Centenary of China' s 1911 Revolution
2 March – 16 May 2011
Special Exhibition Gallery
Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Hubei Provincial Museum
Organised by the Hong Kong Museum of History
Year 2011 marked the centenary of the 1911 Revolution, the epoch-making event that had far-reaching consequences for the fate of the Chinese people. It brought an end to imperial rule in China and also represented the birth of Asia's first republic. A hugely important milestone on China's road to modernisation, it was also of remarkable significance for the development of global politics.
The first decade of the 20th century was a time of great upheaval in China. Revolutionary currents were never far from the surface, while reformists and reactionaries struggled to gain the upper hand in the Qing government. After the war with the Eight-Nation Alliance, the Empress Dowager Cixi was finally persuaded to launch a series of political, economic, military and educational reforms. However, two policies announced by the Qing court in May 1911 – the formation of a new "imperial cabinet" and the nationalisation of the railways – caused huge public resentment and drove many people into the revolutionary camp. The success of the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911 then started a chain reaction, and in less than two months 14 out of the 18 provinces within China's main borders had declared independence. The imperial regime had been overthrown and replaced by a republican system, signifying a new era of modern China.
Celebrating the centenary of the 1911 Revolution, the exhibition showcased over 150 exhibits from Hubei Provincial Museum and other collections as well as historical images, videos and maps to illustrate that milestone in China's modern history and also highlighted the immense contribution that Hong Kong made to the revolution.