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though they both disclaim responsibility for the final shape in which it emerged. As might have been expected, the Compact transferred to the President the autocratic power conferred upon the Parliament by the Nanking Provisional Constitution. It is beside the purpose of this article to enter into a detailed examination of constitutions, but it is proper to record that the same incapacity to realise the importance of avoiding extremes that was shown by the framers of the Nanking Provisional Constitution was manifested by the men responsible for the Constitution Compact. National welfare was not to be secured by giving the President undue power any more than by making the Parliament supreme. The fact that cordial cooperation alone could give the country a fair chance of recuperation before it could be launched on the path of progress, was ignored by both South and North. It must, however, in justice to the North, be said that they had more excuse, if not more justification, for going to extremes than the South had had, because the latter was actually in the position of a belligerent who had been defeated and upon whom, therefore, terms could be imposed.
The suspension of the National Assembly marked the beginning of a system that was republican in name, but monarchical in fact. The only organ that could constitutionally restrain the President was the Council of State, which was created, in May 1914, to take the place of the Political Council. The members of the Council of State were appointed by the President; and, in the circumstances, the amount of restraint that they could be expected to exert was negligible. In 1912 it had been declared that the country was unanimously and enthusiastically determined upon the establishment and
perpetuation of a system of most advanced republicanism; but it must be recorded that between November 1913 and August 1915, though a system obtained that was monarchical in everything but name, no protest was made, and many republicans gladly accepted office.
In August 1915 a movement was started to abandon the pretence that the system was republican, and to establish a constitutional monarchy. Public propaganda by the monarchists began after Prof. Goodnow had
submitted a memorandum to the President in which he discussed academically the relative merits of the two systems of government, monarchical and republican. Petitions, purporting to be spontaneous, were received by the Council of State from all parts of the country, praying that the monarchy should be restored and that President Yuan Shih-kai should be offered Imperial honours. The Council of State memorialised the President, recommending that the question should be determined by a popular vote. The President expressed the personal opinion that the time was not opportune for a change in the form of government; but the Council of State, in its capacity as acting Legislature, proceeded to create machinery for submitting the question to the people. When these preliminaries were completed, voting began in the provinces. After five provinces had declared for a reversion to monarchy, with President Yuan Shih-kai as Emperor, verbal advice that the monarchy movement should be suspended was tendered to the Chinese Government by three of the Entente Powers upon the initiative of Japan. In this presentation of advice Great Britain, Russia and Japan were associated, and within a few days it was endorsed by France and Italy. The Government of the United States declined to join with the Entente Powers, on the ground that the action contemplated might be held to be an interference with China's domestic affairs.
Until the Powers counselled suspension of the movement, there had been no public indication of any widespread sentiment against the restoration of monarchy. Immediately after the advice was tendered, how. ever, the republican press in the Treaty Ports, and the Kuomintang refugees in Japan and elsewhere, broke out into fierce denunciations of the monarchy movement and of the President. The Government was in a quandary, for the advice, coming as it did after voting had begun, could not be accepted without serious, perhaps fatal, loss of prestige. The voting, therefore, was continued, the Government informing the advising Powers that it had the situation well in hand. The country declared with apparent unanimity for the restoration of monarchy and the proffer of the crown to President Yuan Shih-kai. On Dec. 11, 1915, after going
through the conventional Chinese formality of refusing, the President consented to bear the Imperial burden. Twelve days later the Provincial Government of Yunnan issued a proclamation demanding the immediate cancellation of the monarchy, and, on Dec. 26, no response having been received, announced its independence. Thus was launched the second rebellion against President Yuan Shih-kai. The leaders, in order to justify their action, published what purported to be copies of telegrams that had been sent from Peking to the Military Governors of the provinces, instructing them to take the necessary steps to coerce the people into voting unanimously for the restoration of monarchy.
The opposition to the proposal to revert to the monarchical system had not been confined to ardent republicans. Several men who were staunch friends of the President, and who were not on principle opposed to the monarchical system of government, had expressed tacit disapproval of the movement to place the President upon the Throne by resigning their posts. Among the more prominent men who took this course were Hsu Shih-chang, then Premier, and the present Premier, General Tuan Chi-jui, who was then Minister for War. Dr G. E. Morrison, the Political Adviser to the President, had also recorded his opinion that the movement was inopportune, as it was calculated to cause internal trouble and to increase China's external difficulties. He further urged that it was unwise, while the war was still in progress in Europe, for China to concentrate her energies, not upon constructive work, but upon costly and unproductive preparations for the establishment of an Imperial régime. This advice was not heeded; and the cancellation of the monarchy was postponed for so long that, when it was announced, the secessionists regarded it as a confession of weakness and made new and heavier demands.
