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What did Sun Yat-sen do that still affects our lives today?

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Sun Yat-Sen was the first President of the Republic of China, and he played a role in overthrowing the Qing, the last dynasty of China. He also founded the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, and he is often referred as the "father of modern China," as he put into effect policies and ideas that would mark the end of dynastic China and begin the process of modernizing China.

Educated partly in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sun was drawn to Christianity and later converted. Living in Hong Kong, he began to recruit followers to overthrow the Qing dynasty. He was in part motivated by his dislike of foreign control of China and Japan's defeat of China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. He organized followers in Japan and returned to China in 1911, during a large-scale revolt against the Qing, to declare the founding of the Republic of China. He served as provisional President of the Republic, was later overthrown, and then came back as elected President in 1921.

He carried out several policies that affected China. First, he established ties with the Soviet Union to bolster his power and help bring about the reunification of China. In 1924, the Kuomintang established a constitution that followed the lines of the Soviet Union. Second, his "Three Principles of the People" established the importance of nationalism (or reuniting China under Chinese control), democracy (government based on a Western-style government), and a form of socialism (in which people's livelihood was protected by the government and the state owned many means of production). After Sun died in 1925, he as regarded as the "Father of the Republic." He also is regarded as the father of modern China, as he developed a nationalist agenda that involved ridding China of foreign control and reuniting the country. 


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