Premium Essay

The Boxer Uprising

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Shapes
Words 4759
Pages 20
The Boxer Uprising (1898-1901), also known as ‘Yi Ho Tuan’ Movement, was a major peasant uprising marked by anti-Manchu and anti-foreign sentiments. In the period after the Opium Wars, the nature of Sino-Western relations had changed, leading to a scramble for concessions. This had exposed the inefficacy of the Manchus. Simultaneously, it had intensified the socio-economic crisis already prevalent in the 19th century. This essay attempts to analyze the causes, nature and impact of the Boxer Movement.


1. A study of the traditional Chinese society and economy is imperative to trace the origins of the Uprising. The Chinese society was strictly compartmentalized by the principles of Confucianism. The society was highly stratified and had a rigid and inflexible hierarchical structure. A unique combination of power, wealth and knowledge defined the gentry or the elite class. The peasantry was the ‘exploited’ class, the taxpayers, who despite the theoretical emphasis on ‘career open to merit’ could rarely attain gentry status. The growing tax burden and exploitation caused discontent among them and though they remained placid, the simmering of discontent was always there. However, peasant uprisings, though a frequent occurrence, were spontaneous and scattered and so easy to suppress. The growing unrest culminated into agitation, and found expression in the Boxer Movement.

2. A series of natural calamities in the late 19th century intensified the discontent.
Series of floods, famine and drought between 1880 – 1900. The Manchu government, due to insufficient resources and inefficient administration, was unable to repair the public works, adding to the problem.

3. The late 19th Century also saw a substantial rise in population. This increased the pressure on land and there was greater fragmentation of land, adversely affecting the...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Boxer Rebellion

...Amy Landers HIST 313: History of China II: Ch’ing Critique on The Boxer Uprising, 1900 (pg. 387-406) In the introduction the chapter starts out with The Coup d’état of 1898, which put power back into the hands of the Manchus and with this the Empress Dowager wasn’t going to make any more exceptions to foreign powers. In February 1899 she took a hardline against the foreigners starting with the Italians who demanded the cession of the Sanmen Bay in Chekiang. The Empress ordered the governor of Chekiang to fight enemy landings without hesitation; her hard line view of refusing to deal with foreigners was made clear when the Italians backed down in October. On November 21, 1899 Dowager instructed the provincial authorities to entertain no more fantasies of peace and so began a fervent antiforeign movement, which would turn very bloody. The Chinese people had dealt with half a century of foreign humiliation due to forced opening of trade after the loss in the opium wars, which resulted in unequal treaties and the Treaties of Tientsin in 1858 and with loss in the Sino-Japanese war. One of the factors for the uprising the text talks about is the Antipathy Toward Christianity. The Chinese people were ingrained with the teachings of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Christianity was greatly resented due to the fact that The Treaties of Tientsin in 1858 “allowed free propagation in the interior and with the Conventions of Peking in 1860, which granted the missionaries......

Words: 1164 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Boxer Rebellion

...Chinese Christians. The Boxer Rebellion was an uprising of the Righteous Harmony Society against the West in northern China between 1898 and 1901. The Boxers began as an anti-foreign, anti-imperialist peasant based movement. It is also said to be a religious revolution against national corruption in the form of foreign missionaries, soldiers, and diplomats, as well as native Christians. Reforms were implemented after the crisis in 1900, which laid the foundation for the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Chinese Republic. In this article, we see that the author demonstrates that this event can be split into that of true history and myth. History in three keys is a work written about the point of view of its author, but not always portrayed in a factual sense. Cohen’s view in the article follows the categories of event, experience, and myth. Historical retelling is in constant tension with two other more influential ways of knowing the past - experience and myth. History retells itself through the accounts of historians with those of participants and witnesses; and sets these perspectives against the range of popular myths that were fashioned about the Boxers. One part tells the Boxer rebellion as recreated by historians. The next explores the feelings and behavior of the direct participants in the Boxer experience who understood what was actually happening to them at the time unlike historians. Lastly, Cohen studies the myths surrounding the uprising in China......

