager Empress in her last, unhappily successful effort to stifle reform in the final years of the dynasty.
  • Yuan Shikai was the chief architect of the New Army that was created in the terminal phase of the Qing Dynasty. He was involuntarily retired at the time of Dawager Empress's death in 1908. At the time of the Revolution of 1911, however, he was recalled to Peking to save the dynasty. To the surprise of the last Qing officials, however, he supported the insurgents.
  • The end of the imperial system in 1911 seemed at first to have been accomplished without any major national calamity. There were no peasant uprisings or civil war. The revolution was sparked by the revolt of a major army garrison; others soon followed suit. The provinces, led by local assemblies, essentially seceded from the central government. The leader of China's modernizing forces, Dr. Sun Yatsen, was briefly made provisional president by a national parliament.
  • When the last emperor finally abdicated in 1912 under pressure by Yuan Shikai, Sun deferred to Yuan. Yuan, after all, did have greater governmental experience. He also had the army, at least in North China.
  • On becoming provisional president, Yuan quickly suppressed the national parliament and the assemblies. The government of the country at the local level was returned to the magistrates.
If not Yuan, then someone else:
  • Let us assume, however, that a more attractive personality had attempted a similar enterprise.
  • The deeper difficulty that a new dynasty would have faced would have been a crisis of legitimacy.
  • Chinese dynasties made perfect sense in terms of Confucian ideology; they had been the only imaginable form of national government for upwards of two millennia.
  • The Qing had indeed been overthrown in part because they were Manchurian foreigners.
  • However, the movement against them had been informed, not simply by Han nationalism, but by a critique of the Confucian heritage itself.
  • Throughout Chinese history, successful brigands and ambitious generals had become acceptable as the founders of dynasties by signaling their intention to follow traditional precedents of government and morality
  • There was almost an established drill to go through, down to the wording of key proclamations.
  • After a period of interdynastic chaos, even a personally horrible candidate who honored the forms could nevertheless get the support of the local gentry and magistrates.
  • There were plenty of tradition-minded people in China still in 1916, even among the literate elites. However, they were not for the most part the people who managed new enterprises or who understood modern administrative techniques.

Here is an interesting 'what if' basing the new Chinese empire on the rise of the Pahlavi Dynasty of Persia.
http://www.changingthetimes.net/samples/ww1/a_new_dynasty_in_1916.htm
 
I guess one way for it to have occurred would be for Mao An-Ying to have survived the Korean war and later take over for his father, and that China would end up in a de-facto dynastic system like North Korea did
 
If not Yuan, then someone else:
  • Let us assume, however, that a more attractive personality had attempted a similar enterprise.
  • The deeper difficulty that a new dynasty would have faced would have been a crisis of legitimacy.
  • Chinese dynasties made perfect sense in terms of Confucian ideology; they had been the only imaginable form of national government for upwards of two millennia.
  • The Qing had indeed been overthrown in part because they were Manchurian foreigners.
  • However, the movement against them had been informed, not simply by Han nationalism, but by a critique of the Confucian heritage itself.
  • Throughout Chinese history, successful brigands and ambitious generals had become acceptable as the founders of dynasties by signaling their intention to follow traditional precedents of government and morality
  • There was almost an established drill to go through, down to the wording of key proclamations.
  • After a period of interdynastic chaos, even a personally horrible candidate who honored the forms could nevertheless get the support of the local gentry and magistrates.
  • There were plenty of tradition-minded people in China still in 1916, even among the literate elites. However, they were not for the most part the people who managed new enterprises or who understood modern administrative techniques.

Here is an interesting 'what if' basing the new Chinese empire on the rise of the Pahlavi Dynasty of Persia.
http://www.changingthetimes.net/samples/ww1/a_new_dynasty_in_1916.htm
In 1900 after the OTL Boxer War, the key power-brokers in Chinese society as a whole were:

Experts, compradors and merchants
officials or officially employed experts such as technicians (shen and kuan), middlemen and compradors in foreign trade (mai-pan) or ordinary merchants (shan), who did business at the Treaty Ports, in the field of business and industry education and other forms of contact with the foreign powers and the outside world. Recruited among traditional merchant families, and were likely to become independent businessmen again upon leaving the service of their foreign employers. With the knowledge they had gained from these contacts they could also often find new jobs as official experts in government service. And official experts often found that their knowledge and skills enabled them to start successful businesses of their own.

As a whole these groups constituted only a fraction of the upper echelons of Chinese society, and they allied themselves with the old elite to exert political influence. They could and did serve as advisors and were often themselves related to influential literati families, but in spring 1901 the true power was still firmly in the hands of traditionally trained men.

