China, like many other nations after the War of Empires, experienced massive social and political upheaval. In China, this would result in a loss of colonial territory, a brief revolution, and significant government reforms.
Conflict in the Andes
China had promised the native inhabitants of South Yodderick independence within five years of the end of the War. However, the new post-war Chinese government was unwilling to give up their colony, and it soon became obvious that the "Transitional Authorities" from China were never going to give up their power. In 1867, massive uprisings broke out in the Andes Mountains. The Chinese Transitional Authority declared the area to be in a state of emergency, and sent thousands of troops in to quell the uprising. The Chinese people had been tired by the war, but the gap between the war and the colonial uprisings allowed them to recover morale and economic power. The Chinese government had been wise in their creation of the five year gap and the transitional authorities, for it would have been impossible to contain the colonists otherwise.
The native resistance fighters initially rallied around the Incan Emperor, or the Sapa Inca. This position had been rendered powerless by the Chinese,a mere symbol to keep the natives pacified under Chinese rule. Cuyuchi Inca, the Sapa Inca at the time, was the rallying point to many early rebels. Many fought with the idea that they would recreate an independent Incan Empire, a huge, powerful state to stand up to the powers across the Pacific. However, Cuyuchi Inca, if powerless, still lived in luxury, and was treated respectfully by the Chinese. Cuyuchi initially spoke favorably of the independence movement, and praised the Chinese government's transition plan. When it became apparent that the Chinese were not going to let go of their colony, however, Cuyuchi ceased speaking in favor of independence, afraid that the Chinese could remove him from his privileged position. He sat silent as the conflict escalated into a guerrilla war.
By late 1869, China was collapsing. The Andes War was dragging on and on with no victory in sight, and the war was becoming incredibly unpopular among the Chinese people, who did everything they could to avoid being conscripted. The recovery from the post-war depression had stagnated due to the high costs of the war. The calls for reform, or even complete overhaul, of the antiquated Chinese government system were growing. As 1870 began, the economy continued to sink, and the populace became even more restless. Massive protests shut down entire cities, and when police forces attempted to break them up, they turned into massive riots. Despite the government's attempts to stop them, massive strikes crippled key industries, sinking the economy back into a horrible depression. Morale among the soldiers in the Andes was at a historical low, and as the Andean peoples began to turn against the Chinese due to the long war, it became clear that China could not win. As protestors occupied the streets, as riots destroyed the buildings, as a general strike shut down the economy and as soldiers deserted their posts, the Chinese government realized that they could not win. On December 3, 1870, the entire Grand Council and a vast majority of other Chinese government leaders simultaneously resigned from their positions.
The decapitated Chinese system, without its leaders, promptly imploded. Within a few days of the mass resignation and the collapse of order, a group calling themselves the Chinese Republican League, marched into the capital without much opposition. With support from the various labor organizations, anti-war groups, and dissenting soldiers, they proclaimed a new, democratic constitution for China. The confused and leaderless provincial governments of China complied with the CRL's wishes. They announced that elections would be held within a few months to create a new government. One February 3, 1871, the first democratic elections were held in China. A coalition of various parties was pieced together. The diverse group, commonly called the Peace Coalition, was united solely by their opposition to the Andes War. The Zongli of China, Hu Daning, ordered the immediate withdrawal of all Chinese armed forces in the Andes Mountains. This was wildly popular in China and among the soldiers, but the generals of the Chinese Army attempted to refuse orders. The soldiers, united by a lower officer named Xu Yuan, overthrew the generals in support for the Peace Coalition's new Republic of China. As the military forces were welcomed home, it seemed like the Republic would become a strong, lasting government.
It was not to be.
Governing the New Nation
The Peace Coalition was successful in the spring of 1871, withdrawing troops from South America and granting the Incas independence. Hu oversaw the successful implementation of the new constitution, court system, and provincial governments. However, people had opposed the war for a myriad of reasons. Some thought it was a waste of money, and that the Chinese government should conserve its funds. Others had been opposed to the war because they did not think China should be interfering in nations on the other side of the world, and others believed that Chinese borders should only contain Chinese people. Many had been opposed to the war out of moral reasons, while others had been opposed simply because they thought it was unwinable. The Peace Coalition had even included radical Levelists. Thus, when Hu attempted to actually run his new government, he found it impossible to get his coalition to agree on anything. Unable to form a simple budget, the government was dismissed and new elections were called in July. By now, real political parties had emerged in China, out of the ruins of the Peace Coalition Hu managed to retain his Zongliship by forming a new coalition, with his Chinese Republican League, the party with a plurality, forming a coalition government with the Farmers and Workers Party and the Societal Liberation Party.
|Chinese Assembly (Gana), July 13, 1871 - June 18, 1872|
|Government or Opposition||Name||Leader||Seats (1000)|
|Chinese Republican League||Hu Daning (Zongli)||402|
|Farmers and Workers Party||Yuan Zhong-san||67|
|Societal Liberation Party||Ping Nan||38|
|Primary Opposition||Traditionalist Party||Kong Jinru||277|
|Other Opposition||Levelist Front||Xia Qiang||142|
|Chinese Peoples Party||Bei Yunchuan||31|
On May 3, 1872, a massive revolt broke out in Kiev, with the native Slavic inhabitants, often called the Rus, making a motion for independence. Having been defeated in the stuggle to control the remains of the Byzantine Empire, the Army of God had moved north to the largest population of Orthodox Christians in the world, the Russians. They took control of the anti-Chinese resistance movement, advocating for freedom from the "Godless Chinese". The brief stability was broken, as the leader of the former Peace Coalition was forced to declare war to preserve China. Hu place Xu Yuan, the prominent leader of the military revolution, and, as a non-partisan figure, one of the few revolutionary leaders still widely popular, in command of the war. Despite his quick actions, Hu appeared weak to those demanding China preserve its empire and appeared to be warmongering to those who had fought a revolution for peace. Only a couple months after the West China War began, the Second Government of the Chinese Republic collapsed.
