The Chinese Revolution of 1911 swept away the Qing dynasty and replaced the monarchical system of government with a republic. This historical upheaval, one of the most significant events in Chinese history, was itself a prime example of political modernity. Under the Republic, ultimate power in the nation would no longer reside with a hereditary monarch, but with the people and their elected representatives.
Although the establishment of the Chinese Republic did little to impose order and stability on a radically fractured country, it did help to create the political and economic conditions for China to develop as a modern nation-state. After the provisional government was established in Nanjing, the Chinese economy experienced something of a boom, based largely upon an unprecedented increase in industrial output.
The Chinese Revolution also laid the foundations of a modern nation-state by embracing the equality of China's many different ethnic groups. Civil restrictions against certain groups, many of which had been in place for centuries, were swept away as the new government sought to unite the disparate ethnic territories into one single Chinese state.
Sun Yat-Sen, the Provisional President of the new Republic, proclaimed in his famous Declaration that the essential foundation of a nation is its people. And he realized that there could not be a single nation without a single people. Ethnic differences would still remain, of course, but their importance would be subordinated to a civic Chinese citizenship, in which all Chinese people would enjoy the same rights.