Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The New Armies (Traditional Chinese: 新軍, Simplified Chinese: 新军) were the modernized Qing armies trained and equipped according to western standards. The first of new armies was founded in 1895 with German arms.
In December 8 1895, Empress Dowager Cixi appointed Yuan Shikai the commander of 4,000 men that formed the basis of the first New Army. Further expanded to 7,000, this New army became the most formidable of the three army groups stationed near Beijing and proven effective against the Boxers in Shandong province. Yuan showed his loyalty to the Qing's court, nevertheless nothing more than a symbolic gesture, by committing only a detachment to relieve Beijing out of foreign hands.
The New Army was gradually expanded and upgraded in the following years, becoming the only militia that the Qing court could rely on amidst revolutionary upraisings throughout China. Yuan became increasingly disrespectful of the dynasty and only loyal to the party which he benefited from; his defection to Cixi against Guangxu Emperor was a major blow to the Hundred Days Reform.
Successful example of the new army was followed in other provinces. The New Army of Yuan was renamed to Beiyang Army on June 25 1902 after Yuan was officially promoted to the "Minister of Beiyang". By the end of the dynasty in 1911, most provinces had established sizable new armies; however the Yuan's army was still most powerful, comprised of six groups and numbered more than 75,000 men.
Yuan tightly gripped the command of army since its establishment by installing officials only loyal to him; however after his death in 1916, the army groups were quickly fragmented into four major forces of combatting warlords, respective to the locations of garrisons. These army groups and generals played different roles in the politics of China until the establishment of the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War.
Notable figures of Beiyang
- Yuan Shikai (袁世凱)
- Xu Shichang (徐世昌)
- Wang Shizhen (王士珍)
- Duan Qirui (段祺瑞)
- Cao Kun (曹錕)
- Feng Guozhang (馮國璋)
- Zhang Xun (張勳), 12 day restoration of Qing dynasty
- Wu Peifu (呉佩孚)
- Zhang Zuolin (張作霖), father of Zhang Xueliang
- Feng Yuxiang (馮玉祥), expelled Puyi from the Forbidden City
- Sun Chuanfang (孫傳芳)
- Zhang Zongchang (張宗昌)
- Qi Xieyuan (齐燮元)
- Lu Yongxiang (盧永祥)
- Xu Shuzheng (徐樹錚)
- Song Zheyuan (宋哲元)
- Qin Dechun (秦徳純)
- Tang Shengzhi (唐生智), defended Nanking in Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)
- Zhang Zhizhong (張治中)
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