In a short essay (2-3 paragraphs), compare and contrast the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist Party as vehicles for China's attempt to reverse its "fall" through the nineteenth- and early twentieth centuries.

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The Guomindang (later changed to Kuomintang) was the Chinese nationalist movement that emerged in reaction to the intense feeling of humiliation the Chinese felt from outside, mainly European, occupiers. Its most prominent figure during the early 20th century was Sun Yat-Sen, who led the movement until his death in 1925....

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The Guomindang (later changed to Kuomintang) was the Chinese nationalist movement that emerged in reaction to the intense feeling of humiliation the Chinese felt from outside, mainly European, occupiers. Its most prominent figure during the early 20th century was Sun Yat-Sen, who led the movement until his death in 1925. The Guomindang/Kuomintang had no readily identifiable ideological inclinations other than a sympathy for socialism. This affinity was born of the mass poverty across China that contrasted with the conspicuous wealth of the elite that surrounded China’s imperial dynasty.

The Guomindang had its origins in the late 19th century, when anti-European sentiments were reaching their peak. Unrest culminated in the short-term with the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The rebellion was subdued by the very forces of Western imperialists against whom the nationalist movement had arisen. The Qin Dynasty’s presumed acquiescence in colonial domination of China and perceived weakness in confronting that domination motivated nationalists to rise up against the Qin Dynasty, and in opposition to European and Japanese interference in Chinese affairs.

While the Kuomintang was the most prominent physical manifestation of anti-imperialism throughout the first half of the 20th century, the Karl Marx-inspired, V. I. Lenin-influenced ideology of communism took root in the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Tse-Tung and Zhou En-Lai. Whereas both the Kuomintang and the Communist Party militantly opposed European and Japanese imperialism, the latter was dominated by its ideological tenets. Nationalists did not share these ideals.

The Kuomintang, now led by Chiang Kai-Shek, sought to modernize China to bring its economy and overall strength up to Western levels. Mao and Zhou, in contrast, adopted a more insular and far more radical approach to economic development that emphasized party control of every facet of Chinese life. The contrast could most prominently be seen following the civil war between the two groups. The Communist Party victory and subsequent flight of the nationalists to the island of Formosa (now Taiwan) provided important glimpses into the overwhelming distinctions between the two.

Communist Party control wreaked havoc on China, causing tens of millions of deaths until Mao’s death in 1976. The rise of Deng Xiaoping moved China away from strict adherence to Mao’s orthodox interpretation of Marxism-Leninism and towards capitalist principles. His leadership started the ascendance of China’s economy into the top ranks of world economic powers. Meanwhile, the Kuomintang Party rapidly developed Taiwan into an economic success story while maintaining, until the early 1990s, an iron grip on the island nation’s governance.

These, then, were the two major influences on post-colonial China. The Communist Party fought the Kuomintang until the two temporarily unified against the common enemy of Imperial Japan. Following Japan’s defeat in 1945, a full-scale civil war was fought with the Communists in power and the Nationalists in flight to Formosa/Taiwan (with some Nationalist troops fleeing to Southeast Asia where they took up the business of trafficking in drugs). Ideology was everything to Mao; it was nothing to Chiang, who was driven by anti-colonial feelings.

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