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史上最初的台灣獨立運動: 台灣民主國
The Taiwan Republic: The First Ever Taiwan Independence Movement?

林呈蓉/Lin Cheng-rong
(淡江大學歷史系副教授)
(Associate Professor, Department of History, Tam-kang University )

2001-05-28


The national flag of Taiwan Republic
-- an amber tiger on blue ground

1895年,大清帝國於甲午戰爭中敗於日本,
因此將台灣割讓與日本。台灣民主國在此歷
史背景下成立,號稱為亞洲第一個民主共和
國,作為反抗日本殖民統治的手段。然而台
灣民主國成立不久在各種歷史因素下旋告解
體。本週我們邀請到淡江大學歷史系副教授
林呈蓉針對台灣民主國的沿革興亡及歷史意
義作深入的探討。

Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 as a result
of the Ching Empire's defeat in the Chia-wu
War. In the aftermath of this the Taiwan
Republic was proclaimed, which served to rally
resistance against Japanese colonization and
was heralded as Asia's first democratic
republic. Shortly after its establishment,
though, the Taiwan Republic was to collapse
due to various historical factors. This week
we ask Professor Lin Cheng-rong of the
Department of History, Tam-kang University,
to present a detailed account of the rise and
fall of the republic and an in-depth analysis
of its historical significance.

1895年,大清國與日本之間為了爭奪朝鮮半
島的經濟勢力爆發了甲午戰爭(或稱日清戰
爭),清國大敗,而以馬關條約議和,清國
同意將台灣、澎湖及遼東半島等地割讓給日
本。

The 1894-95 Chia-wu War (or the Sino-Japanese
War) was fought between the Ching Empire
and Japan to settle their contest for
economic dominance on the Korean Peninsula.
Ching was soundly beaten and forced to sign
the Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which it
agreed to cede Taiwan, the Pascadores, and
the Liao-tung Peninsula to Japan.

割讓前夕人心惶惶

割讓台灣的消息透過洋行、外國商人的口耳
相傳,台灣的住民皆感到震驚譁然。令他們
百思不得其解的是,整個戰役的場景發生在
中國的北方,但為何卻要割讓南方的領土。
由於清國官方並沒有將割讓的消息正式告知
台灣民眾,因此地方上的仕紳便推派代表向
當時的台灣巡撫唐景崧求證,並表達誓死與
日本對抗的決心。
唐景崧原本私下準備潛行回大陸,但面對地
方仕紳的「劫留」,頓時感到騎虎難下,乃
將此地的情勢電告清廷,謀求對策。當時的
南洋大臣張之洞便以幾個原則提示唐景崧,
強調台灣的反抗無論是自立救助、或是結以
外援,都必須在與清國無關的前提下,以台
灣「自保」的名義、或民眾「意願、從違」
的形式,從事抗爭活動。

Pervasive Panic Prior to the Cession

As word-of-mouth news of the island's
cession was spread through foreign firms
and merchants, inhabitants in Taiwan were
overtaken by surprise and driven to a
tumult. They were dumbfounded by the
seeming absurdity that, while all the
battles had been engaged in the north of
China, the aftermath was regardless the
cession of a southern territory. Since the
impending relinquishment was not formally
made public to the residents of Taiwan,
representatives of the local gentry had to
seek forits confirmation from Tang Ching-sung,
then the Governor of Taiwan. At the same time,
they expressed their resolution to fight
against Japan to the bitter end.
On the sly Tang had planned to sneak back
to the mainland, but pretty soon he found
himself in a tight spot as he was "abducted
and detained" by the gentry. In the event,
he telegraphed to the Ching court a report
on local conditions and a request for advice
on responding measures. Chang Chih-tung, the
Governor-general at Nanking, replied and
ordered Tang to follow several general
guidelines. The resistance should be conducted,
it was emphasized, without implicating the
Ching government; whether the movement was for
self-reliant deliverance or was to solicit
outside assistance, it should be attempted only
in the name of Taiwan's "self-protection," or
pursuant to the public's "willingness to follow
or the lack thereof."

