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Yuan Shikai (1859–1916) was a Chinese military and government official who rose to power during the late Qing dynasty, and tried to save the dynasty with bureaucratic and fiscal reforms. He built a modern army and a more efficent provincial government in North China in the years leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor in 1911.
This army and bureaucratic control were the foundation of his autocratic rule as the first formal President of the Republic of China. He was frustrated in a short-lived attempt to restore monarchy in China, with himself as the Hongxian Emperor.
This coin was produced to replace foreign and Provincial dragon dollars in circulation and could be found with two flan thicknesses, 2.8 mm and 3.25 mm. The thin variety was the issue struck for circulation in 1914. The thick version is a circa 1918 restrike made for collectors.
Engraver: Luigi Giorgi