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Proclamation of The Abdication of the Manchus, 1912

"The Outlook," February 24, 1912. The Manchu Dynasty has abdicated, after holding the Chinese Imperial Throne for nearly three centuries. The decree of abdication will be of historic moment. It reads as follows:

"The Whole Country is tending towards a republican form of government. It is the Will of Heaven, and it is certain that we could not reject the people's desire for the sake of one family's honor and glory."

"We, the Emperor, hand over the sovereignty to the people. We decide the form of government to be a constitutional republic."

"In this time of transition, in order to unite the South and the North, We appoint Yuan Shi-kai to organize a provisional government, consulting the people's army regarding the union of the five peoples, Manchus, Chinese, Mongolians, Mohammedans, and Tibetans. These peoples jointly constitute the great State of Chung Hwa Ming-Kus [a republic of China].

"We retire to a peaceful life and will enjoy the respectful treatment of the nation."

This was signed by the Emperor; by Yuan Shi-kai as Prime Minister; and also by the other Ministers.


From: Eva March Tappan, ed., China, Japan, and the Islands of the Pacific, Vol. I of The World's Story: A History of the World in Story, Song, and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), p. 261.

Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.

This text is part of the Internet Modern History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts for introductory level classes in modern European and World history.

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Paul Halsall, July 1998