The first rebellion, in 1913, had failed principally because it gained no support from any section of Chinese society except the extreme radicals and the professional rebels, between whom the line of differentiation is not always clear. With a rallying cry no more inspiring than • Punish Yuan,' the rebellion had little chance of success. The instigators of the rebellion of 1915-16 were better
equipped in this respect; and Maintain the Republic' soon proved itself an effective call to arms. To what extent zeal for the maintenance of the Republic operated in determining them to raise the banner of rebellion is a matter of opinion, but it is certain that many of those who subsequently threw in their lot with the original revolters were animated by a genuine desire to preserve the form of government that had been adopted in 1912. Their ranks were swelled by personal enemies of the President, including men who had formerly been advocates of a constitutional monarchy, and by the professional rebels who were always prepared to turn their country's misfortunes to their personal advantage.
The Entente Powers, through the Japanese Minister, repeated the advice to suspend the monarchy movement, but again the advice was not followed. By March 1916, however, the provinces of Kweichow and Kwangsi had joined forces with Yunnan; and on March 22 the monarchy was formally abolished. The revolters, encouraged by their success, then demanded that the President should resign. The abolition of the monarchy did not check the secessionist movement; and the provinces of Kwangtung and Chekiang in turn declared their independence. One immediate result of the abolition was that Hsu Shih-chang returned to office as Premier, and endeavoured to mediate between the President and his enemies. The latter, however, resolutely declined to discuss terms unless, as a preliminary, the President resigned. They declared that in accepting the crown the President had been guilty of high treason, and that his retention of the office of President was illegal. Possibly the contention could be sustained by jurists, but the constitutional point involved was clearly not one that the Southern leaders could be permitted to arrogate to themselves the right arbitrarily to decide. If a majority of the provinces had seceded, the secessionist leaders might have claimed, with some show of reason, the right to force their views upon the country. As a matter of fact, only five provinces had seceded, representing on a population basis about a fifth of the people.
Although the attitude of the Southern leaders was so uncompromising, a further attempt was made to settle matters peacefully. On April 22 the President appointed
a new Cabinet composed mainly of men who had actively or passively opposed the movement to restore the monarchy, promising also to convoke a popularly elected Parliament, to make the Cabinet responsible to the Legislature, to revive the Provincial Assemblies, and, in a word, to divest himself of autocratic power. The new Premier, General Tuan Chi-jui, as he had himself disapproved of the monarchy movement, hoped that he would be able to arrange a compromise with the South. The latter, however, showed no disposition to meet him half-way. They were adamant in their demand that the President should resign. On May 10 they announced that they had formed a military government, with Canton as the provisional capital, and that they regarded the Vice-President, General Li Yuan-hung, as the legal President of the Chinese Republic. A few days earlier the Military Governor of the province of Kiangsu, General Feng Kuo-chang, who is one of the most powerful military leaders in China, sent a telegram to the administrations of the loyal provinces inviting them each to send a delegate to Nanking, where a Conference would be held to arrange a settlement. This plan was regarded with general approval, as likely to provide a means whereby the question of the removal or retention of the President could be decided by a majority vote. The situation had become so complicated that it was difficult to find any course of action that would fulfil constitutional requirements; but General Feng's plan was at least less unconstitutional than the action taken by the South. The Premier sent a telegram to the administrations of the loyal provinces on May 13, in which he recommended them to send delegates to the Conference at Nanking. He also scathingly denounced the Southern leaders for their presumption in arrogating to themselves the right to nominate the President of the Republic, and declared that, as they were traitors, they could not expect to be consulted in regard to the restoration of peace. Down to May 16 no indication had been given that a settlement was in sight, but a truce between the secessionists and the Government troops that had prevailed for six weeks was continued. The financial depression consequent upon the general unrest had seriously affected business; and the Government on May 11 took the extraordinary