Literati
Ideologically the Confucian mandate and demands of continuation of traditional paternalistic rule were the key guidelines of the older, conservative members of this group. Even the most commonly stated overall goal - yung ju-sheng ling nung – “use the scholars to lead the peasants” was only a slogan rather than the basis of a unifying political program. Their political demands for reforms in China were linked to the traditional social roles of literati. As managers of religious and educational institutions, guilds and welfare and public services they formed the low-and middle-level bureaucracy that any new regime would need to administer and run the state. Being fed up with Qing-era corruption and lack of opportunities, the younger and lower members of this group were especially vocal and active in their demands for reform.

Different ties of friendship, origin and common teachers connected the younger and older generations of educated Chinese, and to a large degree this group shared generally similar worldview, assumptions and objectives in all corners of China at the beginning of the century.

90% of the members of local assemblies were nobility with only classical Confucian education, and while they lacked the foreign connections of their more economically oriented urban kin of the Treaty Ports, they were far from ignorant of the status of the world. A few of them had already chosen to further educate themselves with Western curriculum, and many families were seeking opportunities to send their younger sons to study abroad or in Western model academies.

Soldiers
Traditionally looked down by the literati, these were the people who in OTL toppled the Qing. The armies that historically chose to topple the monarchy and declare their support for the new government were led by a new generation of officers. These commanders had started their military life in the campaigns against popular uprisings and rebellions fought in the later decades of the previous century. As organizers of militias and leaders of armies they had fought against Taipings, Niens, Muslims - and often Boxers as well. As a rule they also had official government degrees, and many had used military service as a mere stepping stone into the higher ranks of civilian bureaucracy, since even during the last years of the century positions within the hierarchy of civil officialdom were considered more valuable than military rank. These men knew how to read and write, and thus carried prestige due their high level of education and their technical understanding of Western methods and strategies. They military men were like their merchant and literati counterparts, but mainly sought to modernize the military life in China as a remedy against foreign incursions.

Revolutionaries
Liang Qichao is a typical example of this group.
The Boxer-era revolutionaries often had close links to older secret societies, and many among them still held romantic views where secret societies were seen as guardians of popular Confucian values of righteousness and loyalty, and as repositories of a genuine Chinese identity.

Liang and other intellectuals influenced by Japanese and Western ideas tended to stress the need for civic solidarity, popular sovereignty, and loosely democratic institutions based on clear sense of the nation. According to Liang, the right kind of education and state intervention were critical to achieve civic nationalism, a pivotal component of any successful modern state. Liang pointed out that modern imperialism did no longer stem from traditional state power like the empires of old, but from nationalistic expansions of whole peoples. Thus a new Son of Heaven would have to serve as a figurehead of an ethnic Han state instead of a new multi-ethnic empire.

Also, do remember that before WW1 the Powers absolutely wanted the Qing to continue.
They had already saved their bacon once against the Taipings, and wanted them to remain in power, keeping China docile and dormant.
 
The banned Hendryk's Superpower China is an exemplary timeline with this premise:


Though, perhaps we could pick a more interesting figure to be the new emperor than Kang Youwei.
 
In 1900 after the OTL Boxer War, the key power-brokers in Chinese society as a whole were:
Could you go into the parts of the society that were not power brokers?
How do religious movements, the less revolutionary parts of the secret societies, peasants, etc. fit in?
 
Here's another secret society that was active in the early 20th century
 
This is kinda a half AHC and half a question but what was the possibility that any Chinese entity that would go on to claim the mantle of "the China" be a monarchy of any flavour and not a republic and what path would be needed to followed by such? I've heard it said that in many ways WWI was to be a kind of referendum by the Chinese intelligentsia on Monarchies vs Republics and the lost of the CP in it killed any post-QIng monarchist support but how true is such and importantly what was the monarchist support like anyway?
As pointed out by others, Hendryk's Superpower Empire is an excellent take on this.

Just as a FYI, much of the timeline was printed out (along with several stories set in the timeline) in a book available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Fire-David-Wostyn-ebook/dp/B01BA4460E
 
I was reading the history of China for my TL and something that caught my eye is that many Chinese were not opposed to a monarchy per se. They were opposed to Yuan Shikhai. So take him out of the picture.
 
Bringing back an answer I used prior:

Let’s have it so the revolutionaries maintain the idea for a constitutional monarchy:

“Sun Yat-sen and his revolutionaries instead maintain the idea of a constitutional monarchy and exploit the presence of the "Mandate of Heaven"within the culture to their advantage. After all, the Qing's Manchurian ties were a sticking point so a rallying cry would be restoring a Han Chinese to the throne descended of the Ming dynasty.

Why the Mandate of Heaven being used? Cause of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandate_of_Heaven#The_right_to_rule_and_the_right_of_rebellion

Aka, someone from the House of Zhu, preferably with leftist leanings. Even if they may not have much if any official political power, he would still be the emperor. That vast amount of cultural power and influence cannot be underestimated. He would be the representation of modern China and this who all should emulate.

