Term Paper: Taiping Rebellion vs. Boxer

Pages: 18 (7651 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Rewinding back to a few years, in 1835, Leang-afa, the first protestant Christian to set foot into China, had shared several documents about Christianity with Hung. 20 Hung had not gone through it inkling till the point of time when there was a second reminder, and he started fathoming them in his home at his village. An illness took over Hung, and he was pushed into a coma for a period of four days. 21

There was a sudden eye-opener for him during the time he was unconscious. He was able to recall his travel and that jolted him. He got the notion that God was paternal to him and Jesus Christ was fraternal to him. He started meticulously going about it by presenting his eye-opener in both religious wavelength, and by also giving a political shade to it, and slowly turned himself into a path where he believed he founded a new cult for China. 22. Many became his followers, and men with inherent talents for military functions came under him. History calls them the Taiping ("great peace") rebels. Translations done by Hung on the Christian philosophy built themselves up as the basics of the Taiping Rebellion. Lean afa and Hung started their rhetoric on the streets. 23

19 J.S.M. Ward. The Hung Society, or the Society of Heaven and Earth. 2 Vols. Londres, (1925) p.63

20. Vincent Y.C. Shih "The Taiping Ideology" University of Washington Press, (1967) p.41

Jack, Gray "Rebellions and Revolutions, China from the 1800' to the 1980s: The Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1964," Oxford, Oxford University Press (1990) p. 18

22. Michael, Franz. The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents, vol. 2, Dosuments and Comments Seattle: University of Washington Press, (1971) p.32

23, Chesneaux, Jean; Marianne, Bastid; and Bergere, Marie Claire. "China: From the Opium Wars to the 1911 Revolution" Pantheon Books, (1976) p.44

Along with the support of a number of associates, he established the Society of God Worshippers and stayed in a lead position in the organization for a period ending March 1847, during which time he came back to Canton to make an analytical study with Isaachar. T. Roberts.24 Roberts, an American Southern Baptist missionary then, took Hung into his arms as his benevolent student and added fuel to the fire of his rebellion. 25 This was not to continue the same way, there was about to be a change. This was the man who was to call Hung and his followers "coolie kings" and totally short of the ability to rule.

By drawing a gist from his studies Hung made his copy of the Christian belief. According to his version it was acceptable that God created the Universe, but Jesus was never to be worshipped, and the notion of Trinity went akin with Confucian values. 26 "Taiping's thoughts went along the line that they were careful preferences of God, with a particular goal to throw overboard the evil Manchu rule."27 As they carried across the notion that they formed a huge chunk of the Divine Kingdom, they also went along with the notion that Manchus were curs and do not hold a valid reason to be owners of a kingdom. 28 In spite of the accumulation of beliefs of Western religion by the Taiping, the religious thoughts were a mixture rather than of a pure Christian sect.

24. Jonathon D. Spence "The Taiping Version of a Christian China 1836-1864" Baylor University Press, (1996) p.59

25. P.A Kuhn. "The Taiping Rebellion" John K. Fairbank (Ed.) The Cambridge History of China, Vol. X, Late Ch'ing, Part 1, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, (1978) p. 266

26. Michael, Franz. "The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents, vol. 2, Dosuments and Comments" Seattle: University of Washingon Press, (1971) p.35

27. S.Y Teng. The Taiping Rebellion and the Western Powers. Oxford: Clarendon Press, (1971) p.20

28.E. Boardman. "Christian Influence upon the ideology of the Taiping Rebellion, 1851-1864." Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, (1952).p.81 certain amount of oneness in the faith made them listen attentively to the voice of Confucianism. Their faith in unifying the God with man was to be more correctly in the tenor of Buddhism than Protestantism. Their own copy of the Ten Commandments, which is in other words, or more appropriately their own words the Ten Heavenly Precepts, varies strongly from the Bible. 29. As a translation of translation, it was their property. It has been perceived that the Taiping rebellion is the first imprint of a movement influenced by the western ideas, but the very truth lies in the fact that there has been a repetitive cycle of a dynasty.30 The Taipings have been remolding themselves to the Christian ideology in order to validate their rightful share to the Chinese empire. The Taipings were all but western, and they shifted across to the time-worn practices in China and with a tinge of Christianity to it. In many aspects the Taipings were retaliating against the interfering attitude of ideas widely prevalent in the west of free trade and capitalism, in spite of getting into the shoes of ideas of Christianity in the west. 31

