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WI: Yuan Shikai dies before declaring himself Emperor?

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
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Yuan Shikai was the head of the Beiyang Army in the late Qing era and the first president of the Republic of China who tried to declare himself emperor with Japanese support which backfired badly and led to the Warlord era for a generation or two depending on how well you view the Northern Expedition. However, what if Yuan Shikai's death was accelerated to May 1915 and so any imperial restoration is rendered moot. Does the Beiyang clique manage to keep the country together or is warlordism inevitable?

I wonder what effect would a stable China have on a Russian civil war if it ever came to past?
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
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1915 is too late; most of the officers who would become warlords after Yuan's death were appointed as military governors in 1913. Which is one of the reasons I pushed the date of his death forward to 1912 in With Iron And Fire.

The Power of the Gun: The Emergence of Modern Chinese Warlordism by Edward A. McCord is a very useful source on the conditions that gave rise to China's warlord era.
 

d32123

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Yuan Shikai was far from the only or even main reason why the Warlord Era happened. If anything killing him off will accelerate the already beginning trend towards warlordism. Yuan was one of the few things holding Beiyang together. No other commander would have the patron network or prestige.
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
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Interestingly, he and Cixi were largely rehabilitated in an official series in 2005.
Why is that are they trying to rehabilitate the Qing to make the period part of China's history and past? That'll be like the USSR rehabilitating Lavr Kornilov and Alexander III.
 

SoldierOfChrist

CFCF - Heaven
Why is that are they trying to rehabilitate the Qing to make the period part of China's history and past?
Because the Qing are an important part of Chinese history and this has always been acknowledged by the PRC?

I wouldn't say Cixi has been 'rehabilitated' (not sure what that means) so much as reexamined, because traditionally she's been a scapegoat for all of the Late Qing's problems; Yuan as well. The localization of the Qing army that enabled the rise of warlords happened before either of them, and the Qing were probably structurally past saving by the 1820s. Not to say their current legacies aren't well-deserved.
 
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