The Boxer Rebellion

Topics: China, Qing Dynasty, Boxer Rebellion Pages: 5 (2145 words) Published: May 28, 2012
The Boxer Rebellion: Religions Rule
Through its time China as a country has had many ups and downs including many uprising and rebellions. But my main goal and main research is to look at one rebellion specifically that played a large role in Chinese history. The rebellion I have chose to study and research is The Boxer Rebellion. I won’t be research the rebellion itself but a more crucial element of the rebellion and how it played a role in it. I will also be looking at the element from both sides of the map. In this paper I will be bringing to light the two religions and the role each played in the Rebellion as well as some information about the religion itself. My goal is to show how religion affected The Boxer Rebellion and role it played in the rebellion. Before you can look closer at some of specific factors of the Rebellion you must first look at some of the background of the rebellion itself. The Boxer Rebellion, also known as Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement, began in autumn of 1899 in northern China. It lasted till September 7, 1901 were the Boxers would surrender and would later be severely punished for their actions by the foreign nations. It was an uprising by the Righteous Harmony Society and would later be backed by the Qing Empire against the eight nation alliances that were composed of Russia, Great Britain, France, The United States of America, Japan, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. The uprising took place in response to the foreign spheres of influence in China, do to matters of disagreements that arose from different matters ranging from opium traders, political invasion, economic manipulation, to missionary evangelism. In China, popular sentiment remained resistant to foreign influences, and anger rose over the unequal and unfair treaties, treaties which the weak and vulnerable Qing Empire could not resist to refuse do to the towering power of the foreign nations and influences. Another major factor to the uprising was the push between the two religious groups in China, the Christians and the Boxer’s religion of Taoism and Buddhism. In total there were 2,500 soldiers, 526 foreigners, and nearly 30,000 Chinese Christians killed on the allied side, 20,000 Imperial troops of the Chinese, and more than 19,000 civilians killed. This rebellion would be marked as one of the largest and most involved rebellions in Chinese history. The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists, known by foreigners as the Boxers, or Yihe Magic Boxing, was a secret society founded in the northern coastal province of Shandong. Foreigners called the athletically trained young Chinese men Boxers because of the mixed martial arts and exercises they performed as a part of their everyday lives. These training processes were a way to train not only the body but a way of training the mind and soul. As part of their religion they used these methods of training and discipline to find their spiritual inner beings. The Boxers performed these training exercises through the religion Taoist and Buddhist spirits. The Boxers believed that through training, diet, martial arts, and prayer they could perform extraordinary task like flying or walking through bullets. The Boxers were only lightly armed with rifles and swords, claiming supernatural powers would protect them from blows of cannon, rifle gunshots, and knife attacks. The Boxers were typical of millennial movements, such as the American Indian Ghost Dance, often rising in societies under extreme stress. They also popularly claimed that millions of spirit soldiers would descend from the heavens and assist them in purifying China of foreign influences if they stayed true to their beliefs. The Boxers consisted of local farmers/peasants and other workers who were made desperate by disastrous floods and widespread opium addiction. They blamed all of these things on the Christian missionaries, Chinese Christians, and the Europeans colonizing their country but Missionaries were...
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