Words: 337 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Impact of the Boxer Rebellion

...MODERN HISTORY UNIT 1 MULTI-MODAL PRESENTATION – THE BOXER REBELLION INTRODUCTION The Boxer Uprising and Rebellion in 1901 further weakened an already destabilised Qing Government and was a key component in governmental change. After the first Opium war with Great Britain from 1839- 1842, China was coming under an increase in pressure from various foreign powers. Following the war, foreigners were given the rights to control trade, collect customs money and run the courts in dozens of Chinese cities, called ‘Treaty Ports’. China had suffered the violation of the powers, although once it was suddenly made clear that the country was defenceless against modern military organisation and weapons, this encroachment was flung into a scramble for concessions. This scramble intensified the already present Chinese hatred of the foreigner. Hong Kong was given to the British in 1842, Indochina was taken by the French in 1884, and Taiwan was taken by Japan in 1894 following their war success over China. Germany and Russia also started to gain influence throughout China (Salem Press, 1992). The Qing government, also known as the Ch’ing government, was heavily manipulated by the West. This led to the distrust and lack of support by the Chinese public – severely weakening the government. The Boxer Uprising and Rebellion during 1901 was a pivotal point in the eventual destruction and downfall of the Qing by Sun Yat-Sen and the formal abdication of the last emperor Puyi in 1912......

Words: 1816 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

How Revolutionary Was China 1850-1920

...of being revolutionary, the decline in imperial China, their rise of their military as well as the change in the political parties, China also had factors of being a continuation such as their economy and the leaderships. However there wasn’t many factors of China showing to be a continuation this was because China was changing massively and at a fast rate during this period of time. One way to show that China was a revolutionary was the Boxer Rising. This was a popular anti-western movement in China, which was supported by peasants (such as farmers) uprising in 1900 which was set up to drive all foreigners out of China. It was a violent anti-foreigner and anti-Christian movement; it was motivated by proto-nationalists and backed by the empress dowager CIXI. In 1900 the Boxers besieged the foreign embassies in Beijing for two months until they were relieved by an international force. The rising was intervened by the Great Powers, which defeated the Chinese forces; because of this it further reduced the authority of the QING dynasty. The Boxer Risings changed China quite a lot: It made the leaders of China realise that they had to modernize and adopt European technology as well as this it also helped to opened the doors for Revolutionary movements such as the Communist Party and the to rise and to gain the support of China's people. Another factor that shows how revolutionary China was, was the End of the Chinese Empire. The Taiping Rebellion (1849-60) was the start of the......

Words: 714 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

How Significant Was National Resentment of Foreign Interference in Bringing About the Collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911-1912?

...Qing dynasty in 1911-12 and the role played by nationalism and foreign interference in bringing about its collapse. Answers may refer to the failure of the Boxer Rising in 1900 and the subsequent development of a new nationalist movement devoted to the overthrow of the dynasty. In 1905 Sun Yat-sen formed the Revolutionary Alliance based in Tokyo which was strongly supported by students who had trained overseas. The Alliance carried out small and unsuccessful actions against the government over the next few years. In 1911 there was a backlash against the raising of foreign loans to pay for the nationalisation of trunk lines which led to the Wuchan uprising and the start of the revolution. Sun Yat-sen was elected President of the Chinese Republic but resigned in favour of Yuan Shikai in 1912. * failure of the Boxer Rising in 1900 yes The unequal treaties and the dependence in the wake of the boxer revolution are both factors responsible for the fall of the dynasty due to foreign interference. The war with Japan was followed by a series of treaties with the European powers and the USA. They obtained concessions from the Chinese government and China was often forced to pay indemnities to the western powers in exchange for loans. The efforts of reform that had been put in place in the wake of the boxer rebellion begin to stall out in 1908 when Guangxu and Cixi die within hours of each other. The result of this is that a little boy called Puyi came to......

