Guided Visit: "The Beiyang Warlords: War and Politics 「北洋軍‧政‧歲月」展覽" (in Cantonese)
The Beiyang warlords were extremely influential military and political powers in modern Chinese history which started in 1895 with Yuan Shikai’s trained soldiers in Xiaozhan, Tianjin. He expanded his influence through military build-up while placing his trusted aides in the central and local governments. Over time, the Beiyang warlords headed by Yuan Shikai were powerful enough to influence the politics of the late Qing and early Republican periods. Following Yuan’s death in 1916, no one with the same strength and imposing reputation could take his place as leader. Power struggles among the Beiyang warlords led to the formation of the Anhui, Zhili and Fengtian cliques, with each taking turn to rule the north. The Beiyang warlords ceased to exist as a viable political force when the Northern Expedition of the National Revolutionary Army succeeded in 1928. The rise and fall of the Beiyang warlords shed light on the complex development of the political situation of modern China.
The exhibition is comprised of various invaluable relics such as plaque, orders and medals, swords, flags, documents and postcards, etc., from the Tianjin Museum, Hong Kong Museum of History, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, as well as Hong Kong collectors. Our guided tour will be led by a member of the HKU Museum Society whose collection forms part of this exhibition. He has been researching the orders and medals of Beiyang warlords for 30 years. His talk will be conducted in Cantonese with interesting stories related to the development of these orders and medals.