Outline of Imperial Constitution
LaunchedOn 27 August 1908[1]
Promulgatedby Qing government
Other namesOutline of the Constitution Compiled by Imperial Order

The Principles of the Constitution of 1908 (simplified Chinese: 钦定宪法大纲; traditional Chinese: 欽定憲法大綱; pinyin: Qīndìng Xiànfǎ Dàgāng), also known as the Outline of Imperial Constitution[2] or the Outline of the Constitution Compiled by Imperial Order,[3] was an attempt by the Qing dynasty of China to establish a constitutional monarchy at the beginning of the 20th century. It established a constitutional monarchy and confirmed some basic rights of citizens, while imposing some limitations on the power of the monarch.[4]

Since this outline of the constitution was not democratically formulated, but was promulgated in the name of the Guangxu Emperor by the Empress Dowager Cixi, it was called the "Outline of Imperial Constitution".[5]

Main contents

Outline of Imperial Constitution was based on the "Constitution of the Empire of Japan", and consists of 23 articles, including the body text "Powers of the Monarch" (君上大权) and the appendix "Rights and Duties of Subjects" (臣民权利义务).[6]

Impact and evaluation

Although the Outline of Imperial Constitution was modelled on the Japanese Meiji Constitution,[7] it is the first constitutional document in Chinese history.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Yong'an Ren; Xianyang Lu (13 May 2020). A New Study on the Judicial Administrative System with Chinese Characteristics. Springer Nature. pp. 22–. ISBN 9789811541827.
  2. ^ Jiang Mei (2005-01-05). "Cultural Interpretation on the Outline of Imperial Constitution". CNKI.
  3. ^ Jacques deLisle; Avery Goldstein; Guobin Yang (5 April 2016). The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 238–. ISBN 978-0-8122-2351-4.
  4. ^ Journal of Capital Normal University. Capital Normal University. 1998.
  5. ^ Xu Chongde (2003). History of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. Fujian People's Publishing House. ISBN 978-7-211-04326-2.
  6. ^ Xia Xinhua (2004). The History of Constitutionalism in Modern China. China University of Political Science and Law Press. ISBN 978-7-5620-2576-4.
  7. ^ He Qinhua; Zhang Jinde; Deng Jihao (2009). History of the Procuratorial System. China Procuratorial Press. ISBN 978-7-5102-0133-2.
  8. ^ China Constitutional Development Research Report, 1982-2002. Law Press. 2004. ISBN 978-7-5036-4691-1.

Further reading