Sun Yat-Sen: Father of the Chinese Republic.

Essay by csze382215College, UndergraduateA+, October 2003

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Known to millions of people as "the Father of the Chinese Republic," Sun Yat-Sen holds an extraordinary place in modern China's complex and tumultuous history. He serves as an inspiration and a political dignitary to the most radical and diverse political parties. Although Sun was such an extraordinary influence on Chinese history, he actually spent much of his life in exile, and many of his plans of revolt were unsuccessful. The parallel between his political success and instances of failure create a remarkable link between his life and the history of China.

Sun Yat-Sen was born to a peasant family in the province of GuangZhou, not far from Macau and Hong Kong. He received a few years of traditional Chinese education at a local school and at age thirteen, moved to Hawaii, where his older brother had immigrated.

Sun studied at a Honolulu boarding school, the Iolani School, which was sponsored by the Church of England. In eighteen eighty-two, Yat-Sen moved to Hong Kong and after a decade of studying medicine, he finally received a medical degree in eighteen ninety-two. Sun was also baptized as a Christian that same year and remained in Hong Kong to practice his vocation for the next year.

Although Sun grew up educated in Western philosophies, he remained a loyalist to traditional Chinese patriotism. He admired rebels who dedicated their lives to fighting against the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty since he himself had grown dissatisfied with that government. Yat-Sen dreamed of schemes to strengthen China both economically and politically from within and being cooperatively accepted by the conspiratorial Chinese secret societies contributed to his political success.

Sun began his political career in eighteen ninety-four when China was entering a state of turmoil. Japan had...