Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire
The Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire (Xiaodongese: 大天晓东帝国; Dà Tiān Xiǎodōng Dìguó, literally "Great Celestial Xiaodongese Empire") was a historical Xiaodongese nation state that existed from Xiaodong's unification in the Baiqiao Revolution in 1856 to the March 8th Coup in 1933 when it was replaced by the State of Xiaodong.
The Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire came into existence after the general decline of the Toki Sougunate, a situation exacerbated by a devastating famine in 1855. A resurgence of fervent ultranationalism led to the Southern Army under the command of warlord Yao Qinghong to launch the Baiqiao Revolution in February 1856 when the Southern Army captured the city of Baiqiao and promulgated the Edict of Sovereignty which saw the declaration of the creation of the Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire with the Xiyong Emperor being conferred as its Emperor. The Toki Sougunate were absorbed into Xiaodong in 1858 when Sougunate forces were forced to sign the Edict of Surrender, ending the Baiqiao Revolution. Under the rule of the Xiyong Emperor Xiaodong sought to economically, politically and culturally entrench its status as a sovereign state. Xiaodong also moved from a feudal into a semi-industrial state with tepid industrialisation pursued by industrial conglomerates known as Caihong's, whilst the social stratification prevalent under previous Xiaodongese kings known as the Hokka system was reinstated. The aristocracy were undermined by the Zhengfeng, or Great Cultural Rectification Movement that aimed to modernise Xiaodong. During the national renaissance Xiaodongese culture reached its apex and by the turn of the century Xiaodong had established itself as a sovereign state intent on modernisation, whilst developing authoritarian, xenophobic and social Darwinist traits.
During the 1860's-1880's Xiaodong established a empire consisting of annexed territories, satellite states and colonies. The first state conquered was the Duljunese Kingdom (annexed in 1862) Xinzuguo (annexed from Narmada in 1867) Lhogrong (known as Beijiang in Xiaodongese, annexed from Tinza in 1873) Thianchin (annexed from Min in 1880) and Sakata (known as Bantian in Xiaodongese, annexed during the Straits Crisis from Senria in 1909). As well as this by 1879 Xiaodong had transformed Narmada into a satellite state (known as the Xiaodongese Raj) and in 1902 had created the Independent State of Min in northern Min. The creation of the empire was fuelled in part by the belief of the need to create a "Greater Xiaodongese Empire".
In 1888 a shortage of grain sparked rice riots, that were also fuelled by years of lack of democratic reform. Constitutionalists argued for Xiaodong to develop it had to have a constitution, a national elected legislature and universal suffrage for men. This started the Constitutional Revolution which saw the creation of the Xiyong Constitution and a Imperial Deliberative Assembly although only literate men could vote. However, the new government was an aristocratic-military dictatorship with support from the monarchy and a reactionary aristocracy. During the 1910's the Xiaodongese government became more dictatorial as the military, the secret police (known as the Censorate), feudal nobles and the state bureaucracy began to undermine the civilian law makers as the state devolved into more open ultranationalism and scientific racism mostly against the Duljunese people, especially as the Qingzhuo Emperor and Zhao Hongjun.
The Qingzhuo Emperor was assassinated in 1922 by socialist and was replaced by his only child, his son the Shanrong Emperor who suppressed opposition movements within the empire. During the 1920's in the so-called "Yao Restoration" the Xiaodongese state dramatically militarised, with tensions with neighbouring Senria heightening after Senria unilaterally annexed the Xiaodongese concession of Sakata. In the Xiaodongese state under the influence of ultranationalist Ren Xillian 1927 launched an invasion of neighbouring Senria starting the Senrian-Xiaodongese War. The Senrian-Xiaodongese War also led the regime to begin the Xiaodongese Genocide in which thousands of Duljunese people within Xiaodong alongside other minorities and Senrians in occupied territory were deported and killed by the Xiaodongese regime for the aim of racial purity and the superiority of the Xiaodongese people, conducted mainly by specialised death squads known as the Peace Preservation Brigades.