|Chinese Assembly (Gana), June 18, 1872-June 29 1872|
|Levelist Front||Xia Qiang||324||+182|
|Chinese Peoples' Party||Guo Qingwei||309||+278|
|Traditionalist Party||Kong Jinru||229||-49|
|Chinese Republican League||Hu Daning||93||-309|
|Farmers and Workers' Party||Yuan Zhong-san||15||-52|
|Societal Liberation Party||Ping Nan||12||-26|
Hu had been expecting his coalition to take some hits, but the sheer scale of the 387 seat loss for his government shocked even the most optimistic of his opponets' parties. The Traditionalist Party was also hit badly in the elections, due to the fact that many Chinese associated the new West China War with the Andean War, and felt that returning to pre-revolutionary policies would lead to the same mistakes. The real victors were the Levelist Front and the Chinese Peoples' Party. The Levelists' success was due to workers angry at Hu's attempts to stop the Levelists, and rallied when challenged. Meanwhile, the Chinese Peoples' Party, which had initially formed under the position of letting all non-Chinese leave China to create a more homogenous nation and under the leadership of Bei Yunchuan, experienced a hostile takeover by the extremist Guo Qingwei, who holds the dramatically different position that the problems of China are not due to the diversity, but are due to the fact that the Chinese do not hold an exalted enough position in their Empire. Given that the Chinese hold the highest positions in society, with government sanctioned discrimination in their favor, Guo's goals are understandably feared by minorities. He even implies that troublesome ethnic groups may "disappear from China".
The Traditionalists obviously refused to coalition with the Levelists, who had originated as an anti-Confucian movement in the first place. They had been in talks to form a coalition with the Chinese People's Party, which had seemed likely as both wanted to preserve the Empire and the dominance of the Chinese. However, Guo scared some of the Traditionalists, and others were concerned by some of his racist rants, as they could imply that Buddhism is an inferior religion due to having started in India. All chance of a coalition broke down when a group of CPP members attacked and burned a Buddhist monastery on June 17, and Guo refused to denounce their actions. Without a majority, new elections were called, but no one ever managed to win a majority, with the Levelists and CPP both gaining seats at the expense of the more moderate parties. As election after election was called, and the country became more polarized, people began to fear for China. Both parties began to build up private armies, in case the nation fell into chaos. Hu Daning made a motion for peace, but his assassination on October 29 by a man of unknown politics ended the last vestige of Revolutionary liberty.
By November, the nation of China was about to collapse. Its army was fighting a seemingly unwinnable war against the Orthodox Russians, while two political parties fought on the streets, with their victories in the repetative elections being in whatever districts they had taken over. The nation had slipped into a civil war, and many feared that it would be a long, devastating war. As Xia and Guo prepared to abandon the last semblace of participating in democracy and begin a full-on war, they suddenly found that their communications with the army, and indeed the entire western portions of China, had been shut off. Both blaming the other party, they ordered their private armies to march into their rival's territory and destroy the opposition. However, it was revealed that the military had cut off its own communications in order to hide massive troop movements back into the Chinese heartland when the Chinese air force swooped in and bombed the bases of the Levelist and CPP armies. As Chinese troops returned en masse, and as the military bases began moving against the two competing governments, both parties suddenly found their support to be a lot weaker than they had presumed. Xu Yuan, commander of the Chinese Military, triumphantly marched his troops into Beijing on the Second Anniversary of the Revolution to enthusiastic citizens, dismissing the Chinese Gana, banning the Levelists and Chinese Peoples' Party, and assuming "temporary dictatorial control". Guo and Xia were both arrested and executed for treason, and with strong popular support, the two parties were crushed.
|Chinese Assembly (Gana), January 19, 1873-February 1, 1878|
|Traditionalist Party||Kong Jinru||741|
|Chinese Workers' Party||Luo Haishek||120|
|National Party||Bei Yunchuan||53|
|New Liberty Party||Ping Nan||21|
When Xu called for new elections, they were a Traditionalist landslide. Many Chinese had come to be dissatisfied with the Revolution, and willing to restore some of the old order. The power of the Gana was dramatically reduced, and a new Grand Council, independent of the Gana and headed by Xu Yuan, held the real power. The most dramatic of Hu's reforms were repealed, and the Civil Service Examinations were reinstated. However, Xu allowed the Gana to have some power, and also allowed there to be limited democracy in all of the provinces as well, and semi-autonomy to China's remaining colonies. Workers, women, and minorities held more rights than they had before the Revolution, and the aristocracy had been permanently weakened. A fairer tax system was implemented as well. Xu's success in stabilizing China, mixing a restoration of the old order but keeping some of the reforms, made him wildly popular among the Chinese, and he continued to head the Grand Council with vast powers until his voluntary retirement in 1891.