In 1912 Yuan Shikai, supported by the imperialist powers of Britain, the United States and Japan, had usurped the provisional presidency of the Republic of China and organized the first government of the northern warlords, which represented the big landlord and comprador classes. He had established an autocratic dictatorship at home and enforced a policy of capitulationism and national betrayal abroad. In March of 1916 nationwide opposition forced him to abolish the monarchy.