The Boxer Rebellion l HISTORY OF CHINA


By the 19th Century, the Chinese and the foreigners
had grown highly distrustful of each other, and it was only a matter of time before the
powder keg exploded. And when it did, it was to be the death knell for the Qing Dynasty and
Imperial China. I’m Indy Neidell, welcome to “Battlefields”. During the 1880s and 1890s, tensions were
rising, with increasing individual acts of violence, particularly against communities
of Christian converts. The 1894 Sino-Japanese War ended in another humiliating defeat for
the Chinese, and China was forced to sign yet more “unequal treaties” in 1895, ceding
several territories for foreign occupation. This naturally increased resentment of foreigners. That war also led to poor harvests, economic disruptions, and banditry, which of course
only led to more civil unrest. Now, religious societies had played a central
role in uprisings throughout Chinese history, and during the last decade of the 19th Century,
a number of secret organisations emerged in northern China with a strong emphasis on physical
exercise and mysticism, along with anti-foreign and anti-Christian sentiment. The biggest
of these groups would be the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists” or Yihequan, who held public performances of martial arts and spirit possession and claimed that their rituals rendered them invulnerable to bullets and shells. In
the West, they soon became known as the Boxers. With the slogan “Support the Qing, destroy
the foreigner”, they caught the imagination of rural Shandong Province and drew many out-of-work
young men into their ranks. The Boxers embarked on a campaign against
missionaries and converts to Christianity. Foreign leaders pressured the Qing government
to suppress the sect, and initial clashes took place in the summer of 1899. When the
governor of Shandong drove the Boxers out of the province in 1900, they headed north, approaching Tianjin and Beijing and attacking Christian communities along the way. By May,
the Boxer movement, while still armed with simple weapons like swords and polearms, had
become more organised. It was attacking railways and telegraph lines, and had gained popular
support in both the cities and the countryside. Now, Qing troops continued to engage the Boxers
in early 1900, but Empress Dowager Cixi soon seemed to reverse the government’s anti-Boxer
position, decreeing that secret societies should not all be treated as criminals. Now, she
was considered the leader of the conservative faction at the Qing court, and she may have
sought to harness the Boxers as a means of removing foreign influence from China. She
was also aware of the danger that such popular movements posed, lest they turn the Chinese
people against the Qing. In any case, the foreign legations in Beijing
grew so fearful, that they requested permission
to call in foreign soldiers for protection. The Chinese government reluctantly agreed, and just over 400 marines arrived in Beijing
on May 31st, but on June 6th, Boxers destroyed the Beijing Tianjin railway, cutting off the foreign legations. Days later, rioters burned down the grandstand of Beijing Race Course, who had sought refuge within it died. Two
days after that, the Japanese chancellor was assassinated. British minister Claude MacDonald
wired for help, and over 2000 international troops landed at Tianjin and began a march
towards Beijing. If the Chinese army’s position in this whole
affair had been unclear up to this point, this act of invasion finally drove them into
an alliance with the Boxers. They drove the relief force back, and in Beijing, the foreign legations were given an ultimatum to leave within 24 hours, which they refused. On the afternoon of June 20th, Chinese forces
opened fire on the missions, which had been fortified with makeshift barricades. This
was the last that the outside world heard from Beijing for several weeks. The siege of the Legation Quarter had begun. The foreign powers decided that a bigger force was needed. Over 50,000 soldiers and marines from eight different countries – Japan (whose
forces made up over a third of the combined army), Russia, Britain (including many Indian
troops), France, the United States, Germany, Austria -Hungary and Italy landed on the coast, capturing Tianjin on July 14th with heavy casualties on both sides. At around the same
time, reports started arriving that the foreign diplomats, their families, the Chinese Christians
seeking refuge with them and the marines guarding them had been massacred, but the leadership
of the Eight Nation Alliance could not confirm these reports. After defeating the Imperial Army at Beicang and Yangcun, the allied troops reached the eastern outskirts of Beijing. By now, it had become clear that reports of a massacre were false, and the legations were
still holding out in the diplomatic quarter. The invading army was formed into four columns,
each charged with attacking a particular city gate and section of wall. After a premature
attack by the Russians on the night of the 13th of August, the Battle of Beijing began. It soon became a race to see who could relieve
the Legations first. The Russians were the first to enter the city in the rainy early
hours of the morning, but Japanese troops bore the brunt of the fighting as they assaulted the Chih Hua Gate on the right flank, East of the Imperial City. American and British
troops scaled the walls of the southern half of the city. After overwhelming the defenders
and entering the city, they breached the inner gate leading to the Tartar City, where the
Legation Quarter was. By the evening of 14th August, the Legations had been relieved. Beitang
Church, where thousands of Christians had sought refuge, was also relieved two days
later. Muslim troops accompanied the Empress Dowager and Emperor as they fled to Xian while
the victorious foreign soldiers pillaged the ruined capital. Over a hundred thousand civilians
were dead, including 30,000 Chinese Christians. Fighting would continue over the following months, but the main part of the Boxer Rebellion was over. Tales quickly reached Europe and America of the brave defence of the Legation Quarter
during the 55 day siege. The New York Sun called it “the most exciting episode ever
known to civilization”. The reality was somewhat more complicated. While there had been ongoing sniping and occasional
skirmishes during the first weeks of the siege, by the middle of July the situation had actually calmed. Truces and lulls in the fighting had allowed the besieged to replenish supplies, and the
Empress Dowager had even ordered several shipments of fruit sent to the Legation Quarter. In general, restraint on the part of the Chinese government was at least partly responsible for the legation quarter not being overrun, and there is some evidence that many high-ranking
Imperial officers tried their best to remain moderate amidst the chaos, holding back their troops, when they could have ordered an all-out attack. The victorious foreign powers did not see
it that way, though. Allied troops would occupy Beijing for over a year, and undertook punitive expeditions in the surrounding countryside, with many reports of looting and atrocities. On September 7th, 1901, the Boxer Protocol was signed. China was forced to pay 450 million
taels in silver over a period of 40 years as indemnity, anti-foreign societies were banned on pain of death, and the importation of armaments was forbidden. While the Protocol was seen as the culmination of a long series of “Unequal Treaties”, China was not entirely
without bargaining power. The government was not deposed, and China rejected demands to
execute several leading figures in the war. Cixi embarked on a programme of modernisation
during the final years of her life, following the Japanese model of constitutional monarchy, but revolutionary republican movements soon sought to oust the Qing entirely. While they had ruled for two and a half centuries, it now appeared that they too had lost the mandate
of heaven, like the Han, the Tang and the Ming before them. You can find out all about the rise and fall
of the great Ming and Qing dynasties right here, and if you missed it, find out just
what major influence the Opium War had on China and how it would change Chinese History
forever! And subscribe to “It’s History” to keep up
with all videos on our current season and be sure to check out our Facebook page for
more historical facts. See you next time.

