The answer to the question I asked in Part 1 has nothing to do with the government of the United States as it exists today, but it does have everything to do with the politics of Hawaii when Sun Yat-sen lived there for four years of his young life, the structure of the United States government, and who could vote at that time.
Sun Yat-sen attended a Christian British Bishop’s school in Hawaii for four years. His model on a Chinese republic may have been based on the beliefs of America’s Founding Fathers, who despised democracy as mob rule. Since Sun attended a British school, we may assume safely that he also learned about the British parliamentary system where the prime minister is not elected to office but is the leader of the majority party and there is no term limit. In fact, there was no term limit for the president of the U.S. until 1947, long after Sun’s death.
According to Sun Yat-Sen Hawaii Foundation, he arrived in Hawaii in 1879 at the age of thirteen. He then spent four of his teenage years being educated in Hawaii. China’s first revolutionary society, the Xing Zhong Hui (Revive China Society) was organized in Hawaii in 1894 more than a decade after Sun left.
Sun Yat-sen would later be involved in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and a failed attempt to establish a republic in China. He never achieved his goals during his lifetime.
Whatever Sun Yat-sen’s vision of a republic might look like had to be formed during the four years he lived in Hawaii as a teenager. The Sun Yat-sen Timeline shows that he returned to China in 1883.
To learn what Sun Yat-sen may have believed means learning about the political structure of Hawaii and the United States between 1879 and 1883.
Continued on April 14, 2016 in Part 3 or start with Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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