Chinese Civil War (China's Song)

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Chinese Civil War

Clockwise from top left: Nationalist forces entrenched at the Battle of Jinan, Beiyang troops photographed in 1914 outside of Beijing, Sun Yat-sen shortly after establishing the new government in Nanjing, Nationalist artillery company in combat at the Siege of Beijing
Date11 June 1913 – 6 January 1918

Nationalist victory

Zhili Army
Yunnan Army
Hubei Army
Beiyang Army
Supported by:
German Empire
Commanders and leaders
Sun Yat-sen
Song Jiaoren
Chiang Kai-shek
Cai E
Li Yuanhong
Feng Guozhang
Cao Kun
Duan Qirui
Wang Yitang
Xu Shuzheng
Duan Zhigui
150,000 135,000

The Chinese Civil War (Chinese: 國民黨北洋戰爭, Guómíndǎng Běiyáng Zhànzhēng) was a civil war lasting from 1913 to 1917.

The Chinese Civil War, also referred to as the Second Revolution, was an armed conflict lasting from 1914 to 1919 between the southern-based Nationalists and the northern-based Beiyang government.

The roots of the civil war were planted after President Yuan Shikai stormed the National Assembly in May 1913 and dissolved the Song Jiaoren government. A week later, President Yuan was shot three times by anarchist college student Mao Zedong, making Li Yuanhong acting president. President Li's pro-democracy stance angered the Beiyang Army's new leader, Duan Qirui seizing power three days later. After enduring two reactionary coups, Sun Yat-sen assembled delegates in Nanjing and formally declared a new government on June 11. President Duan subsequently declared martial law and attempted to place China's major cities and railroads under the control of the Beiyang Army. However, loyalty in the Beiyang Army began to break down and several generals broke from President Duan and recognized the Nanjing Government as the legitimate government of China.

Nationalist and Beiyang forces became entrenched along the Yellow and Wei Rivers a few weeks into the conflict, with various pockets of resistance on both sides. The Beiyang Army suffered from low morale and internal fighting, with some generals even defecting to the Nationalist cause. However, the Beiyang faction was recognized by most governments as the legitimate government of China and secured foreign loans.

As the Beiyang Army splintered into quarreling factions during the war, the conflict shifted into the Nationalists' favor, and by 1918, the Battle of Peking ended Beiyang rule. The postbellum era, also known as the Nanjing Decade, ushered in a new era of economic prosperity and reconstruction. The war also solidified Chiang Kai-shek's position in the Nationalist Party, who garnered both military and popular support and would eventually succeed President Sun in the early 1930s.