1898-1901 Boxer Rebellion

Boxer Rebellion

1) Description
The Boxer Rebellion originated in 1898 when groups of peasants in northern China began to band together into a secret society known as the "Boxers". Members of the secret society practiced boxing, which they believed would make them impervious to bullets. At first, the aim of the Boxers was to destroy the Qing dynasty and therefore rid China of all foreign influence (which they considered a threat to Chinese culture). However, when the Chinese imperial government gave its support to the Boxers, the Boxers turned solely to defeating the foreigners. By late 1899, bands of Boxers were massacring Christian missionaries and Chinese Christians. In May of 1900, the Boxer Rebellion had spread from the rural areas to Beijing. In order to protect their interests in China, an international force of 2,100 American, British, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese soldiers were sent to subdue the "rebellion."

However, on August 14, 1900, the international force subdued the rebellion and brought Beijing under control.

2) Significance
The Boxer Rebellion had greatly weakened the power and influence of the Qing Dynasty, thus hastening the revolution of 1911. In addition, this simply added to the intense anti-foreigner feelings in China, which laid the foundation for the rise of nationalism in China in the 1900s. This increasing sense of nationalistic pride would later provide an effective condition for the CCP to rise to power, gaining popularity. With its efforts in fighting off the Japanese in the 1930s and 40s, the CCP would win the support of the majority of the nation, appealing not only to the people's nationalistic feelings but also their anti-foreign power sentiments which grew from events such as the Boxer Rebellion.