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The 1290 Chihli earthquake occurred on 27 September with an epicenter near Ningcheng, Zhongshu Sheng (Zhili or Chihli), Yuan Empire. The earthquake had an estimated surface wave magnitude of 6.8 and a maximum felt intensity of IX (Violent) on the Mercalli intensity scale. One estimate places the death toll at 7,270, while another has it at 100,000.
The 1303 Hongdong earthquake occurred in China, then part of the Mongol Empire, on September 25. The shock was estimated to have a magnitude of 8.0 and it had a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). With catastrophic damage, it was one of the deadliest recorded earthquakes of all time. In Taiyuan and Pingyang, nearly 100,000 houses collapsed and over 200,000 people died from collapsing buildings and loess caves in a similar manner to the situation that would be experienced 253 years later in the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake (陕西).
The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake or Huaxian earthquake is the deadliest earthquake in recorded history: according to imperial records approximately 830,000 people lost their lives. It occurred on the morning of 23 January 1556 in Shaanxi, during the Ming Dynasty. More than 97 counties in the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Gansu, Hebei, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu and Anhui were affected.
After suffering its first defeat to the West in the First Opium War in 1842, the Qing imperial court struggled to contain foreign intrusions into China. Efforts to adjust and reform the traditional methods of governance were constrained by a deeply conservative court culture that did not want to give away too much authority to reform.
On March 28, 1894, a pro-Japanese Korean revolutionary, Kim Ok-gyun, was assassinated in Shanghai. Kim had fled to Japan after his involvement in the 1884 coup and the Japanese had turned down Korean demands that he be extradited.
In early September, Li Hongzhang decided to reinforce the Chinese forces at Pyongyang by employing the Beiyang fleet to escort transports to the mouth of the Taedong River. About 4,500 additional troops stationed in the Zhili were to be redeployed. On September 12, half of the troops embarked at Dagu on five specially chartered transports and headed to Dalian where two days later on September 14, they were joined by another 2,000 soldiers.
The Chinese warships spent the entire day cruising the area, waiting for the Japanese. However, since there was no sighting of the Japanese fleet, Admiral Ding decided to return to Dalian, reaching the port in the morning of September 15.
With the defeat at Pyongyang, the Chinese abandoned northern Korea and took up defensive positions in fortifications along their side of the Yalu River near Jiuliancheng. After receiving reinforcements by 10 October, the Japanese quickly pushed north toward Manchuria.
Describing their motives as having encountered a display of the mutilated remains of Japanese soldiers as they invaded the town, Japanese forces proceeded with the unrestrained killing of civilians during the Port Arthur Massacre with unconfirmed estimates in the thousands. An event which at the time was widely viewed with scepticism as the world at large was still in disbelief that the Japanese were capable of such deeds that seemed more likely to have been exaggerated propagandist fabrications of a Chinese government to discredit Japanese hegemony. In reality, the Chinese government itself was unsure of how to react and initially denied the occurrence of the loss of Port Arthur to the Japanese altogether.
The Chinese fleet subsequently retreated behind the Weihaiwei fortifications. However, they were then surprised by Japanese ground forces, who outflanked the harbour's defenses in coordination with the navy. The Battle of Weihaiwei was a 23-day siege with the major land and naval components taking place between 20 January and 12 February 1895. Historian Jonathan Spence notes that "the Chinese admiral retired his fleet behind a protective curtain of contact mines and took no further part in the fighting." The Japanese commander marched his forces over the Shandong peninsula and reached the landward side of Weihaiwei, were the siege was eventually successful for the Japanese.
After Weihaiwei's fall on 12 February 1895, and an easing of harsh winter conditions, Japanese troops pressed further into southern Manchuria and northern China. By March 1895 the Japanese had fortified posts that commanded the sea approaches to Beijing. Although this would be the last major battle fought; numerous skirmishes would follow. The Battle of Yinkou was fought outside the port town of Yingkou, Manchuria, on 5 March 1895.
In the wars against the Taiping (1851–64), Nian (1851–68), Yunnan (1856–68) and the Northwest (1862–77), the traditional imperial troops proved themselves incompetent and the court came to rely on local armies. In 1895, China suffered another defeat during the First Sino-Japanese War. This demonstrated that traditional Chinese feudal society also needed to be modernized if the technological and commercial advancements were to succeed.
