Emperor Hung Hsien, China, 1916 Yuan Shikai - Flying Dragon Dollar

China Silver Dollar

Emperor Hung Hsien, China, 1916

Yuan Shikai - Flying Dragon

for the installation of Yuan as Emperor Hung Hsien


 

26.88 grams; Silver 900; size: 39.3 mm

Obverse: Bust of Yuan Shikai in military uniform facing wearing plumed hat;

Reverse: A dragon flying to left; above four Chinese characters; below, four Chinese characters

Edge: Reeded

Engraver: Luigi Giorgi

 

Dollar (Yuan), Yuan Shikai as the emperor Hung Hsien (Hongxian), Republic of China, nd (1916). Mint not recorded. Yuan Shih Kai proclaimed himself Emperor on 1 Jan 1916 with the era name Hung Hsien (Hongxian) meaning 'constitutional abundance'. The move did not obtain widespread support as had been expected. Provinces rebelled and on 22 March he abandoned the claim. He died on 5 June of kidney failure.

Hongxian Emperor

This commemorative honors Yuan Shih-kai, one of the leading generals of the new Republic of China, founded in a burst of idealism in 1912 by Sun Yat-sen. The idealism quickly dissipated as various warlords jockeyed for power. Yuan Shih-kai managed to get himself crowned emperor before he died in 1916. Numerous varieties exist of this type.

The Yuan Shikai "dollar" issued for the first time in 1914, became a dominant coin type of the Republic of China. Yuan Shikai (16 September 1859 – 6 June 1916) was a Chinese general, politician and "emperor", famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor, his autocratic rule as the first President of the Republic of China, and his short-lived attempt to restore monarchy in China, with himself as the Hongxian Emperor (simplified Chinese: 洪宪皇帝; traditional Chinese: 洪憲皇帝; pinyin: Hóngxiàn Huángdì; Wade–Giles: Hung2-hsien4 Huang2-ti4).

Yuan Shih Kai (1859AD-1916AD) was born in Hsiang-Cheng of Honan Province in the 9th year of the Hsien Fung reign. In 1882, he followed the commander of Anhui army, Wu Chang-Ch'ing went to Korea to help the Korean king train a new imperial army. In 1884, he was recalled back to China. By the help of Li Hung-chang , he became a 3rd-grade official in charge of training a modern army at Hsiao-Chan near Tientsin in 1895. Later, he was promoted to the position of assistant minister in charged of military training, as he pretended to support institutional reforms. In 1897, he promoted as the governor of Shantung province, and two years later he was promoted again to be the governor of Chihli province. In 1901 he promoted as the minister of Peiyang, gradually becoming the leader of the Peiyang warlords, as he won the trust of Empress Dowager Szu Hsi. Yuan took part in the suppression of Boxers insurgent in 1900. In 1907, Yuan was summoned to the court to became a grand minister of the Privy Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs. After Dowager Empress died, he was stripped of all his offices in 1909.

In 1911, when the revolutionary uprising broke out, Yuan appeared as the only man who could lead the country to peace and unity. Yuan accepted Dr. Sun's conditions that Dr. Sun would give up his presidency and Yuan would take over him. Yuan was the prime minister of the Qing government at that time. With the support of the imperialist power, Yuan forced Emperor Hsuen Tung to give up his throne on 12 February 1912, thus ending the 268 years of Manchu rule. After the unification of North and South China, Yuan Shih Kai took presidency in the first year of the Republic on 12 Feb. 1912. But Yuan attempted to be an absolute monarch of the Empire. He moved the seat of the new government from Nanking to Peking. Then, he filled all important post with his supporters. While Yuan was in complete control of the government, Yuan mobilized public opinion to make popular the idea that constitutional monarchy could save China. In 1915, Yuan accepted the Japanese imperialists' 21 Demands which were guiding China into a colony.

He preclaimed himself Emperor at Peking on 12 Dec. 1915, reign title as "Hung Hsien" which lasted only 83 days (12 Dec1915-22 Mar1916). Many provincial governor-generals did not accept Yuan as emperor. Facing strong opposition and in the absence of foreign support, Yuan was forced to abolish the monarchy in March 1916, and remained the president until he died on 6 June 1916. Later, those who had been under Yuan became warlords. These caused China then to become divided and the Warlord Era had begun.

 

 

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Emperor Hung Hsien, China, 1916 Yuan Shikai - Flying Dragon Dollar

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