It was the 1800's and the internal problems had weakened. As this happened European countries were getting more powerful and stronger. Foreign invasions of their country made the Chinese people mad. By 1927, a leader named Chiang Kai-shek had formed the nationalist government. Meanwhile Chiang's rival Mao Zedong was gaining help from Chinese farmers. After many years of war, the communist won power. They set up the People's Republic of China.
The Nationalist fled to the island of Taiwan and created the Republic of China. China became "two China's." The communist set up an unlimited government on the mainland.They took control of businesses and industry. They also made government run farms worked by pheasants. In the late 1950's Mao Zedong introduced the Great Leap Forward.
During China's Cultural Revolution in the late 1960's, intellectuals such as doctors and teachers were ordered to work on farms. Students were also taken from school and put on farms to work. In this way Mao thought to get rid of any culture that did not support his communism.
The Republic of China on the other hand pursued the goal of "one china." The Nationalist government on Taiwan wanted the mainland communist government to negotiate with it as an equal.
Similar to the communist government, the Nationalist government at first placed limit's on citizens rights, such as freedom of speech. By 1970, however the Republic of China had instituted democratic reform and developed an economy based more on free-enterprise system. This system formed a economic powerhouse.
After Mao's death in 1976, China's communist leaders relaxed economical controls.Now people could own small businesses and sell products and services for profits. Many Chinese however, wanted American-style democracy with free elections and freedoms of speech, religion, and the press. China's leaders crushed street protests that demanded political change.