100 thoughts on “The Boxer Rebellion l HISTORY OF CHINA

  1. What about the ten thousand strong Chinese Muslim army? The Kansu Braves. Loyal to the Qing, the Braves were recruited in 1895 to suppress a Muslim revolt in Gansu.

    Plus a fair few of the Christians slaughtered were Russian. Russia had already taken Japan.

    Beijing was actually called Peking at that time.

  2. The tragic part is that 14 years later, these European countries were at war with each other and Russians were fighting a civil war…. seems even the common man in Europe and Russia ended up killing each other ….more people died in Europe during WW1 than during the boxer ‘rebellion’…. rough justice… seems God decided to punish the Christian countries

  3. All this war. All the time. Forever. Just ask "why." There is no point to it if anyone stops and thinks. NO, it's not in the nature of men. It's happening, "for other reasons." Something else is going on in this world. If today there were no laws, would you start shooting your neighbors. Just the opposite, you would band together with neighbors to create your own security. Sure, there would be some thug groups that pop up but they would be outnumbered by good people 1,000 to 1. If you want to know why the endless war, seek out the conspiracy theorists.

  4. I saw the movie with this rebellion is based on, it called “55 days of Peking” it a old movie but I’m not gonna tell you if it’s good or not it’s up to you to decide.

  5. When the European and Japanese soldiers were given task to root out rebellions, without knowledge of Chinese culture and language, all they did was rape every women they found, loot every gold, and torched everything else to ashes to hide the evidence. US Navy reported that they saw hundreds of women were rounded up in a hall and then raped by hundreds of Russian and French soldiers. Once they finished, all women were bayoneted, the hall were later torched. Similar things reported across China. The US government called the search mission to be stopped as people in Southern China received the news and ready to start much larger rebellions. It was too late, years later, Qing were overthrown.

  6. Oh i know this story .Flying city Columbia lead by Zachary Hale Comstock fly down and raindown the sky with rocket

  7. Please rike my video if it does not do well I be execute. Or at the velly reast it wirrl bling great dishoner to my famarrry