Hung's copy of the truth was to a certain amount native and came to be known during a juncture when there was huge population growth, miserable lack of resources and lack of essential economic resources. 32 The cult found its foundation in a vast change and remold of economic program in which all the money was to be given to one and all equally. The society of Taiping would be without differentiation.

29. Michael, Franz. "The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents." Seattle: University of Washington Press, (1971) p.91

30. Ian Heath and Michael, Perry. "The Taiping Rebellion 1851-1866" Osprey Press, (1994) p.25

31. P.Clarke. "Western reports on the Taiping. A selection of documents. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai, (1982), p.22

32. Jonathon. D. Spence "The Taiping Version of a Christian China 1836-1864" Baylor University Press, (1966) p.58

All of the Taiping held a fraternal relation, with all required duty related with the relationship they held in the society. In every position woman was equal to a man, and they held various gradations in the Kingdom.33 This rejuvenation in social and economic aspect, in hands with the exuberant nationalism that was against the Manchu, in many aspects labeled the Kingdom of Heavenly peace an attraction to the miserable Chinese lots. 34

In the view of the military, there was a mentionable spark to the rebellion. There was impeccable discipline in the army, and after various other ceremonial proceedings, Taiping believers turned out to be very strongly disciplined and concentrated men, ready to abandon their livelihood or even die with a divine aim. 35 The Taiping army shot forward to the north passing through the central Yangtze valley towards Nanking. 36 In spite of the mentionable and strong initiation it vanished without any significant achievement.

The only reason they achieved quick progress was that they kept off from the cities. When a particular territory was occupied, they made no persistent effort to merge the success by launching a mechanism for the administration, but impulsively roared northwards. There was particularly no place for denial in the rungs of the military ladder, and the Heavenly king proudly proclaimed himself as taking up the position from God, and the military generals told it aloud that they were indeed shown the way by God.37

33. Vincent Y.C. Shih "The Taiping Ideology" University of Washington Press, (1967) p. 42

34. Chesneaux, Jean; Marianne, Bastid; and Bergere, Marie Claire. "China: From the Opium Wars to the 1911 Revolution "Pantheon Books, (1976) p.51

35. P.A Kuhn. "The Taiping Rebellion" John K. Fairbank (Ed.) The Cambridge History of China, Vol. X, Late Ch'ing, Part 1, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 272

36. Jack, Gray "Rebellions and Revolutions, China from the 1800' to the 1980s: The Taiping Rebellion, 1850-1964," Oxford, Oxford University Press (1990) p. 19

37. Michael, Franz. "The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents, vol. 2, Dosuments and Comments" Seattle: University of Washingon Press, (1971) p.61

Taipings usurped Nanking during March 1853, and they gave a different name to the city. It was T'ien-ching or the 'Heavenly Capital'. 38 They started firmly proceeding from Tien ching to Beijing, but at that particular juncture they lost the battle. The next ten years were spent in occupying territories. It kept on oscillating, a success now and a defeat then. There was surmounting pressure of war and there was also the problem of inefficient administration. The leads of the Heavenly Kingdom made a futile attempt to merge their authorities in conquered territories, making a choice to rule over major cities. 39 There was significant achievement which was confined only to the cities and not the territories themselves. There was lack of competency, and there was lack of scholars because the scholarly people kept away from the cult.

At a point of time when Hung retired from active politics the Taiping administration slowly… [END OF PREVIEW]

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