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To what extent was Yuan Shikai responsible for China descending into the chaos and disorder of the warlord era?

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To what extent was Yuan Shikai responsible for china descending into the chaos and disorder of the warlord era? Yuan Shikai continuously undermined the democratic republic as he did not personally believe in a democracy rather he favoured an authoritarian state. Since he did not believe in a democracy he weakened the democratic republic and eventually destroyed the central state with the power of his military, however the democracy would have been undermined regardless due to the lack of support from the elites, peasants and imperialists for a democratic republic. Regional militarism was also growing, this threatened central state as the central state was financing the provinces and would have to keep them content. As the central state began to decline the threat of provinces declaring independence also started increasing. ...read more.


He also sent troops to the south in order to destroy the GMD and nationalists strongholds in the south. He undermined central state as he promised to introduce a democratic republican with no intention to do so. However he was not solely responsible. Yuan shikai was receiving increased support from the imperialists through loans and finances to economically modernise, he was unable to see that the imperialists only a favoured a authoritarian state so that they could continue to exploit china for their own advantage. Yuan shikai also had the support of the conservative elites as they did not want a democracy instead they wanted a a stable china within which they could maintain their power. The peasants also disagreed with a democracy, which further undermined the power of the Chinese state. ...read more.


Also Yuan made fatal error to try and become emperor, this caused opposition and forced provinces to declare independence as they did not want another dynastic ruler, this gave them reason and opportunity to expand their military which undermined regional militarism as they broke away from china in 1916. However regional militarism was growing since the Qing dynasty. The Qing government had granted provinces permission to create regional armies to suppress rebellions. Dowager introduced self strengthening through which she increases the military strength of the imperial regime, which then produced Yuan shikai as a result. Chaos was further encouraged in the future due to imperialist promoting militarism through the opium wars, boxer rebellion and also defeat against Japan, such events glorified the military and gave rise to power. Foreign imperialists were also selling arms within china to simply anyone who could afford it, this encouraged the growth of warlords and violent behaviour. ...read more.

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