On 26 October 1895, Yeung Ku-wan and Sun Yat-sen led Zheng Shiliang and Lu Haodong to Guangzhou, preparing to capture Guangzhou in one strike. However, the details of their plans were leaked to the Qing government. The government began to arrest revolutionaries, including Lu Haodong, who was later executed. The first Guangzhou uprising was a failure.
In 1901, after the Boxer Rebellion started, Tang Caichang and Tan Sitong of the previous Foot Emancipation Society organised the Independence Army. The Independence Army Uprising was planned to occur on 23 August 1900. Their goal was to overthrow Empress Dowager Cixi to establish a constitutional monarchy under the Guangxu Emperor. Their plot was discovered by the governor general of Hunan and Hubei. About twenty conspirators were arrested and executed.
On 8 October 1900, Sun Yat-sen ordered the launch of the Huizhou Uprising. The revolutionary army was led by Zheng Shiliang and initially included 20,000 men, who fought for half a month. However, after the Japanese Prime Minister prohibited Sun Yat-sen from carrying out revolutionary activities on Taiwan, Zheng Shiliang had no choice but to order the army to disperse. This uprising therefore also failed. British soldier Rowland J. Mulkern participated in this uprising.
A very short uprising occurred from 25 to 28 January 1903, to establish a "Great Ming Heavenly kingdom". This involved Tse Tsan-tai, Li Jitang, Liang Muguang and Hong Quanfu, who formerly took part in the Jintian uprising during the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom era.
The Huaxinghui (China Revival Society) was founded in 1904 with notables like Huang Xing, Zhang Shizhao, Chen Tianhua and Song Jiaoren, along with 100 others. Their motto was "Take one province by force, and inspire the other provinces to rise up".
The Huanggang Uprising was launched on 22 May 1907, in Chaozhou. The Revolutionary party, along with Xu Xueqiu , Chen Yongpo and Yu Tongshi, launched the uprising and captured Huanggang city. Other Japanese that followed include and. After the uprising began, the Qing government quickly and forcefully suppressed it. Around 200 revolutionaries were killed.
On 2 June, Deng Zhiyu and Chen Chuan gathered some followers, and together, they seized Qing arms in the lake, 20 km (12 mi) from Huizhou. They killed several Qing soldiers and attacked Taiwei on 5 June. The Qing army fled in disorder, and the revolutionaries exploited the opportunity, capturing several towns. They defeated the Qing army once again in Bazhiyie. Many organizations voiced their support after the uprising, and the number of revolutionary forces increased to two hundred men at its height. The uprising, however, ultimately failed.
On 6 July 1907, Xu Xilin of Guangfuhui led an uprising in Anqing, Anhui, which became known as the Anqing Uprising. Xu Xilin at the time was the police commissioner as well as the supervisor of the police academy. He led an uprising that was to assassinate the provincial governor of Anhui, En Ming. They were defeated after four hours of fighting. Xu was captured, and En Ming's bodyguards cut out his heart and liver and ate them. His cousin Qiu Jin was executed a few days later.
On 1 December 1907, the Zhennanguan Uprising took place at Zhennanguan, a pass on the Chinese-Vietnamese border. Sun Yat-sen sent Huang Mintang to monitor the pass, which was guarded by a fort. With the assistance of supporters among the fort's defenders, the revolutionaries captured the cannon tower in Zhennanguan. Sun Yat-sen, Huang Xing and Hu Hanmin personally went to the tower to command the battle. The Qing government sent troops led by Long Jiguang and Lu Rongting to counterattack, and the revolutionaries were forced to retreat into the mountainous areas. After the failure of this uprising, Sun was forced to move to Singapore due to anti-Sun sentiments within the revolutionary groups. He would not return to the mainland until after the Wuchang Uprising.
On 27 March 1908, Huang Xing launched a raid, later known as the Qin-lian Uprising, from a base in Vietnam and attacked the cities of Qinzhou and Lianzhou in Guangdong. The struggle continued for fourteen days but was forced to terminate after the revolutionaries ran out of supplies.