Words: 518 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Opium Wars were two trading wars in the mid-19th century in which western nations gained commercial privileges in China. Internationally, these wars changed China’s position in the world. Before the failure of these wars, China was at the center of the world economy as Europeans and Americans sought Chinese goods. Under the influence of the Confucianism for thousands of years, China viewed itself as “the Center of Civilization” and carried out the Tribute System towards other countries who wanted to trade with it. The results of these two wars were that China was forced to sign a series of unequal treaties, which made China cede territory to the UK, pay a great amount of reparations, and opened 16 treaty ports and so on. China gradually became a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society and its international status was severely threatened. These wars also mean the end of the Tribute System. Meiji Restoration was a series of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under the Meiji Emperor. It brought about the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate and returned control of the country to direct imperial rule under the emperor Meiji and the beginning of Meiji Period. This revolution contributed to the build of a successful modern nation-state, the rapid modernization and westernization of Japan and also it meant the origin of Japan’s economic growth. Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) was the conflict between Japan and China. It marked the emergence of Japan as a major......

Words: 877 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Af Pri

...of Russia) in the 1920s to early 1950s Characters: Mr. Jones, Old Major, Snowball, Napoleon, Squealer, Boxer, Clover, Benjamin, Mollie, Moses, Frederick, Pilkington, Mr. Whymper, Minimus, Pinkeye Summary: Old Major the pig calls the animals over to tell them that they should have an uprising against Mr. Jones. After this, Old Major dies but the other animals are inspired by him and want to conduct animalism. The pigs are smarter than the other animals and start to run the farm. They have a revolution and successfully remove Mr. Jones, from the farm. The pigs create the rules of no sleeping in beds, no wearing clothes, no alcohol, no killing other animals, all animals are equal, and whoever has four legs or wings is a friend. Napoleon and the pigs, being the rulers, are starting to use the fresh milk and eat the apples because they “need” it. Napoleon also employs Squealer to persuade the other farm animals that the pigs are doing nothing wrong. Jones returns and the animals win at the battle of Cowshed. Mollie leaves the farm due to her interest in sugar and ribbons and never comes back. Snowball draws up plans for a windmill and Napoleon denies them and runs Snowball off the farm forever with his pack of dogs. After Napoleon chases Snowball off, he says the windmill was his idea after all and uses Snowball as a scapegoat for all the farms troubles. The next year, Boxer proves to be the most useful animal as he practically leads the construction of the windmill.......

Words: 712 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Was 1911 Revolution a Turning Point of Modern China History

...China was originally ruled by Manchu.However,the inability of Qing government had aroused social discontent.As a result,more and more people chose to engage in the revolutionary activities.Dr Sun Yat Sin,one of the leader of the revolutionaries,had initiated 1911 Revolution.So was 1911 Revolution a turning point of modern China history?To a large extent,I agree with this statement. To commence with,1911 Revolution had contributed to the end of the monarchical form of Chinese government.Before 1911 Revolution,China had been ruled by the monarchical form of government for over two thousand years.Emperor possessed the highest power in the country and the general public must show absolute obedience on his demand.People were deprived of their political rights as most of them were never granted a chance to become a government official.In the 1911 Revolution,Yuan Shikai,with his military power,forced the Qing emperor Xuantong to abdicate.All the previous Qing officials soon lost their political powers.With the downfall of Qing dynasty,the monarchical form of government seemed to come to an end.On 12 February 1912,268 years of Manchu rule ended.After 1911 Revolution,the head of the country was called president rather than emperor.Instead of monarchism,republicanism was practiced.Every Chinese could have a chance to vote for their leaders.People could also have a chance to speak up for themselves.Electoral elements were introduced to the political system.Comparing with the......