And I even have a pretty good idea on who should be the new Emperor if you will.

"Zhu Jianfan (simplified Chinese: 朱剑凡; traditional Chinese: 朱劍凡, 1883–1932, born in Ningxiang, Hunan), previously named as Zhou Jia-Chun (Chinese: 周家純), was a famous revolutionary educator. He founded Zhounan Women's School (Chinese: 周南女學堂) by selling off and contributing all his property, which was valued at 111,700 silver dollars. He held the post of principal until 1927. It is a rare magnificent feat in the educational history of China. In 1911, he led students participate in Anti-Manchurian Revolution, and persuaded Hunan army to correspond to Wuchang Uprising. In 1922, he invited Mao Zedong to live on his campus, and sponsored Mao's library"

He would fit pretty well and while it may be a bit of a hard sell to convince Zhu Jianfan of it, the pragmatism of the choice and being able to put in alot of reforms would make it worth it. Sun Yat-sen meanwhile would become Grand Chancellor (in keeping the name) and thus he and his coalition could pass the reforms needing while the new Emperor would serve as a beacon of hope, the return of the rightful king if you will.”
 
Could you go into the parts of the society that were not power brokers?
How do religious movements, the less revolutionary parts of the secret societies, peasants, etc. fit in?
The massive population boom during the Qing era had created a situation where any natural disaster brought along widespread misery, homelessness and poverty that affected large groups of people. This was further boosted by the effect of Western-built railroads that threatened to render the ancient trade routes and economic systems centered around them obsolete. Meanwhile the historical Chinese revolutionaries despaired over the apparent apathy of the common people. Until Mao came along, especially the orthodox Marxists tended to view the rural peasants with disdain ("sack of potatoes"), only retorting to instilling revolution at the countryside after they had been kicked out of the cities. Secret societies were less squeamish about their recruitment base, but even they tended to be more urban than rural in their general outlook.

Religious movements had historically been a major mobilizing force in various parts of China, but after the Boxer troubles older people still recalled the carnage caused by the Taiping Rebellion from their childhood (c. 60 years before 1911), and the Nian revolt from the 1870s. Thus there was less basis for religious mobilization than half a century earlier, because a lot of people willing to heed such calls had already died as a result. The non-Han Muslim revolts at the eastern borderlands had also been a marked feature of the decline of Qing, with the latest series of uprising suppressed just a few years before the Boxers.
 
I was reading the history of China for my TL and something that caught my eye is that many Chinese were not opposed to a monarchy per se. They were opposed to Yuan Shikhai. So take him out of the picture.
to expand on this, it seems that Yuan Shikhai's early plans, including that of Yang Du involved the first emperor being elected and Yuan, who was pretty stressed, becoming supreme commander of the army and then retire after sometime. However his personal greed for power got in the way of his earlier pragmatic plan, and he himself became emperor.

according to history of republican china by cambridge, the initial plan for a chinese monarchy was that there would be qualifications (extremely high standards - education, charisma, physical build, public standing etc were all taken into account), and then after several exams, debates, and speeches, a panel of 50 judges from the National Assembly would pick the new emperor. The new empire would become a constitutional monarchy, and if preferable get the new emperor to marry one of the Zhu daughters or Qing princess's.

This plan was widely supported. Even Yuan Shikhai's future enemies Liang Chichiao and Cai Yuanpei. Both very influential men. It was predicted that either Duke Yansheng, Zhu Jianfan, Kong Xuangxi or Yuan Kewen would win the emperorship. Mainly because all four of them had the qualities needed.

However, this plan obviously didn't go ahead because of Shikhai's personal greed which overcame his stress. Make him keep that stress, and fear, so that he goes ahead with his initial plan. It will still garner opposition, but very weak in comparison to otl.
 
After the numerous failures and crises of the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese people had had enough by 1911. When Yuan Shiikai attempted to restore the Imperial throne, it ignited 38 years of war.
not exactly. military leaders took it as the perfect casus belli and excuse to increase their own power, not the people. The infamous White Wolf Pro-Monarchist bandits were infamously large even until the start of the second sino-japanese war.
 
Wow dang never heard of the White Wolf either, much like Yellow Sand Society. Though reading about them, they seem more like generic anti-government (specifically Yaun Shikai's republic) bandits that happened to be against the Republican government and weren't explicitly pro-monarchist, given they allied with the KMT and anti-Qing secret societies alike.

Bai's actions caused mixed outpourings of mass support and popular outrage, with his army variously called by itself and supporters "The Citizen's Punitive Army", "Citizen's Army to Exterminate Bandits" and "The Army to Punish Yuan Shikai", among others. As his fame grew, deserters, bandits and revolutionaries bolstered his divisions

Sounds like a mob that radicalized in a time of chaos.
 
Top