In April 1908, another uprising was launched in Yunnan, Hekou, called the Hekou Uprising. Huang Mingtang led two hundred men from Vietnam and attacked Hekou on 30 April. Other revolutionaries who participated include Wang Heshun and Guan Renfu. They were outnumbered and defeated by government troops, however, and the uprising failed.
On 27 April 1911, an uprising occurred in Guangzhou, known as the Second Guangzhou Uprising or Yellow Flower Mound Revolt. It ended in disaster, as 86 bodies were found (only 72 could be identified). The 72 revolutionaries were remembered as martyrs. Revolutionary Lin Juemin was one of the 72. On the eve of battle, he wrote the legendary "A Letter to My Wife", later to be considered as a masterpiece in Chinese literature.
On 24 September, the Literary Society and Progressive Association convened a conference in Wuchang, along with sixty representatives from local New Army units. During the conference, they established a headquarters for the uprising. The leaders of the two organizations, Jiang Yiwu and Sun Wu, were elected as commander and chief of staff. Initially, the date of the uprising was to be 6 October 1911. It was postponed to a later date due to insufficient preparations.
Revolutionaries intent on overthrowing the Qing dynasty had built bombs, and on 9 October, one accidentally exploded. Sun Yat-sen himself had no direct part in the uprising and was traveling in the United States at the time in an effort to recruit more support from among overseas Chinese. The Qing Viceroy of Huguang, Rui Cheng , tried to track down and arrest the revolutionaries.
The revolt was a success; the entire city of Wuchang was captured by the revolutionaries on the morning of 11 October. That evening, they established a tactical headquarters and announced the establishment of the "Military Government of Hubei of Republic of China". The conference chose Li Yuanhong as the governor of the temporary government. Qing officers like the bannermen Duanfang and Zhao Erfeng were killed by the revolutionary forces.
On 22 October 1911, the Hunan Tongmenghui were led by Jiao Dafeng and Chen Zuoxin. They headed an armed group, consisting partly of revolutionaries from Hongjiang and partly of defecting New Army units, in a campaign to extend the uprising into Changsha. They captured the city and killed the local Imperial general. Then they announced the establishment of the Hunan Military Government of the Republic of China and announced their opposition to the Qing Empire.
On 23 October, Lin Sen, Jiang Qun, Cai Hui and other members of the Tongmenghui in the province of Jiangxi plotted a revolt of New Army units. After they achieved victory, they announced their independence. The Jiujiang Military Government was then established.
After the Xi'an Manchu quarter fell on 24 October, Xinhai forces killed all of the Manchus in the city, about 20,000 manchus were killed in the mass massacre. Many of its Manchu defenders committed suicide, including Qing general Wenrui , who threw himself down a well.
On 29 October, Yan Xishan of the New Army led an uprising in Taiyuan, the capital city of the province of Shanxi, along with Yao Yijie, Huang Guoliang, Wen Shouquan, Li Chenglin, Zhang Shuzhi and Qiao Xi. The Xinhai rebels in Taiyuan bombarded the streets where banner people resided and killed all the Manchu. They managed to kill the Qing Governor of Shanxi, Lu Zhongqi. They then announced the establishment of Shanxi Military Government with Yan Xishan as the military governor. Yan Xishan would later become one of the warlords that plagued China during what was known as "the warlord era".
On 30 October, Li Genyuan of the Tongmenghui in Yunnan joined with Cai E, Luo Peijin, Tang Jiyao, and other officers of the New Army to launch the Double Ninth Uprising. They captured Kunming the next day and established the Yunnan Military Government, electing Cai E as the military governor.
On 31 October, the Nanchang branch of the Tongmenghui led New Army units in a successful uprising. They established the Jiangxi Military Government. Li Liejun was elected as the military governor. Li declared Jiangxi as independent and launched an expedition against Qing official Yuan Shikai.
On 3 November, after a proposition by Cen Chunxuan from the Constitutional Monarchy Movement, in 1903, the Qing court passed the Nineteen Articles, which turned the Qing from an autocratic system with the emperor having unlimited power to a constitutional monarchy.
On 3 November, Shanghai's Tongmenghui, Guangfuhui and merchants led by Chen Qimei, Li Pingsu, Zhang Chengyou, Li Yingshi, Li Xiehe and Song Jiaoren organized an armed rebellion in Shanghai. They received the support of local police officers.