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Sun Yat-sen

Sun Yat-sen (/sn jtsn/; 12 November 1866 12 March 1925) was a Chinese revolutionary, first
president and founding father of the Republic of China (191249), and medical practitioner. As the foremost
pioneer of the Republic of China, Sun is referred to as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China (ROC),
and the "forerunner of democratic revolution" in the People's Republic of China. Sun played an instrumental role
in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the years leading up to the Double Ten Revolution. He was
appointed to serve as Provisional President of the Republic of China, when it was founded in 1912. He later cofounded the Kuomintang (KMT), serving as its first leader. Sun was a uniting figure in post-Imperial China, and
remains unique among 20th-century Chinese politicians for being widely revered amongst the people from both
sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Although Sun is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, his political life was one of
constant struggle and frequent exile. After the success of the revolution, he quickly resigned, due to Beiyang
Clique pressure, from his post as President of the newly founded Republic of China, and led successive
revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Sun did not live to
see his party consolidate its power over the country during the Northern Expedition. His party, which formed a
fragile alliance with the Communists, split into two factions after his death. Sun's chief legacy resides in his
developing of the political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People: nationalism, democracy, and
the people's livelihood.
During the Qing Dynasty rebellion around 1888 Sun was in Hong Kong with a group of revolutionary
thinkers who were nicknamed the Four Bandits at the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese. Sun, who had
grown increasingly frustrated by the conservative Qing government and its refusal to adopt knowledge from the
more technologically advanced Western nations, quit his medical practice in order to devote his time to
transforming China.
In 1891 Sun met revolutionary friends in Hong Kong including Yeung Ku-wan who was the leader and
founder of the Furen Literary Society. The group was spreading the idea of overthrowing the Qing. In 1894, Sun
wrote an 8,000 character petition to Qing Viceroy Li Hongzhang presenting his ideas for modernizing China. He
traveled to Tianjin to personally present the petition to Li but was not granted an audience. After this
experience, Sun turned irrevocably toward revolution. He left China for Hawaii and founded the Revive China
Society, which was committed to revolutionizing Chinas prosperity. Members were drawn mainly from Chinese
expatriates, especially the lower social classes. The same month in 1894 the Furen Literary Society was merged
with the Hong Kong chapter of the Revive China Society. Thereafter, Sun became the secretary of the newly
merged Revive China society, which Yeung Ku-wan headed as president. They disguised their activities in Hong
Kong under the running of a "Qianheng Company" ().
In 1895 China suffered a serious defeat during the First Sino-Japanese War. There were two types of
responses. One group of intellectuals contended that the Manchu Qing government could restore its legitimacy
by successfully modernizing. Stressing that overthrowing the Manchu would result in chaos and would lead to
China being carved up by imperialists, intellectuals like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao supported responding
with initiatives like the Hundred Days' Reform. In another faction, Sun Yat-sen and others like Zou Rong wanted
a revolution to replace the dynastic system with a modern nation-state in the form of a republic. The Hundred
Days' reform turned out to be a failure by 1898.

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