How Significant Was Western Thought to the Development of the Taiping in China 1851

Topics: Qing Dynasty, China, Taiping Rebellion Pages: 2 (730 words) Published: April 29, 2013
How significant was western thought to the development of the Taiping in china 1851- 1864 The development of the taiping movement was influenced by western thought originally. The taiping movement based its ideology on western Christian values, such as the creation of heavenly kingdom and the characteristics of its revolution were evidently influenced by Christianity. However the taiping movement had to adapt to its atmosphere thereby adopting some Chinese values and thought into his revolutionary movement, this includes nationalist and militaristic traits. This resulted in an egalitarian revolution combining the ideals of pre-Confucian utopianism with Protestant beliefs. Other historians do argue that the taiping movement was solely based on Chinese thought. It is argued that most of its original influences were a result of the Chinese environment and background of its leaders. While other historians argue the revolutionary movement which resulted to a rebellion, was a fuse of a lot of western thought such as Buddhism, Christianity and even Marxism. The beginning of western thought in the taiping movement traces back to its leader Hong. The Taiping rebels were led by Hong Xiuquan a village teacher and unsuccessful imperial examination candidate. Historians like Adrienne Suddard, argue Hong wanted to the restore the Chinese importance by getting rid of the alien Manchu government, and transforming china into a Christian nation and reforming Chinese institutions. The adaptation of Chinese thought into the original Christian ideas is as a result of the need for support, according to Boardman. The taiping leaders expected to get the support of their fellow Chinese people by appealing to a Chinese tradition of having one God, Shang ti and to the nationalist resentment against alien Manchu rulers. Weller supports this view arguing that as the movement advanced, it also developed a strong anti Manchurian sentiment; suggest the taiping movement had to adapt its...
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