The military strength of Senria compared to Xiaodong, preoccupation with genocidal policies and the clashes between rival institutions within the Xiaodongese government led to Senria to drive Xiaodong out of its territory by 1932, destroy the Xiaodongese navy and begin bombing the capital Tiandufeng by 1933. With the Shanrong Emperor refusing to surrender his brother Xishan supported by the navy and the Imperial Censorate led the March 8 Coup which disposed of the Shanrong Emperor and created the State of Xiaodong, a provisional government led by Xishan (now the Taiyi Emperor) and a small clique of military officers and naval admirals. The State of Xiaodong would be unable to retain the imperial holdings and devolved itself into civil war, which led to the Corrective Revolution.
- 1 History
- 2 Politics
- 3 Foreign relations
- 4 Military
- 5 Persecution
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
- 9 Legacy
Politicsmonarchy, with the monarch being known as the Emperor (皇帝; Huángdì), named after the rulers of Xiaodongese states in the 1400's. The first Emperor, the Xiyong Emperor, was appointed to the position in 1856 at the offset of the Baiqiao Revolution and led Xiaodong as an absolute monarchy with the Emperor being recognised as the divine leader of the nation. The Emperor's primary advisers were the Council of Princes and High Officials (议政王大臣会议; Yìzhèng wáng dàchén huìyì) whose appointees were delegated to run executive affairs such as maintaining the Treasury, the judicial system, the army and religious matters. The Xiaodongese government was made up of bureaucrat-scholars known as Mandarins appointed via the examination system who existed on a national and prefectual level. Unlike previous Xiaodongese governments local and regional governments were not very powerful, with the Council of Princes and High Officials centralising power and using the examination system to ensure the most skilled bureaucrats were placed in the central government rather than regional and local ones.
The 1888 Constitutional Revolution saw the government changed from an absolute to a semi-constitutional monarchy. The Constitution drafted by conservatives envisioned a powerful monarch within a parliamentary system and worked to accommodate that aim. A tetracameralist legislature, the Imperial Deliberative Assembly (御用商讨议会; Yùyòng shāngtǎo yìhuì) existed consisting of four houses - the House of Lords which was hereditary and consisted of nobles, the House of Arms which was appointed by the military, the House of Industry which was elected by businesses and the House of Regions which was appointed by local governments. The Council of Princes and High Officials was replaced with the General Affairs State Council (国務院; Guówù yuàn), a cabinet headed by a Prime Minister (总理; Zǒnglǐ) who was appointed by the Emperor. Nevertheless, the Emperor retained enormous power and the system was not democratic, being designed to preserve the power of the aristocracy. The military and the aristocracy were given seats representative bodies and the cabinet was only allowed to be made up of those holding an aristocratic rank. After 1908 the regime was a constitutional military dictatorship being coined by Prime Minister Zhao Hongju as a "national-military state" (国立军事政府; Guólì jūnshì zhèngfǔ) as the military were recognised as the central organ of government.
The Emperor was the Xiaodongese head of state and government, recognised as the Son of Heaven. The Emperor alone had control of the armed forces, the right to declare war, ratify treaties, extend and receive diplomatic recognition, appoint and dismiss members of the royal court and later the Cabinet, sign laws into effect, appoint members of the Chamber of Advisers and change the constitution after 1911. The wide ranging powers of the Emperor - especially the sole right to appoint and dismiss cabinets - meant that they were central to the maintenance of the Xiaodongese state, with all lawmakers ultimately being accountable first and foremost to the Emperor.
The Emperor functioned mostly as an autocrat. The first Emperor, Xiyong Emperor, governed dictatorially - whilst he delegated duties to his deputies he kept tight control over the affairs of state and guided developments, being known as a strong ruler and an absolute monarch. Following the Constitutional Revolution the Xiyong Emperor became a more constitutional monarch, but often dismissed Prime Ministers if they did not acquiesce to his wishes - five men two of which served two terms were Prime Minister under the Xiyong Emperor. The Xiyong Emperor advocated his own policies, regardless of whether they elicited support within the General Deliberative Assembly, which was also continually disbanded and put up for re-election. The Qingzhuo Emperor relied heavily on Prime Minister Zhao Hongjun to push through policy, once stating he had "absolute loyalty in Zhao to serve the Emperor as he is requiered to do". This attitude intensified under the Shanrong Emperor whose frustration with civilian politicians and their perceived inability to provide stability led the Shanrong Emperor to appoint a military dominated cabinets and attempted to relegate the General Affairs State Council and Imperial Deliberative Assembly to merely advisory roles (although this was de facto the case to an extent previously).
