Kingdom of Canton
|Status||Absolute monarchy (1857–1920) |
Constitutional parliamentary monarchy (1920–1931)
and largest city
|Official languages||Standard Chinese |
|Common languages||Mandarin |
|Legislature||Tianchow Parliament (1920–1931)|
|Today part of||China|
The Kingdom of Canton, officially the Great Ye (Chinese: 大越, dà yė, /ta˧˩.ye˥/) or the Ye dynasty, was the last imperial dynasty of China, ruling the southern half of the modern country from 1857 to 1931. The three monarchs of the state claim descent from the House of Zu.
Initially, the Taizu Emperor named the country 大明 (dà míng), restoring the name of the dynasty that fell in the 17th century. However, in 1868, the official name was changed to 大越 (dà yė), a name briefly used by the similarly Canton-based Southern Han dynasty of the 10th century. Yė can refer to the 4th century BC State of Ye, the ancient Ye peoples of southern China and Viet Nam, or the modern Cantonese ethnic group of southern China. English exonyms for the country include the Chinese Empire, Ye dynasty, Great Ye, Tianchow (天朝, tiēnzāw, 'heavenly dynasty'), and most famously, the Kingdom of Canton.
The country was formed in April 1857 after the conclusion of the Canton War, breaking off from the Qing dynasty with the support of Britain and France. A number of Chinese secret societies, Ming revivalist groups, Chinese diasporic communities, as well as anti-Qing Muslim and Christian Chinese had instrumental roles in the formation of the Kingdom of Canton. A descendant of Ming dynasty prince Zu Sugwey (朱術桂, źū sù gweì), statesman Zu Zaigi, became the Taizu Emperor.
In 1920, constitutionalist and republican pressure led to the Tiansow Emperor declaring the creation of the Tianchow Parliament. The National Reformation Party (華改會, hwagaihwei), established in 1912 as a coalition between Chinese republicans and other political factions, dominated the Parliament for the next decade. On 7 May 1931, the Party launched the Sinwei Coup. By the tenth of June, the monarchy was abolished with a Chinese national republic declared in Namging.