Modern History Sourcebook:
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:
This was signed by the Emperor; by Yuan Shi-kai as Prime Minister; and also by the
"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
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.
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© Paul Halsall, July 1998