The beheaded local soldiers

台灣巡撫電告清廷將獨立建國

在與地方仕紳商議之後,唐景崧便電告清廷
,報備此處將以「獨立建國」的名義謀求自
立。並於該年 5月23日發表「台灣民主國自
主宣言」,這個號稱是「東亞第一個民主共
和國」的「台灣民主國」就這樣產生。以唐
景崧為總統、丘逢甲為副總統兼民兵司令官
、俞明震任內務部長、李秉瑞任國防部長、
劉永福任南部守備大將、國會議長則推林維
源擔任(不過他沒有就任便潛行回大陸去了
)。

Intention for Independence Declared by the
Governor
After consultation with the local gentry,
Tang sent a telegraph to the Ching court,
proposing that the territory should endeavor
for self-reliance in the manner of an
"independent nation." ON May 23, 1895, the
"Autonomy Declaration of the Taiwan
Republic" was announced, and thus was brought
into existence the "Taiwan Republic"-heralded
as the first democratic republic of East Asia.
Tang himself assumed the office of its
President, with Chiu Feng-chia as the
Vice-president and Militia Commander; Yu
Ming-tsen the Interior Minister; Lee Ping-rei
the Defense Minister;; Liu Yung-fu the
Brigade-general of the South; and Lin Wei-yuan
the Chairman of the Parliament (although he
slipped back to the mainland before taking the
office).

有獨立建國之名,卻無獨立建國之實

從許多的蛛絲馬跡中可以明顯看出,「台灣
民主國」基本上雖有獨立建國之名,卻無獨
立建國之實。例如民主國的年號被定為「永
清」,表示雖然是獨立建國,但仍將「永遠
服膺於大清國之下」;又設計「藍地黃虎」
旗作為民主國的旗幟,是因為清國使用的是
「龍旗」,一則表示不敢冒犯龍威、二則強
調民主國與清國之間「龍兄虎弟」的特殊情
誼;唐景崧在民主國的總統就職典禮上,讓
紳民對他行以「兩跪六叩」的封建朝儀,以
有別於對清國皇帝的「三跪九叩」禮。這一
切在在顯示出,一群毫無民主概念的人,試
圖以「民主獨立建國」的名義,作為阻止日
本接收、統治此地的手段。不過即使如此,
站在清廷立場上,基於各種理由,對於台灣
的「獨立建國」卻不能釋懷,而其中最重要
的因素則是深恐台灣的抗拒會因而得罪日本
,導致中日之間再度開戰,屆時可能會得不
償失。

An Independence Nation in Name Only

It was evident from so many straws in the
wind that the "Taiwan Republic" was nothing
but a figment of the imagination, albeit
self-styled as an independent nation. The
reign title "Yung-ching" (Forever Ching) used
to indicate that, even though an independent
nation was declared, it would "forever be a
vassal of the Great Ching Emmpire." The
national flag depicted "an amber tiger on blue
ground." Since the imperial ensign of Ching
was the "Dragon Flag," this was intended as a
symbolic homage to the dragon's mightiness,
and to underscore the point that the two
nations had a singular amity as "between the
senior dragon and the junior tiger." At his
presidential inauguration, Tang made the
republic's subjects go through the
feudalistic court etiquette of "twice
kneeling and six times bowing," as a
scaled-down version of the "thrice kneeling
and nine times bowing" due to the Ching
Emperor. What all this means is that, a
coterie of people utterly ignorant of
democracy were using "democratic independence"
as a pretext to thwart Japan's annexation and
governing of the territory. Be that as it may,
the Ching court, looking at the matter form
its standpoint, was not unconcerned about the
"national independence" of Taiwan, the
uppermost reason being the fear of
disgruntling Japan in the event of Taiwan
resistance, especially when this could lead
to another Sino-Japanese war in which Ching
was likely to lose even more dearly.