Under the 1911 constitution the Emperor was mandated to appoint a Prime Minister (总理; Zǒnglǐ) who would appoint an executive government officially known as the General Affairs State Council (国家务院; Guójiā Yùyuàn) whose members were picked from the General Deliberative Assembly. The Prime Minister himself also had to be picked from the General Deliberative Assembly. The Prime Minister and General Affairs State Council only had to govern with the confidence of the Emperor, not the General Deliberative Assembly which could pass motions of no confidence against the executive that constitutionally would have no effect. Political convention indicated that the Prime Minister at least with court a majority in the General Deliberative Assembly and that after a motion of no confidence the Prime Minister resign from government, although this convention was not always adhered to.
The General Affairs State Council as the executive government consisted of several government departments known as secretariats led by ministers drawn from the General Deliberative Assembly. The General Affairs State Council officially acted as the intermediary between the Emperor and the General Deliberative Assembly, and its autonomy depended largely on the attitude of the Emperor. Under the Qingzhuo Emperor the General Affairs State Council was largely left to its own devices, and so the Prime Ministers in the period created a military dictatorship with the consent of the Emperor and the aristocracy.
In reality the General Affairs State Council always served as one of many institutions in which power within the government in which officials close to the Emperor built their powerbase. This coincided with a general trend during the constitutional period in which official government institutions were reduced to rubbing stamping bodies as a small oligarchy controlled political decisions.
MilitaryHeavenly Armed Forces, split between the army, navy and colonial forces. The Heavenly Army was mainly created from a merger of the Southern Army and several other warlord forces who pledged loyalty to the Xiyong Emperor during the Baiqiao Revolution, although commanders of the army always came from those associated with the Southern Army. All members of the military were ordered to swear an oath to serve the Emperor until death, and that to disobey the Emperor was tantamount to the betrayal of the nation. Breaking the oath resulted in death, making the military one of the most loyal and important institutions of the state. There also existed a Heavenly Guard, created to protect the Heavenly Sovereign and in 1925 an airforce.
During the 1890's-10's the military became divided between the veterans of the Baiqiao Revolution who saw the army as a apolitical institution concerned only with the defence of the nation and younger officers who saw the military as an active participant in the militarisation of Xiaodong. These younger officers, concentrated in the land divisions and led by Zhao Hongjun and Qiu Hanjie, generally became dominant within military bodies, supporting the militaristic policies of the Shanrong Emperor.
The Heavenly Army itself was divided into 16 field armies of 126,000 people each. Most military technology was imported from Nordania prior to the 1900's when a native arms building was developed. The navy was extensively developed being the third largest in Borea in 1927, with only Tuthina's and Evoresia's being larger. The colonial army was split between the Expeditionary Forces (which consisted of ethnic Xiaodongese divisions) and native forces, armies which were staffed by colonial subjects. At its height in 1927 the Heavenly Armed Forces largest contingent was the Narmadi Corps which was staffed mainly by ethnic Narmadi's.
From the merger of warlord armies in 1860 to 1914 paramilitary organisations were banned within core Xiaodong as the government believed they threatened the unity of the Xiaodongese armed forces. However in 1914 the creation of the Peace Preservation Brigades saw the first paramilitary forces be created in Xiaodong. Several others were created during the 1910's, mainly connected to mass organisations such as the Front for the Defence of Xiaodong.
The Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire was formed during a period of increasing ethnic nationalism and anti-Senrian sentiment within Xiaodong, and as such from the beginning was racist in its character openly espousing Xiaodongese ethnic supremacy. During the Constitutional Period this manifested in the ethnic minorities in "core Xiaodong" (such as Tinzan, Min and Narmadi people) being quickly ghettoised and shunned from ordinary society. Concentration camps and workhouses always existed in the Heavenly Xiaodongese State with the intention to rehabilitate criminals, prostitutes, the homeless and the mentally disabled who were also often tortured in prison. During the rule of Zhao Hongjun the racial laws were expanded, with ethnic minorities being interned into workhouses and concentration camps. Political opponents of the regime were also targeted as being "traitors to the Xiaodongese people" and were subsequently sent to concentration camps and workhouses.
