This section deals with the tribulations of the early years of the Chinese Republic from 1912 until the establishment by Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) of his government at Nanjing (Nanking) in 1928; the conflict between the Chinese Communist Party and the Guomindang (Kuomintang) until the Second United Front of 1936; the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, beginning what has become known as the Fifteen-Year War with Japan (1931‑45); the Sino–Japanese War of 1937‑45; and the civil war between the Guomindang (Kuomintang) and the Communists culminating in the victory of the Communists under Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) in October 1949. Emphasis should be placed on understanding the complexities of governing China, the opposing ideologies of the Nationalists and the Communists and the impact of Japanese aggression upon the domestic struggle for power.
- The 21 Demands (1915); New Culture Movement; the Treaty of Versailles (1919); the May Fourth Movement (1919)
- Yuan Shikai (Yuan Shih-k’ai); warlordism; the Northern Expedition; the Jiangsi (Kiangsi) Soviet; the Long March (1934‑5)
- Guomindang, GMD (Kuomintang, KMT): leadership, ideology and policies
- Chinese Communist Party (CCP): leadership, ideology and policies
- The First United Front (1924‑7); Second United Front (1936‑45)
- The Fifteen-Year War (1931‑45) between China and Japan
- Chinese Civil War and the Communist victory (1946‑9)