民主國總統潛逃大陸

然而,身為民主國總統的唐景崧,其內心
真正的意圖只是期待能找機會趕快潛行回
大陸。於是在就職十天之後,他便以前線
視察的名義,從淡水搭乘德國商輪逃回廈
門,因此被戲稱是「十日總統」。在「唐
總統」潛逃之後,民主國內部群龍無首,
過去民主國所招募而來的廣東兵(一般稱
為「廣勇」)眼看自己的薪餉可能會沒有
著落,便開始對地方的住民燒殺劫掠。另
一方面,日本已經配合清國全權代表李經
芳的意願,在基隆外海的船上完成了台灣
割讓的交接典禮。五月底六月初,日本軍
由澳底(今台北縣貢寮鄉)登陸,越過三
貂嶺,到達了基隆。一路上這些廣勇幾乎
在不堪一擊的情況下潰不成軍,而之所以
如此主要的因素在於,清廷政府一向嚴禁
台灣的住民組織自己的防衛部隊,而這些
外地來的軍團也不願意為台灣的民眾犧牲
自己的性命。

The Republic's President on the Lam

Yet, even as the republic's president, Tang
was secretly planning a quick escape to the
mainland as soon as the opportunity presented
itself. Only ten days after the inauguration,
on the pretense of inspecting the frontg
lines, he boarded a German merchant ship at
Tam-sui and departed for Amoy-hence the
"Ten-day President" epithet. With "President
Tang" on the lam, the Taiwan Republic plunged
into a leaderless anarchy. This was further
aggravated by the ravaging and plundering
perpetrated against island inhabitants by the
recently recruited Kwang-tung soldiers
(commonly referred to as Kwang-yung, i.e.,
Kwangg Braves), who had become worried about
the prospect of ever receiving their salaries
from the republic. In the meantime, Japan had
just gone through the cession ceremony on
board a ship off the Keelung harbor-this
unusual arrangement being the request from
Ching's plenipotentiary, Lee Ching-fang, and
consented to by Japan. Between late May and
early June, Japanese troops landed at Ao-ti
(presently Kong-liao, Taipei County), and
proceeded from there through San-tiao-ling to
Keelung. The Kwang Braves they encountered en
rout were not bale to put up any resistance
and soon crumbled to pieces. This eventuality
was mainly due to the fact that the Ching
court had prohibited local residents to
organized their own defense forces, and
instead recruited these battalions from
outside, who, as it turned out, were
unwilling to sacrifice their lives for
Taiwan.

Tang Ching-sung

日軍入台與民主國解體

當民主國的軍隊開始搶劫民房時,旅居台北
城內的外籍人士與仕紳商人開始感覺自己的
生命財產遭受嚴重威脅,進而商議派人到基
隆去帶日本軍進入台北城,以維持秩序。於
是年近「而立之年」的合同棧商行僱員辜顯
榮乃不負眾望,於六月十四日前往基隆帶領
日本軍進入台北城,因此日本軍在「無血入
城」的情況下,順利地進駐了台北城。
民主國的其餘成員在總統唐景崧潛行回廈門
之後,也陸續潛逃回去,最後只剩下劉永福
獨自在台南地區力撐殘局。但是,五個月之
後,劉永福也感覺到大勢已去,乃由安平搭
乘英國商輪逃離台南,潛回廈門,台灣民主
國正式解體。

Arrival of Japanese Troops and the Republic's
Disintegration

When the republic's soldiers began to ransack
civilian residences, foreigners and local gentry
and merchants living in the welled city of
Taipei started to fear for their lives and
properties, so much that they conferred among
themselves and decided to dispatch someone to
Keelung for the purpose of ushering Japanese
troops to Taipei, hoping that this would bring
about clam and order in the city. To everyone's
content, Ku Hsien-rong, an employee off the
He-tung-tsan Trading Company who was approaching
"the age of independence" (i.e., the age of 30),
weent to Keelung and conducted the Japanese troops
to Taipei on June 14. Owing to Ku's effort, the
Japanese soldiers were able to encamp in Taipei.
After "entering the city without shedding any
blood."
Following Tang's sneak getaway to Amoy, the
remaining officials of the republic also made
their clandestine exits one by one, leaving Liu
Yung-fu alone entrenched in the Tainan area for
the last-ditch struggle. At all events, he was
to realize the futility of it all five months
later and made haste for Amoy form An-ping on
board a British merchant vessel. The Taiwan
Republic thus officially dissolved.

