Feb 12, 1912 CE: Last Emperor of China Abdicates

Feb 12, 1912 CE: Last Emperor of China Abdicates

On February 12, 1912, the last emperor of China abdicated his throne, ending more than 2,000 years of imperial government.


5 - 8


Arts and Music, Social Studies, World History

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On February 12, 1912, Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, was forced to abdicate. Pu Yi was only six years old at the time. His father had made major political decisions during Pu Yi’s four-year reign, and his adoptive mother signed his abdication papers. Pu Yi’s abdication ended more than 2,000 years of imperial rule in China. The new Republic of China ushered in a new, republican style of government with elected leaders and citizen representation. The new government was not stable, however. It quickly fell to internal conflict and, later, Japanese invasion prior to World War II. Pu Yi was imprisoned after World War II for collaborating with the Japanese. After leaving prison, he worked as a gardener and lived as a regular citizen, Henry Puyi.

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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