The accession to power of the Kuomintang in 1927–1928 marked the end of the era in which revolutionary strains had been dominant in the party's program and the beginning of one of the most interesting and instructive of the many efforts in history to make a revolution the heir of ancient tradition. The Kuomintang effort was noteworthy for four reasons: (1) the rapidity with which its course was reversed; (2) the magnitude of the gulf between the Confucian political and social system which the Kuomintang sought to restore and the national and social revolution which the party had lately led to victory; (3) the full and uninhibited adherence of Chiang Kai-shek and other leaders not only to the values of the traditional society but to the specific institutions in which these had been embodied; and (4) a well-documented, persistent and selfconscious effort on the part of these leaders to win the competition with the Communists by detailed application in the mid-twentieth century of precisely the means which the Imperial Chinese Government had applied against the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-nineteenth.

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