The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 5/5

Now that we know more about the United States and Hawaii, where Sun Yat-sen lived as a teenager, his concept of a republic would have been very different from what the American democracy looks like today.

In addition, members of the U.S. Senate were not elected to office by the popular vote until 1913 when the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was amended to provide for direct popular election of senators, ending the system of election by individual state legislatures.

If Sun Yat-sen were aware of the details of America’s political history and its limitation by the time he left Hawaii at the age of 17 in 1883, the republic and/or democracy he envisioned for China probably would have excluded many from voting—including all women.

In addition, by 1903, when Sun Yat-sen returned to Hawaii looking for support for his dream of a future republic and/or democracy in China, Hawaii was no longer a republic but was a territory of the United States—not a state—and its people were not considered American citizens.

The republic and/or democracy Sun Yat-sen might have imagined for China may possibly have included at last one House as a National Congress with its members appointed by the elected legislatures of each province, and women would have been excluded from voting and possibly considered the property of men as women were in the United States at that time.

In fact, it is possible that Sun Yat-sen would not have considered organizing a republic and/or democracy where the citizens elected China’s leader with a popular vote of the people since Hawaii’s Constitution of 1864 charged the legislature, not the people, with the task of electing the next king, who was King Kalākaua—the one forced to sign the 1887 Constitution four years after the young Sun Yat-sen returned to China.

Now that we know the differences between then and now, it is easier to accept that the Chinese Communist Party’s 1982 Constitution created a government in China closer—and maybe even better—than what Sun Yat-sen might have imagined for China.

How could Sun Yat-sen have envisioned a republic and/or democracy similar to what the United States has today in the 21st century?

In fact, under a Sun Yat-sen republic, children in China might still be considered the property of parents as they were in the United States until the 1938 Federal regulation of child labor in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Before 1938, parents in the US had the right to sell their children into servitude and/or slavery depending on which state one lived in.

In addition, writing of the merits of a republican or representative form of government, James Madison observed that one of the most important differences between a democracy and a republic is “the delegation of the government [in a republic] to a small number of citizens elected by the rest.

When James Madison wrote this, the number of US citizens allowed to vote in federal elections was limited to white property owners (excluding Jews), which represented about 10% of the population of the US in 1776, which was similar to the voting rights in Hawaii during most of Sun Yat-sen’s life.

Return to The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 4 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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5 Responses to The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 5/5

  1. […] example of Sid ignoring his own advice may be found in a comment he left for The Ignorance Factor of Bias. In addition, In fact, in Part 5 of this series, there was a short video that touched on the topic […]

  2. Troy Parfitt says:

    Note from Blog host: This comment of Mr. Parfitt’s was originally deleted because of its hybrid use of logical fallacies. It has been restored (with lines through his questions) to demonstrate the use of the fallacy knows as “Many Loaded Questions” that also were intended to draw attention away from the subject of the argument that I presented in a previous comment in this thread.

    This ruse is called the “Fallacy of Many Questions”. In addition, it introduces what is known as “Historians fallacy”, which occurs when one assumes that decision makers of the past viewed events from the same perspective and having the same information as those subsequently analyzing the decision.

    In addition, this is also an example of “Presentism”, which is a mode of historical analysis in which present-day ideas, such as moral standards, are projected into the past.

    The last question infers a potential ad hominem response and Mr. Parfitt offers no examples of my [so-called] many lies.

    Okay, Lloyd,

    So why is Sun called the father of Chinese democracy?

    Why did the government on Taiwan finally succumb to the demands of the Chinese people for democracy – by allowing democracy?

    Why was one of Sun’s three principle’s democracy?

    And why do you lie so much?

  3. Alessandro says:

    Troy, I know you have to defend your ill gotten and self invented fame as “china expert”, cause the sales of your book (and your personal fortunes) depend on that… but Sun’s 民权, one of his “3 principles” still DOES NOT mean democracy, and keep on repeating that (based on not accurate and somewhat superficially twisted transpositions in English language) will not make it become any more real…

  4. Troy Parfitt says:

    Lloyd said,

    “Now that we know the differences between then and now, it is easier to accept that the Chinese Communist Party’s 1982 Constitution created a government in China closer—and maybe even better—than what Sun Yat-sen might have imagined for China.”

    Only sun didn’t envision single party rule in the form of a communist state.

    Sun’s vision has been realized in Taiwan, Republic of China. It took a while, but it happened.

    Sun wanted democracy. In 2007, China’s Communist Party said China would not be ready for democracy for another 100 years.

    • Mr. Parfitt,

      It seems you don’t pay attention. Sun Yat-sen wanted a republic for China – not a democracy. Do you know the difference between a democracy and a republic?

      “By living in Honolulu, Sun Yat-sen could not escape the American influence. Linebarger’s biography, reflecting discussions that he had with Sun Yat-sen, reveals that Sun Yat-sen was very impressed with the Law which governed Hawaii, and that he was not surprised to see that Americans were running Hawaii, because the Hawaiians benefited.

      “It should also be noted that on July of that year the Constitution of the new Hawaiian Republic had been implemented. The Hawaiian Chinese had witnessed the birth of a republic modeled on that of the United States of America.”

      Source: Sun Yat-sen and the American Roots of China’s Republican Movement Source: article.pdf

      And what did that Hawaiian Republic look like?

      “The American Union Party won every seat in the 1894 and 1897 elections. There was also a property requirement, kept from the 1887 constitution, which ran counter to the prevailing trends of that period. The 1897 election had the lowest turnout in Hawaii’s history with less than one percent of the population going to the polls.”


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