Monarchism VS. Republicanism: Political Institutions under the Dictatorship of Yüan Shih-K’ai

  • William L. Tung


Yüan Shih-k’ai’s succession to the Provisional Presidency was only a stepping stone to his eventual dictatorship. However, his ambition could not be materialized immediately because Parliament was then controlled by people with republican convictions. Thus the policical institutions described in the previous chapter were still based on democratic principles, Yüan’s predominance in the government notwithstanding. The murder of Sung Chiao-jen was the signal of Yüan’s decision to abolish the constitutional rule. Afterwards, he had gradually developed his schemes and intensified his efforts toward the eventual change of the republican polity into monarchy. A brief examination of the successive events will show the Machiavellian character of the steps he undertook to carry out his plans.


Presidential Election Constitutional Rule Political Affair Special District Personal Ambition 
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  1. 1.
    For details and related documents concerning Yüan’s abolition of constitutional rule, see Yang Yu-chiung, Legislative History of Modern China, pp. 121–125, 154–184.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    The Collected Works of Sun Yat-sen, Vol. IV, “A History of the Chinese Revolution,” P. 13.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Ibid., p. 14.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Ibid., p. 11.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    Government Gazette, November 27, 1913.Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    See Art. 19 of the Rules of Procedure of the Political Conference (Government Gazette, December 25, 1913).Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    For its text, see Government Gazette, January 27, 1914.Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    See Appendix D for its English translation.Google Scholar
  9. 1.
    See Arts. 25, 28 and 31 of the Constitutional Compact, and also the Organic Law of the Legislative Yuan of October 27, 1914.Google Scholar
  10. 1.
    For the text of the Presidential order, see The Collection of Laws and Decrees, 1913, No. 4 Sec. 5.Google Scholar
  11. 1.
    See Arts. 3, 7, 8 and 10 of the revised Presidential Election Law. Google Scholar
  12. 1.
    For Dr. Goodnow’s article, see also Tung-fang Magazine (Shanghai), Vol. 12, No. 10. For English texts of this article and Liang Ch’i-chao’s anti-monarchical essay, See B. L. Putnam Weale, The Fight for the Republic in China* (New York, 1917), pp. 175–185, 192–215.Google Scholar
  13. 1.
    For its text, see The Collection of Laws and Decrees, 1915, No. 4, Sec. 2.Google Scholar
  14. 1.
    On December 5, 1915, Dr. Sun’s followers made an unsuccessful attempt to seize a government warship in the port of Shanghai. This was definitely a sign of the revolutionary defiance against Yüan.Google Scholar
  15. 2.
    For details, see the Organic Law of the Military Council, 1916.Google Scholar
  16. 1.
    For a comprehensive survey of Yüan’s political career, see Jerome Ch’en, Yüan Shih-K’ai (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961).*Google Scholar
  17. Group V. Insistence that China should have Japanese police and that China should employ Japanese advisers in financial, political and military matters. Since these demands were never ratified by the Chinese Parliament, they had no binding force upon China. For details, see B. L. Putnam Weale, op. cit., pp. 88–144.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • William L. Tung
    • 1
  1. 1.Queens CollegeCity University of New YorkUSA

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