Taiping Rebellion

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Jason Bishop
Prof. Nardini
HIST 112-A
6 April 2011
The Rise and Fall of the “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”
The Taiping Rebellion is the largest and bloodiest ever to take place in china, the rebellion lasted all the way from 1850 until 1864. It is estimated that over twenty million Chinese died resulting from this rebellion. This movement was started by a man name Hong Xiu-quan who started his career as a failed Confucian scholar that later claimed to have been visited by God and Jesus in a vision. Xui-quan convinced his followers that he was the younger brother of Jesus and that he was sent to establish a “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”. A new form of Christianity was formed by his followers where the bible was the centerpiece and a stern moral code of behavior was enforced. The movement grew to include millions of believers who were ready to rebel against the ruling dynasty.

The rebels were dissatisfied with the internal conditions of China. After losing a naval war with the British over opening port cities for trade, the Chinese government was very weak and open to foreign influence. Many treaties allowed for other countries to take advantage of China, which greatly bothered Hong Xiu-quan and his followers. The weak Chinese government was full of corruption and incompetent government officials.

Hong Xui-quan and his followers, the Taipings, gained control of most of south china and they established their “Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”. This kingdom was ruled by a supreme monarch, Hong Xui-quan, who ruled using a court and bureaucracy system. The Taipings established a counter government with their capitol at Nanjing. Xui-quan had men constantly producing Chinese copies of the bible and required his soldiers to memorize the Ten Commandments. Many westerners thought that Xui-quan would be the founder of Christian china but were eventually proven wrong.

The Taipings resented western influence and were strongly...
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