Words: 1163 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Rationales for United States Imperialism

...Rationales for United States Imperialism When thinking of the word imperialism, one may think of it as forcefully taking independence away from a country for the benefit of a more powerful country. Imperialism can be seen either positively or negatively based on the reasons and or the outcome depending on the situation. The United States imperialism began in the late 1800’s and since then, has been influencing other countries in political, economic, and cultural ways. The effects of United States imperialism have been positive in countries like Panama because of the ideal of democracy has been spread; however, Puerto Rico might view it differently. Some foreign policies also developed as a result of America’s imperialism. The United States involvement in Panama has been both helpful and beneficial to both countries. United States initially went to Panama to build the Panama Canal because they saw it as vessel to traffic goods to build economic growth using the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It was not that easy for the United States to do so due to Columbia’s involvement with Panama at that time. Panama was owned by Columbia and would not permit America to build much less use a canal in Panama. Panama was not pleased with Columbia ruling their country, so they allowed the United States to help them get from under Columbia’s rule in return for the passageway known today as the Panama Canal. The United States helped Panama escape the Columbian control and stayed...

Words: 1687 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...relations 220-589 (Dark Ages) North-South division North ruled by non-Chinese invaders 589-618 Sui Dynasty Reunification of empire 618-907 Tang Dynasty Military expansion into Central Asia Civil service exams main path to government office 960-1270 Song Dynasty North ruled by non-Chinese invaders 1279-1368 Yuan Dynasty Mongol conquest and rule 1368-1644 Ming Dynasty Chinese restoration Great Wall built 1644-1911 Qing Dynasty Manchu conquest and rule 1839-42 1851-64 Opium War Taiping Rebellion 1860s-90s 1885 1894 1898 1900 1905 1911 Self-Strengthening Movement Sino-French War over Vietnam Sino-Japanese War over Korea Kang Youwei’s 100 Days Reform Boxer Uprising Sun Yat-sen forms Revolutionary Alliance Republican Revolution 1912-1949 Republic of China Yuan Shikai Presidency 1913 1915 1916 Yuan establishes military dictatorship Yuan imperial restoration Civil War 1916-26 1919 1921 1922 Warlord period May 4th Incident Founding of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Nationalist Party revitalization by Sun Yat-sen United Front with CCP Death of Sun Yat-sen (Succession by Chiang Kai-shek) 1925 1926-27 1931 1934 1936 Nationalist reunification Purge of CCP Japanese seize Manchuria CCP Long March to north China Kidnapping of Chiang...

Words: 337 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay


... Americans expanded their influence across the continent through the West Ward movement. Although sovereign Native American nations were suppressed and even eliminated in the process, America was not acting as an “imperial power.” At the start of the 19th century, Imperial China, under the Qing dynasty, represented a stable and prosperous nation. There was no reason to believe that the next hundred years would change that, yet the start of the next century, the dynasty had rendered powerless, and the armies of various Western powers were descending on Peking to end the “Boxer Rebellion.” The overriding reason for these changes resulted from Western Imperialism, a movement within the industrialized nations fueled by several important motives. Although British presence in India – the “jewel in the crown,” dates to 1600, by the mid-19th century, the British took control over India following a bloody uprising against the East India Company. In 1917, the...

Words: 604 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...UNITED STATES BECOMES A WORLD LEADER The United States had a long tradition of territorial expansion. Gains of adjacent territory in the 19th century—the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the areas won from Mexico in 1848, and U.S. expansion across the continent—all enhanced American stature. More recently, the defeat and removal of Native American tribes by federal troops had opened the West to farms and ranches, speculators and corporations. A. THE ANNEXATION OF HAWAII In the 1880s a monarchy governed the Hawaiian Islands, but western powers, including the United States, Britain, and Germany, had significant influence in Hawaii’s economy and government. American business interests dominated the lucrative sugar business. Angered by U.S. domination, Hawaiian islanders in 1891 welcomed a native Hawaiian, Liliuokalani, as queen. Liliuokalani attempted to impose a new constitution that strengthened her power. American planters responded by deposing the queen in 1893. Proclaiming Hawaii independent, the Americans requested U.S. annexation. President Grover Cleveland stalled on the annexation treaty; his representative on the islands reported that native Hawaiians objected to it. Under President William McKinley, however, in 1898, Congress voted to annex the Hawaiian Islands. In 1900 Hawaii became American territory. B. THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: CUBA AND THE PHILIPPINES United States involvement in Cuba began in 1895 when the Cubans rebelled against Spanish rule. The......