During the Senrian-Xiaodongese war the Xiaodongese government pursued a policy of "purification" (純化) against minorities, with the aim of cleansing core Xiaodong of all non-ethnic Xiaodongese. Ethnic minorities in ghettos, concentration camps and workhouses were killed through mass shootings, malnutrition, live burial, suffocation in ash and bayonetting. After Xiaodong occupied parts of Senria, it deported ethnic Senrians and forced them onto death marches, in accordance with Ren Xilian's policy of overseeing "the orderly and complete dismantlement of Senria and the elimination of is people's", with all policies amounting to a genocidal ethnic cleansing of non-Xiaodongese people's. By the Xiaodongese Civil War the state had ended the genocidal policies due to the collapse of law and order within the country.
Ideological reasoningNevanmaa despite their disdain for foreign influences.
Historian Hu Peng states that the Xiaodongese nationalist scholars at the time possessed a "romanticised view on Xiaodongese history, informed by western nationalist thought which they interwove into their philosophy, itself promoting simultaneously modernity and traditionalism". The success of the Baiqiao Revolution emboldened the cause of Xiaodongese nationalism. Xiaodongese nationalists such as Zhang Qiemei compared Xiaodong is a positive light compared to its neighbours, saying Xiaodong's embrace of modernity tempered with Oriental culture was proof of the "absolute superiority of the Xiaodongese nation".. As the new government consisted of many ethnic nationalists, racial laws were quickly imposed via the Hokka system to support the ideological notion of Xiaodongese nationalist texts such as the Code of Benevolence which amongst other texts was used as a blueprint in the construction of the newly independent Xiaodong. Most foreign influences were seen as barbaric, and were quickly segregated in the name of "public safety".
During the 1900's the rapid population growth of Xiaodong, the expansion of the economy and the strains on agriculture led Xiaodongese nationalists to advocate for Xiaodong to expand its borders partly for economic reasons, but also to spread Xiaodongese culture and its people as part of the Greater Xiaodong Order (大晓东地区命令; Dà Xiǎodōng Dìqū Mìnglìng), a concept that advocated for the continual expansion of Xiaodong. Senria had long been held by Xiaodongese nationalists as a target for Xiaodong to expand its own influence into, having secured the concession of Sakata in 1908. Xiaodongese nationalists saw Senria's civil conflict between 1918-26 as an example of "barbarian culture" whilst absorbing large numbers of refugees, who were ghettoised the new arrivals. The colonisation of Narmada in the late 1800's was seen as proof of Xiaodongese superiority, as the Narmadan population was used as a pool for slave labour to help industrialise Xiaodong.
In 1902, criminologist Ye Zhisui proposed that crimes such as prostitution, vagrancy, violence and sodomy were inherited, stating there existed a class of "natural criminals" that could be identified through facial features and which he claimed were disproportionately affected the Narmadi, Min, Duljunese and Senrian races, whilst nationalist writer Lin Yongsheng claimed that there existed a natural order that mandated that stronger, superior races were obliged to wipe out weaker races. Identifying Xiaodongese people as a "strong race" and the Narmadi, Duljunese and Senrians as "weak races", Lin claimed "if Xiaodong does not take the inevitable but necessary burden of wiping out the Senrian race before to long then our values will be destroyed by barbarity". This pseudo-science found supporters within the media, the military and the bureaucracy who incorporated it into the education system, the mass media and military training thus creating an atmosphere of hypernationalism and racism, with other races especially the Min, Duljunese and the Senrians being reduced to animals and incessantly dehumanised, with their ghettoised conditions being seen as "natural" for their race.
Economic troubles and political instability in the 1920's led to a the small clique of ultranationalists led by the Emperor to take control by the imposition of autocracy who subsequently advocated for the wholesale ethnic cleansing of weak races in Xiaodong and later Senria. This clique with by 1924 controlled all institutions of state used pseudo-science and decades of Xiaodongese ethnic nationalism to present the slaughter of weak races as an unavoidable burden Xiaodong had to take if it was to continue the Xiaodongese nationalist cause, and that not to do so would result in Xiaodong to be swamped in foreign culture which they claimed had previously led to Xiaodong to be colonised by the Toki. The Senrian action to unilaterally annex the concession of Sakata resulted in anti-Senrian sentiment to intensify within Xiaodong. Ingrained hatred of the Senrians due to their colonisation of Xiaodong alongside anti-Duljunese and anti-Min sentiment and the crushing of political dissent therefore led to a culture of xenophobia that allowed the Xiaodongese ethnic supremacists to introduce their policies with the ideological justification that they were merely serving the nation.