  8. It's interesting to think about how many other people's all over the world had their own cultures and religions that were completely wiped out by the rise of christianity and Islam. Now what the Chinese and earlier the Japanese did to there own people just because they were Christian converts is absolutely horrible and completely unacceptable but it is an interesting thought experiment that maybe the only way to ensure the survival of your culture and religion from the rise of christianity and Islam was to be as brutal and swift as the Chinese and Japanese were when they first came into contact with christianity. It's interesting to think how different the world would be (different not better) if other people's around the world were as swift and brutal the Aztecs for instance what if they were as swift and brutal as the chinese and Japanese when they first came into contact with christianity or even the celts or how about the native north american tribes 79% of Japan practice shinto traditions to this day and 80% of China practice some from of Chinese folk religion or taoism to this day if these other people's were as brutal and swift as the chinese and Japanese would 80% of Mexico still be practicing the Aztec religion or would 80% of Ireland still be practicing and believing in Celtic folklore and mythology? would the dominant religions in middle America be a hoshposh of Blackfoot, Shawnee, Mohave, Cherokee, Apache and Navajo religions instead of it being "the bible belt" as its known today? Maybe the brutality wouldn't have mattered because the Chinese and Japanese had advantages these other people's didn't for instance a strong and centralized power structure which the native north Americans and the celts didn't have and probably more importantly for whatever reason European diseases didn't seem to harm the Chinese and Japanese as much as it did the Aztecs and native north American tribes

  9. Chinese and dogs are not allowed to enter this place,this place is in China,European whites said,How Shameless and racist

  10. The richest chinese territories refused the royal decree of war dec on the foreign nations. It saved alot chinese lives and industry.

  11. The way I see it is that Qing govt just wanted to get rid of the largest domestic armed military that was NOT controlled by them and also many of the anti-modernization force in its govt.
    They can't do it themselves cause it will cause a rebellion among the population so they get the West to do it for them.
    Cixi's plan actually worked and were able to go about her modernization plan with few restriction.

  12. Speaking of the US involve in the Boxer Rebellion, was this action even approve by Congress? Did Japan really have a Chancellors? I thought they have a prime minister?

  13. Just and righteous cause for the Chinese. You can see the resuslts of this spiritual supress doing it's works today. And people themselves are oblivious to it.

    Thanks God, there is a reason to the madness, after all.

  14. They should play this in school instead of having us do the reading. I feel like people would be more interested since it's a video, and a lot of people like that. Also I got a lot more from this than I did the reading, thanks! 😅

  15. In my east asian history class in college, we learned about the impossible victories of the weaponless boxers over armies with guns, and reports of them using supernatural abilities. Now its extremely hard to find info on this like its being covered up

  16. Hahhahahahhahah EUROPE is getting their karma for their colonialism long time ago. Islam will destroy EUROPE and Japan is becoming a pathetic countries after it was dominated by AmericanFag.

  17. Good story about the battle of Peking. No information about the underlying social causes during the 19th century which led to it. The forced introduction of opium by the British only merits one sentence.

  18. There were monarchists who hoped that Cixi would be replaced by the reform-minded emperor when she died. After Cixi murdered the emperor in 1908, even conservative figures turned against the Qing.

  19. I don't like your minimisation of the unequal treaties China was forced to sign around this period. As a historian you should well know that China's antiquated military was no match for that of the imperial powers who willy-nilly carved out massive pieces of Chinese territory for themselves in which businesses would display signs such as "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed". If we hadn't all raped China the way we did back then, maybe they wouldn't be such a potential threat to the Western world as they are now. Also, real nice including the Indian troops among the line-up of the British, thanks for mentioning the Australians, we were our own nation by the time the Boxer Rebellion ended…

  20. What about Australia? You showed a picture of Australian troops yet you didn’t mention them…

  21. I don't blame them for rebelling. Basically and in the first place, they encountered the old "trade or die" gunboat diplomacy just like everybody else in that region was going through by power-hungry foreigners. Then we know what came next. Drugs and addicts, diseases & plagues, mock trials and genocidal assault. Serfdom. All part of the rotgut ugliness of our history.

  22. The drought intensified the hatred between Christian and non Christian Chinese, also the power struggle inside the Manchu court. There was also some manipulation of Han Chinese elites who wanted to overthrow the Manchus.

  23. If Hong Kongers know their roots, and the humiliation China went through, they would embrace the motherland instead of protesting.

  24. If you haven't mentioned Briton's forced feeding of heroin and opium-based drugs on the Chinese populatin to fund their colonization of India in the first two minutes of your eight minute documentary then shame on you, bro. I can't waste my valuable time on you. Blessings.

  25. Omission: Not one word about how Opium (mainly controlled and distributed by the Brits) became the scourge of the land… also fueling hatred of "foreign devils". Contrast with today, opiates being the scourge across the USA and Canada, with Fetanyl pouring in from… yes, China.

  26. While I understand the Chinese feelings and desires to be free, it was monumentally stupid to go ahead and provoke 11 world powers, each of which could flatten them alone at that time…

  27. The foreigners invaded other people country was a very big mistake they made and bullied the Chinese already. There had no need to spread other religions to China since it had its own religions already. If Bruce the Great did live during that time, he would have had killed many foreigners like pigs and chickens !!! 😤😤☝️

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