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warlord

warlord, in modern Chinese history, autonomous regional military commander. In the political chaos following the death (1916) of republican China's first president and commander in chief, Yüan Shih-kai, central authority fell to the provincial military governors and regional military groups emerged based on personal loyalties. During the next decade there was a series of wars between shifting coalitions of military cliques in N China for the collection of provincial and national revenues and for control of the republican government at Beijing. Between 1926 and 1928 the Northern Expedition of the Kuomintang party and the army under Chiang Kai-shek in alliance with prorevolutionary militarists wrested control of N China from the regional armies of Chang Tso-lin, Wu P'ei-fu, and Sun Ch'uan-fang. However, the new Kuomintang government at Nanjing was able to establish central administrative and fiscal hegemony over only a few provinces in SE China. Most provinces continued to be controlled by local militarists until the unification of China following the Communist victory in 1949.

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warlords

warlords Rulers who hold local authority by force of arms. The term is applied, in particular, to regional military leaders in China in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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warlord

war·lord / ˈwôrˌlôrd/ • n. a military commander, esp. an aggressive regional commander with individual autonomy.

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warlord

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