20th Century Chinese History Paper

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This assignment is for: 20th Century Chinese History Paper

Submitted to: Professor Richard Harnack

Submitted by: Sharona Ward

Date of Submission: Monday August 27,2012

Title of Assignment: The Boxer Rebellion

CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORSHIP: I certify that I am the author of this paper and that any assistance I received in its preparation is fully acknowledged and disclosed in the paper. I have also cited any sources from which I used data, ideas, or words, either quoted directly or paraphrased. I also certify that I prepared this paper specifically for this course and have not borrowed any material from any paper previously submitted in another course at Lindenwood University.

Student’s Signature: Sharona Ward

There were many events that helped shaped China during the 19th and early 20th century. Some of those events were the Opium wars, the Taiping Rebellion, and the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer Rebellion was one of the most dramatic events of 1900 (Goff et al. 4). When a culture or a group of people feel threatened in any way, they will do whatever it takes to prevent any harm from coming their way. Majority of the time the lack of knowledge is the reasoning behind taking such drastic measures. The Boxer Rebellion is a prime example of acting without knowledge. The Rebellion was an attack against all foreign Christian missionaries and diplomats in the Middle Kingdom. China was sometimes referred to as the “Middle Kingdom”. The Christian missionaries weren’t there to harm the Chinese culture, however they wanted to improve upon it. The members of the Boxer rebellion didn’t see it that way. They felt threatened. Although the Boxer Rebellion was meant to protect the culture of the Chinese Society, in the end it did more harm than good and thousands of people lost their lives for know significant reason.

The Boxer Rebellion took place from November of 1899 through September of 1901. The Boxers were ordinary villagers. They were illiterate Chinese men who acted violently against the increasing influence of Christian missionaries in the Middle Kingdom. They mainly used martial arts as their forms of weaponry. They didn’t use many weapons, however when they did, they used halberds and spears. A halberd is an axe mounted on the end of a spear. The rebels believed in the martial arts and the spirituality behind it. According to Boxer mystical beliefs, breath-control exercises, magical incantations, and swallowing charms, would allow them to make their bodies impenetrable to bullets (Szczepanski/www.about.com/asianhistory). Also, they could enter a trance and become possessed by spirits; if a large enough group of Boxers became possessed all at once, then they could summon an army of spirits or ghosts to help them rid China of all the foreign devils (Sczepanski/www.about.com/asianhistory). This is what they believed. If these men were poor peasants who never had any formal education and lived their lives based on keeping order in their society, who could blame them on having such dismal beliefs. Surely these men couldn’t believe that spirits would overtake their bodies and help them win? Yes, they did believe this. Throughout history, there have been circumstances where groups of people felt threatened. This led them to take matters into their own hands.

During the Boxer Rebellion, China was ruled by Dowager Empress Cixi. Empress Cixi ruled China from 1861-1908. She was a ruthless leader who would destroy anyone in her path who endangered her rule. She couldn’t get rid of the Boxers as easily as she thought. The Boxers wanted to destroy the Qing dynasty and all of its officials. They felt that the rulers were apart of the threat to their society by allowing foreign missionaries to come into China and try to change their whole way of life. Empress Cixi saw how...
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