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Boxer Rebellion

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Author Topic: Boxer Rebellion  (Read 3843 times)
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« on: September 07, 2007, 05:42:11 am »

The Uprising

Boxer activity began in Shandong province in March 1898, in response to German occupation of the Jiao Zhou region, the British seizing of Weihai city, and the failure of the Imperial court's Self-Strengthening Movement. One of the first signs of unrest appeared in a small village in Shandong province, where there had been a long dispute over the property rights of a temple between locals and the Roman Catholic authorities. The Catholics claimed that the temple was originally a church abandoned for decades after the Kangxi Emperor banned Christianity in China. The local court ruled in favor of the church, and angered villagers who needed the temple for rituals. After the local authorities turned over the temple to the Catholics, the villagers attacked the church, led by the Boxers.

The exemption from many Chinese laws of missionaries further alienated some Chinese. Marshall Broomhall pointed to the policy pursued by the Catholic Church. In 1899, by the help of the French Minister in Peking they obtained an edict from the Chinese Government granting official rank to each order in the Roman hierarchy. The Catholics, by means of this official status were enabled to more powerfully support their people and oppose Mandarins.

The early months of the movement's growth coincided with the Hundred Days' Reform (June 11–September 21, 1898), during which the Guangxu Emperor of China sought to improve the central administration, before the process was reversed by several court reactionaries. After the Boxers were mauled by loyal Imperial troops in October 1898, they dropped their anti-government slogans and turned their attention to foreign missionaries (such as those of the China Inland Mission) and their converts, whom they saw as agents of foreign imperialist influence.

Veteran missionary Griffith John noted afterward:

“ It is the height of folly to look at the present movement as anti-missionary. It is anti-missionary as it is anti-everything that is foreign. ..The movement is at first and last an anti-foreign movement, and has for its aim the casting out of every foreigner and all his belongings.
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