As the foremost pioneer of Republic of China, Sun is referred to as the “Father of the Nation” in theRepublic of China(ROC), and the “forerunner of democratic revolution” in thePeople’s Republic of China. Sun played an instrumental role in the overthrow of theQing dynastyduring the years leading up to theDouble Ten Revolution. He was appointed to serve as president of the Provisional Republic of China, when it was founded in 1912. He later co-founded theKuomintang(KMT), serving as its first leader.Sun was a uniting figure inpost-Imperial China, and remains unique among 20th-century Chinese politicians for being widely revered amongst the people from both sides of theTaiwan Strait.
Although Sun is considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, his political life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. After the success of the revolution, he quickly fell out of power in the newly founded Republic of China, and led successive revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Sun did not live to see his party consolidate its power over the country during the Northern Expedition. His party, which formed a fragile alliance with the Communists, split into two factions after his death. Sun’s chief legacy resides in his developing of the political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People: nationalism, democracy, and the people’s livelihood.