Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region (内蒙古自治區) is located in the north of China. Have you ever heard about the story of "another Manchu-kuo" during the wartime in the area? The history of Inner Mongolia — what destiny the "another Manchu-kuo" was doomed and why Mongolia is still divided into two — has never been mentioned in school textbooks.
When you hear about the history of Mongolia, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khan , c. 1162-1227). At least, people know that he is the Emperor of Mongolia who subjugated the Mongolian Plain that many tribes contended each other, and eventually established the huge and powerful empire across Europe to Asia. And it is also a famous story that his grand son Kublai Khan (1215-97) attacked Japan twice (元寇) (1274 & 1281). The time of the Yüan Dynasty (元) (1271-1368) was the golden age of Mongolia but we don't hear so much about the history of Mongolia after the Yüan period.
During the rule of the 17th Emperor Ukhaghatu Khan (Toghon Temür) (1320-70), the Mongol Empire (Yüan Dynasty of China) was defeated by the new Chinese Empire Ming Dynasty (明) (1368-1644) in 1368 and retreated to its homeland Mongolia. The Mongol Empire afterward is called the Northern Yüan (北元). But the Khubilai line of the Northern Yüan was terminated as the Emperor Uskhal Khan (Tokhuz Temür) was killed in 1388.
In the aftermath, two big Mongolian tribes, the Tatars and the Oirats confronted each other and the Mongolian power was declined. In the late 15th century, the Mongolians gained its power again by the Emperor of the Tatar, Dayan Khan (1464-1524) who is a descendant of the Khubilai. The Mongolians overpowered the Ming Dynasty by later emperors such as Altan Khan (1507-1582) and the Chinese Empire became weakened. It seemed the revival of the Mongol Empire in China again but there was a new power came to rule Mongolia.
The Ming Dynasty was under pressures of Peilu Nanwo [the Mongols on the north, and the Wa on the south] (北虜南倭). As its power declined, regions such as Manchuria, Ch`inghai (青海) and Vietnam became disobedient to the Chinese Empire. Especially, Manchuria united by Nurhaci (1558-1626) immediately expanded its territory. The second Manchu Emperor Hong Taiji (1592-1643) received the "Imperial Seal of Yüan Dynasty" (元朝傅國璽) from the last emperor of Mongolia, Lingdan Khan and established the Manchu Empire in China, Ch`ing Dynasty (淸). Since then, Mongolia became under the Manchu Empire.
300 yeas later, the Republic of China was established after the Hsinhai Revolution (辛亥革命) in 1912 and the Ch`ing Dynasty ended. Although Tibet became independent, Mongolia and Manchuria were buffeted in the storms of the history.
In 1911, the preceding year of the Hsinhai Revolution, Outer Mongolia declared independence under Boghda Khan (the 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu) (1911-1924) as the head of state. Outer Mongolia is what we know today as an independent country Mongolia. Contrary, Inner Mongolia became under control of the Republic of China (Nationalist China) and was not allowed even to have the right of self-government. In such a circumstance, a hero of Inner Mongolia came to the history.
His name is Prince Demchugdongrub (Te Wang 德王) who was born as a member of the Royal House of the Chakhar, a tribe of Inner Mongolia. In 1934, he established the Pailing Temple Society for Mongol Politics (百靈廟蒙政會) to demand the Kuomintang [Nationalist] government to allow an autonomy of Inner Mongolia that is the first step for independence. He had a ambition of the "Pan-Mongolism" (汎蒙古主義) that aims to unite whole Mongolia (Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia and Russian Buryatia). However, the Kuomintang government kept making up reasons to obstruct the autonomy of Inner Mongolia. Around that time, Manchuria became under control of Japan. Demchugdongrub attempted to gain independence from Republic of China under the power of Japan.
In 1936, Demchugdongrub and leaders of Inner Mongolia established the Mongolian Military Government (蒙古軍政府) with support of the Japanese Kwantung Army. In the following year, it changed the name to the Mongolian Union Autonomous Government (蒙古聯盟自治政府). There were also established the South Chahar Autonomous Government (察南自治政府) and North Shanhsi Autonomous Government (晉北自治政府) in Inner Mongolia supported by the Mengchiang National Army Headquarters (蒙疆軍司令部) of the Mengchiang Liaison of Ministry of Asian Development Agency (興亞院蒙疆聯絡部) of Japan. In 1939, these three autonomous governments were integrated as the Mongol Autonomous Government (蒙古聯合自治政府). In 1941, Inner Mongolia unofficially became a semi-independent country, the Mongolian Autonomous Federation (蒙古自治邦). It seemed that Demchugdongrub's dream, the "True Independence of Inner Mongolia" was almost there but Japan surrendered in 1945 and Manchu-kuo and the Mongolian Autonomous Federation collapsed consequently.
In the aftermath, there were established the People's Autonomy of East Mongolia (東蒙古人民自治政府) – Second Autonomous Republic of Inner Mongolia (内蒙古第二自治共和國) in the east, and the Preparation Committee for the Mongol Autonomy (蒙古自治準備委員會) – Mongolian Autonomous Government (蒙古自治政府) by Demchugdongrub in the west. However, it was "liberated" by the People's Liberation Army of the Communist China in 1947 and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region was established in 1949. The dream of Inner Mongolian Independence failed in vain. The leader of the Inner Mongolian Independence Movement, Demchugdongrub was put in the Changchiak`ou Prison (張家口収容所) in 1950 and released in 1963. He past away in 1966 in Huhhot, capital of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. It was the sunset of the 64-year checkered life of the "Last Emperor of Mongolia."
Terms and related information (Wikipedia Links)
- Genghis [Chinggis] Khan, ca. 1162-1227.
- Kubilai Khan, 1215-97.
- Mongol invations of Japan (元寇), 1274 & 1281.
- Yüan Dynasty (元), 1271-1368.
- Ukhaghatu Khan (Given name: Toghon Temür; Posthumous name: Emperor Shun 順帝), 1320-70, r. 1333-70.
- Ming Dynasty (明), 1368-1644.
- Uskhal Khan (Given name: Tokhuz Temür, Era name: Emperor T'ienyüan [Tianyuan] 天元帝), r. 1378-88.
- Dayan Khan, 1464-1524, r. 1487-1524.
- Altan Khan, 1507-1582.
- Ch`ing [Qing] Dynasty (淸), 1644-1912.
- Hsinhai [Xinhai] Revolution (辛亥革命), 1912.
- Boghda Khan (the 8th Jebtsundamba Khutughtu), 1869-1924.
- Prince Demchugdongrub (Te Wang 德王), 1902-66.
- Mengchiang [Mengjiang] (蒙疆) [Mongol Border Land]