Words: 1416 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

American Expansionism and Imperialism in the Late Nineteenth Century

...immigrants pouring into our country from around the world. We had enough problems at home and the last thing our leaders wanted was to be drawn into war outside of the continental United States. We were founded on the idea of freedom and we were destined to protect individual rights to freedom, even if it took us beyond our borders. In the late 19th century the United States found its self, producing more agricultural and industrial products than it could consume. Business leaders and politicians began to look abroad to help boost our economic standing in the world. One percent of the population owned 99% of the wealth in America. As a nation we had to evolve (Woog 10). The work force in America began to unite. There were uprisings of people forming unions in order to change the work place practices. At first the corporations simply fired the disgruntled employees and hire others in their place. Working conditions were often deplorable “Because of this, the accident rate was higher in U.S. factories, mines and railroads than in any other industrial nation. According to a survey from 1907, half a million Americans annually were killed, crippled or seriously injured while on the job” (Woog 49). Eventually the government stepped in to regulate businesses. Teddy Roosevelt once intervened between mine owners and strikers, threatening to send in American Troops to run the mines. They were able to reach an agreement and it was a major turning point in......

Words: 1628 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Animal Farm and Politics

...One of Orwell's goals in writing Animal Farm was to portray the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution of 1917 as one that resulted in a government more oppressive, totalitarian, and deadly than the one it overthrew. Many of the characters and events of Orwell's novel parallel those of the Russian Revolution: In short, Manor Farm is a model of Russia, and old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon represent the dominant figures of the Russian Revolution. Mr. Jones is modeled on Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Russian emperor. His rule (1894-1917) was marked by his insistence that he was the uncontestable ruler of the nation. During his reign, the Russian people experienced terrible poverty and upheaval, marked by the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1905 when unarmed protesters demanding social reforms were shot down by the army near Nicholas' palace. As the animals under Jones lead lives of hunger and want, the lives of millions of Russians worsened during Nicholas' reign. When Russia entered World War I and subsequently lost more men than any country in any previous war, the outraged and desperate people began a series of strikes and mutinies that signaled the end of Tsarist control. When his own generals withdrew their support of him, Nicholas abdicated his throne in the hopes of avoiding an all-out civil war — but the civil war arrived in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution, when Nicholas, like Jones, was removed from his place of rule and then died shortly thereafter. old Major...

Words: 977 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Oppression: Seizing the Frustration

...destruction of many ancient writings, Chinese literature had flourished during these times. History has shown the abuse of power results in the oppression of the people. In ancient China, the aristocracy conveyed frequent, social changes. These social changes consequently lead to invariable Wars between states. It was evident that there was an unfair line drawn between the wealthy and the poor during the wars. The poor were forced to fight the wars during these times, while the rich accumulated a substantial amount of wealth. Besides domestic oppression, the people of China experienced invasion from foreign countries like Portugal, Great Britain, Russia, France, the United States, and Japan. In the late 1800s, China experienced an uprising, known as the Boxer Rebellion, due to the oppression caused by their foreign invaders. Through literature, excluding the propaganda, one can understand the social desires and thoughts of an entire nation. The “Foolish Old Man Who Removed Mountains” and “the Tale of the Peach Blossom Spring” are two perfect literary examples to examine and analyze the social desires of the Chinese people. The “Foolish Old Man Who Removed Mountains” tells the story of an old man living behind two mountains. The mountains blocked his way to the south causing him to choose a path around the obstruction. Unhappy with the two mountains, the old man decided to level them in order to create a...

Words: 956 - Pages: 4