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Wuchang Uprising

The Wuchang Uprising (武昌起義 Wǔchang Qǐyž) of October 1911, started the Xinhai Revolution, which triggered the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and establishment of the Republic of China.

In 1900, the ruling Qing Dynasty decided to create a modernized army, called the "New Army". At the time, the city of Wuchang, on the Yangtze River in the province of Hubei, had the most modernized military industry, so it became the site where of manufacture for weapons and other equipment for the New Army. The revolutionary ideas of Sun Yat-sen extensively influenced officers and soldiers of the New Army in Wuchang, and many participated in revolutionary organizations.

The uprising itself broke out largely by accident. Revolutionaries intent on overthrowing the Qing dynasty had built bombs and one accidentally exploded. This led police to investigate, and they discovered lists of revolutionaries within the New Army. At this point elements of the New Army revolted rather than face arrest. The provincial government panicked and fled. 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. He found out about the uprising by reading a newspaper report.

The Qing emperor Aixinjueluo Puyi failed to respond for a crucial few weeks. This gave the revolutionaries time to declare a provisional government. Other provincial assemblies then joined the revolutionaries. Within a month, representatives of the seceding provinces had met to declare a Republic of China. A compromise between the conservative gentry and the revolutionaries saw Sun Yat-sen chosen as provisional president.

In Taiwan, the date of the uprising, October 10, is celebrated as a national holiday known as Double Tenth Day.

See also History of the Republic of China