Second Guangzhou Uprising

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Second Guangzhou Uprising
Huanghuagang Mausoleum of 72 Martyrs.jpg
Huanghuagang Mausoleum of the 72 Martyrs
Traditional Chinese 1. 黃花崗起義
2. 黃花岡之役
Simplified Chinese 1. 黄花岗起义
2. 黃花岡之役
Literal meaning yellow flower mound uprising
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 辛亥廣州起義
Simplified Chinese 辛亥广州起义
Literal meaning Xinhai Guangzhou Uprising

The Yellow Flower Mound revolt also known as the Second Guangzhou uprising is an uprising led by Huang Xing and his fellow revolutionaries against the Qing Dynasty in Guangzhou.

The uprising

At this time Malaya, which included what is now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, had the largest Overseas Chinese population outside of China itself. Many of them were rich and carried out activities for the revolutionaries. On November 13, 1910, Sun Yat-sen, along with several leading figures of the Tongmenhui, gathered at the Penang conference to draw up plans for a decisive battle.[1]

Originally planned to occur on April 13, 1911, the preparations on April 8 did not go as planned, delaying the date to April 27 instead.[2]

Huang Xing and nearly a hundred fellow revolutionaries forced their way into the residence of the viceroy of Guangdong and Guangxi provinces. The uprising was successful in the beginning, but reinforcements of the opposing Qing soldiers then heavily outnumbered them. The uprising turned into a catastrophic defeat. Most revolutionaries were killed, only few managed to escape. Huang Xing was wounded during the battle; he lost one of his fingers when it was hit by a bullet. Only 86 bodies were found (only 72 could be identified), and the bodies of others could never be found.[2][3] The dead were mostly youths with all kinds of social backgrounds, former students, teachers, journalists, and oversea Chinese. Some of them were of high rank in the Alliance. Before the battle, most of the revolutionaries knew that the battle would probably be lost, since they were heavily outnumbered, but they went into battle anyway. The mission was carried out like that of a suicide squad.[2] Their letters to their loved ones were later found.


The dead were buried together in one grave on the Yellow Flower Mound, a mound near where they fought and died which has lent its name to the uprising.[2] After the Chinese revolution, a cemetery was built on the mound with the names of those 72 revolutionary nationalists. They were commemorated as the "72 martyrs."[2] Some historians believe that the uprising was a direct cause of the Wuchang uprising, which eventually led to the Xinhai Revolution and the founding of the Republic of China. Among the martyrs who sacrificed is Revolutionary Lin Jue-min.[4]


The uprising is remembered annually in Taiwan on March 29, as Youth Day.[5]

For an interesting short history of the memorial and its socio-political meanings of its symbolism, see Virgil K.Y. Ho, "Martyrs or Ghosts? A Tomb in Revolutionary Canton, 1911-1970" in East Asian History (Number 27, June 2004), pp.99-138.

In popular culture

The 1980 film Magnificent 72 and the 2011 film 72 Heroes focus on the uprising. Events of the uprising open the 2011 film 1911.

See also


  1. Khoo, Salma Nasution. [2008] (2008). Sun Yat Sen in Penang. Areca publishing. ISBN 983-42834-8-2, ISBN 978-983-42834-8-3. Pg 50, p62.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 王恆偉. (2005) (2006) 中國歷史講堂 #5 清. 中華書局. ISBN 962-8885-28-6. p 195-198.
  3. "中國窗-香港商報電子報". Retrieved 2011-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Langmead, Donald. [2011] (2011). Maya Lin: A Biography. ABC-CLIO publishing. ISBN 0-313-37853-3, ISBN 978-0-313-37853-9. pg 5-6.
  5. "Youth Day". Government Information Office, ROC. Retrieved 11 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>