Following the March 8th coup, the Taiyi Emperor claimed in a speech On the subject of the harmony of people's the internment and resettlement of Duljunese citizens in Xiaodong had been done to protect them from racial attacks in urban centres from ethnic Xiaodongese. In the same speech, the Taiyi Emperor also rejected reports of ethnic cleansing stating no genocide had been committed in Senria.
Persecution under the Xiyong Emperor
In March 1922 , the Shanrong Emperor published an imperial edict which called for the "revitalisation of the nation" and for the racially based divisions to be "healed" through the cleansing of the nation. Resettlement of ethnic minorities became a systematic and official policy, being performed across most large cities in the south, with over 100,000 Duljunese being deported on death marches to the north by 1928. Duljunese also had their property forcibly confiscated and distributed to ethnic Xiaodongese.
In June 1923 the financial ministry published an internal report within the Xiaodongese government criticising the cost of resettlement, stating that the high mortality rate of Duljunese miners meant that bauxite mining was seriously behind schedule. As a result, the Ministry of Racial Harmony implemented a new scheme to deport Duljunese to internment camps. These interment camps, staffed and operated by Peace Preservation Brigades, were intended to ensure inmates life expectancy lasted only a few days, denying inmates food, water and other basic necessities. The same month, the Shanrong Emperor ordered for assimilation orphanages to be closed down and for Duljunese children to also be incarcerated in these new interment or concentration camps, believing the assimilation policy had failed.
Around June-August 1925, the Ministry of Racial Harmony saw its budget trebled as the Peace Preservation Brigades were expanded. Speeches made by the Shanrong Emperor, Prime Minister Ren Xilian, Qiu Hanjie and other high ranking Xiaodongese officials began to talk of the removal of the Duljunese people from Xiaodong, whilst the Ministry of Racial Harmony published internal policy papers that explored the possibility of completely eliminating the Duljunese people from Xiaodong and deporting the rest to the Narmadan colony to be utilised as slave labour. Xiaodongese officials also began to criticise the ethnic dominance of Duljunese in the prefecture of Duljun, proposing population exchanges with Duljunese and Xiaodongese citizens. In October 1925 the government began internal population exchange programs in Duljun, deporting Duljunese people from the prefecture and replacing them with ethnic Xiaodongese. The deported Duljunese had their property confiscated and given to the resettled Xiaodongese, with the Duljunese often resettled to interment camps or resettlement mines. By 1928, over 30% of the Duljunese population had been forcibly resettled by Xiaodongese authorities. It was also during this period that the Xiaodongese government began to plan the invasion of Senria, where ethnic policy in the planned occupied Senrian territories was formulated by bureaucrats within the Ministry of Racial Harmony who used the population transfer policies implemented in Duljun as a blueprint for Senria.death squads. Extermination zones became known for being the sites of mass killings in the forms of live burials and mass shootings.
The most infamous of the extermination zones was the Shinjōku Extermination Zone, officially designated MD-24/Shinjōku, centred around the village of Shinjōku. Headed by Peace Preservation Brigade commander Zhao Baozhong, later executed for war crimes, MD-24/Shinjōku saw the Peace Preservation Brigade deport the entire population of the village and use it as a research base in human experimentation. Initially experiments were only done on prisoners of war, and included vivisections, lobotomies, experiments with various pharmaceutical products including eye drops and plastic surgery and testing biological and chemical weapons on humans, with most experiments taking place without anaesthetic. Later in 1941 Qiu authorised civilians including children to be sent to MD-24/Shinjōku for experimentation. According to Peace Preservation Brigade reports, over two-thirds of test subject perished as a result of the experiments at MD-24/Shinjōku with those who survived often remaining disabled or psychologically scarred for life.
Whilst MD-24/Shinjōku was the most infamous of the extermination zones, under Xiaodongese occupation over a million of non-combatant Senrians died, whilst most Wa people in Xiaodong had been forcibly resettled or killed by Xiaodongese authorities. In total, around 4 million Senrians and 3 million Duljunese died as a result of Xiaodong's genocidal policies between 1924-33.
The liberation of Senria resulted in the end of the genocide in Senria as occupying Xiaodongese forces retreated to Xiaodong. In 1933, following the March 8th Coup, the main instigators of the genocide where either dead or had fled Xiaodong, with the new government dissolving the Peace Preservation Brigades and the Ministry of Racial Harmony, merging the Peace Preservation Brigades into the regular military. The resettlement camps were cleared out with remaining Duljunese communities either being deported to neighbouring Narmada or left to form their own communities in Xiaodong.