台灣民主國:抗拒日本統治的手段

當我們重新思考「台灣民主國」的歷史過往
時,一個令人感到存疑的問題則是,一群毫
無民主理念的人,如何會想到要建構一個「
民主國」,來凸顯台灣民眾的主體性角色,
以解決當前的困境。基本上,提供這個思考
邏輯的一個關鍵性人物,則是當時正在法國
的欽差使臣王之春。正當南洋大臣張之洞以
台灣作押向列強借款,或將台灣的礦利、稅
利許以列強,試圖透過台灣的「產權」不明
問題,以列強勢力牽制日本,但卻不得要領
之際,王之春乃暗示「中國可援(西)例,
聽台灣民自便」。據張之洞在該年四月二十
日發給總理衙門的電文中,曾引述王之春的
來電說「西人公論,以普法之戰,普索法之
阿勒撒士(Alsace)及樂阿來那(Lorraine
)二省,法不得不應。唯引西例,凡勒佔鄰
土,必視百姓從違,普不能駁;至今二省德
、法兩籍相參,財產皆民自立,華可援近案
商倭…」。對於王之春的提案,以援引西人
的觀念,建立一個新政府的形式來抗拒日本
的統治,當時的西方觀察家皆不禁感到好奇
與驚訝。然而,以唐景崧為首民主國之主要
成員,只是考慮如何可以規避日本的接收,
而非真正想要建構一個新政府。因此,這個
號稱是亞洲第一個民主共和國乃如曇花一現
般地,瞬間便凋謝殞落了。以後,對於日本
的接收統治,就只能靠台灣民眾以或積極、
或消極的模式繼續頑強抗拒。

The Taiwan Republic as a Means against Rule

When we ponder anew the history of the "Taiwan
Republic," we are puzzled by an enigma: how
could a group of people totally unschooled in
the idea of democracy want to establish a
"democratic republic" as a means to accentuate
Taiwan's autonomy and resolve its dilemma? In
answering this question a key may be provided
by Wang Chih-chuen, the Ching court's Imperial
Envoy to France at the time. When Chang Chih-tung,
the Governor-general at Nanking, was borrowing
money from the major world powers with Taiwan as
mortgage, or with "mining concession" and "tax
concession" in Taiwan in Exchange, this flirting
with them with the uncertainty of Taiwan's
"ownership" to curb Japanese ambition; and when
all this was to no avail, it was Wang who suggested
the following: "China should follow western
precedents and let the Taiwanese have what they
want." In a telegraph sent to the Tsungli Yamen
(Office of Foreign Affairs) by Chang on April 20,
Wang was gusted as saying: "It is a consensus in
the west that after the France-Prussian War, France
had to concede to Prussia's annexation of Alsace
and Lorraine. But according to western precedents,
in the process of annexing a neighboring territory,
the willingness of that territory's populace must be
taken into consideration. This is a universal rule.
Till now in Alsace and Lorraine the French and
German peoples have commingled without trouble,
their properties separately and distinctly owned.
China can use this example in dealing with
Japan...." Western observers were surprised by
Wang's utilization of western ideas in the effect
of establishing a new government to counter
Japanese rule. But the principal officials of the
Taiwan Republic headed by Tang were only concerned
about averting Japan's takeover; they were not
really devoted to establishing a new government.
Therefore, the so-called first democratic republic
of Asia was like a flash in the pan, collapsing in
no time. Afterward, in face of Japanese takeover
and colonial rule, all was to depend on Taiwanese
people's continual strong resistance, whether
overt or covert.

Edited by Kurt Huang / Translated by Huang Dao-Lin
黃政淵編輯 / 黃道琳翻譯

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