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History Concentrator Disappointed in the Few Opportunities to Talk About Chiang Kai Shek

The man, the myth, the legend

Aw man, don’t you hate when that happens?! After declaring their concentration last fall, this disappointed history student really thought they’d have more opportunities to talk about Chiang Kai Shek, also known as Chiang Chung-cheng, who was a Chinese Nationalist politician, revolutionary, and prolific military leader who served as President and Generalissimo of the Republic of China from 1928 until his death in 1975.


Chiang Kai Shek, born in Zhejiang Province in October 1887, was a member of the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalist Party) and a lieutenant of Sun Yat-sen in the revolution to overthrow the Beiyang government and reunify a decentralized China. Aided by the Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party, Chiang led the Northern Expedition from 1926 to 1928: a brutal campaign to conquer the numerous regional warlords and unite China under a new republican government.


Chiang successfully reached Beijing in August 1928, unifying China and establishing KMT rule after having broken ties with the CCP in 1927. Despite struggling through Japanese occupation, the second Sino-Japanese War, and continued communist resistance, Chiang nominally maintained KMT rule until losing the civil war to the CCP in 1949. Afterwards, he fled to Taiwan from  mainland China with the rest of the KMT and continued to lead the Republic of China government there until his death.

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