Prior to the creation of the Heavenly Empire, Xiaodong under Toki rule was economically undeveloped being feudalist agrarian in nature. This move was deliberate - the Toki used Xiaodong as a base for agricultural production of rice, soy and cotton rather then for industry despite tepid moves in that direction. The Baiqiao Revolution however saw the removal of many feudal landlords, resulting in their land to come under direct ownership of the central government rather than be redistributed to noble families. These areas as such saw a dismantling of the feudal system and the creation of industrial capitalist enterprise such as textile mills and coal mines, with foreign technologies being imported from abroad. These policies were advocated by Rao Qiaonian, one of the early advocates of industrial capitalism in Xiaodong and a close adviser of the Xiyong Emperor.
A meeting at the Chiangqi Palace in 1860 saw the Xiyong Emperor announce that the government would embark on fiscal and economical reform, most prominently the creation of the Reserve Bank of Xiaodong which combined separate banking and fiscal institutions owned by the Treasury into a single central bank. The government also began a programme of import substitution industrialisation that collectively sought to dismantle feudalism and create a capitalist economy. Noble lands were reformed along prefectural lines ending the feudal system and creating capitalist modes of production and use of labour, with the government utilising indicative planning. The government via the Ministry of Finance directed investment into new industrial conglomerates known literally as "fiscal professions" (财行; Cáiháng, sometimes called Ts'aihong) commonly known as Caihongs which were dominated by business owners and nobles who supported the Southern Army during the Baiqiao revolution which subsequently began to produce industrial goods.
The dismantlement of the feudal system and rapid industrialisation in the 1860's soon saw the government relax its interventionist attitude, championing a more laissez faire approach to economic management. Agriculture however remained largely unreformed on the few feudal remnants left over, with the influence of nobles over decision making leading to economic liberalism in most affairs with the exception of tariffs, which remained high due to protectionist attitudes.
Xiaodongese industrialisation rapidly developed following the colonisation of Narmada which was used as a resource base for core Xiaodong. Large amounts of industrial workers' were imported from Narmada into Xiaodong to work in Xiaodongese factories whilst Narmadi agriculture was used to feed industrial workers'. Economist and historian Viswanatha Krishnamacharyulu stated that without using the resources Xiaodong gained through the colonisation of Narmada and Duljun the country would not have been able to industrialise nor develop a modern capitalist economy due to the retention of feudal structures in non-colonised territory.
The relation between the government and the Caihongs were especially close during this period, with Caihongs being the de facto handlers of the economy. According to Senrian historian Yokohama Tarokagyu the government's finances were largely handled by Caihong managers over government bureaucrats and elected ministers. As such the Caihong system evolved over time from supporting laissez faire to directly colluding with government creating a system of state monopoly capitalism. Under Zhao Hongjun in 1912 the Economic Co-ordination Ministry was created, which placed more government regulations on Caihongs and the economy re-organised on corporatist lines . Economic planning was re-implemented as the economy was remodelled to fit a more statist attitude, leading to the military to take direct ownership via nationalisation to promote a program of military Keynesianism.
During the Senrian-Xiaodongese War the government implemented a full-blown command economy. Although private firms existed they had little autonomy as the Economic Co-ordination Ministry directly controlled the economic affairs of the nation.
Opera and theatre
The Heavenly Xiaodongese Empire and its legacy continues to define the contemporary Xiaodongese politics and culture. According to Xiaodongese historian Rong Xuchen the Heavenly Empire was "a state of contradictions; admiring traditionalism, yet ensuring economic and social modernisation; appealing to a native set of values and philosophy, yet also embracing western style racialism and concepts of the sovereign state; both liberating the Xiaodongese people from Min colonialism, yet overseeing a brutal imperialist policy that ultimately led to the murder of over one and a half million people". The Baiqiao Revolution which birthed the Heavenly State is still celebrated as the most important event in Xiaodong's history, paving the way for Xiaodong's independence. However, the fact that the same popular nationalism that spurred the Baiqiao Revolution ultimately led Xiaodong down the path to authoritarianism, war and eventually genocide continues to be a source of controversy in Xiaodongese society.