Why The Boxer Rebellion Was Called The Boxer Rebellion

by Daniel Russ on December 13, 2009

A Wushu Practitioner

A Wushu Practitioner

The introduction of evangelicals into China was bound to have reprecusions that would result in outbursts of violence. The Catholic Church, seeing profits and souls in new converts targeted southeast Asia, China in particular, to find new members. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Japan, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States, had all located embassies or more properly, legations in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Up until this moment, progressive Asian governments were happy, even anxious to bring western values and styles into their own lands. Highly positioned Asian diplomats from the Chinese government to the Japanese government had given up 19th century indigenous dress. No. The Chinese authorities and high level traders were making money now, experiencing modern western technology and so welcomed the appearance of the evangelical elements into their own culture. Top hats and tails and cocktails and acnes were the fashion of the day and the Chinese workers smock was often looked down upon as the mark of Chinese backwardness. So Chinese were torn, but ultimately the rebellion gathered steam and became a full fledged and unexpected attack on Chinese Christians and Catholics who were massacred by the Boxers.

At one point during the rebellion, the foreign legations had to join together to fight off incessant attacks from the Boxers. There were times when Russian and British and Japanese and US Marines expeditionary forces fought on the same side against what was seen as ruthless masses filled with vengeance, or so steered that way by leaders. That said, the Boxers were so called because they practiced a sort of state sponsored Kung Fu called Wushu; state-sponsored as opposed to Kung Fu which was basically a religious force from monks who threatened the newly formed Chinese national government’s authority.

What else is remarkable here is that nations that were at war elsewhere, Russia and Japan for instance, fought shoulder to shoulder in China. I guess there is nothing that quite joins people together as being in the same foxhole watching tracers come your way.

Unlikely Brotherhoods-Japanese and British Troops Attack Chinese Positions In 1900

Unlikely Brotherhoods-Japanese and British Troops Attack Chinese Positions In 1900

Many of these Boxers were convinced that Wushu would protect them from bullets. Didn’t work, by the way.

“The terrorist activities of the Boxer society culminated on June 17, 1900, in a general uprising in Peking, capital of China. Many foreigners and others took refuge in the part of the city where the foreign legations were located; the The rebels placed the area under siege. In June 1900 Britain, Russia, Japan, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria combined forces, and suffered initial defeats. A relief expedition consisting of British, French, Japanese, Russian, German, and American troops relieved the besieged quarter and occupied Beijing (Peking) on Aug. 14, 1900. The US suffered 53 dead and 253 wounded in the rebellion.The relief forces retained possession of the city until a peace treaty was signed on September 7, 1901. By the terms of the treaty the Chinese were required to pay, over a period of 40 years, an indemnity of $333 million. Other treaty provisions included commercial concessions and the right to station foreign troops to guard the legations in Peking and to maintain a clear corridor from Beijing to the coast. The Middle Kingdom was not under de facto colonial rule. Despite U.S. efforts to stop further territorial encroachment, Russia extended its sphere of influence in Manchuria during the rebellion.”

Source: Wiki and Bing


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