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Taiping Rebellion

Taiping Rebellion, 1850–64, revolt against the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty of China. It was led by Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, a visionary from Guangdong who evolved a political creed and messianic religious ideology influenced by elements of Protestant Christianity. His object was to found a new dynasty, the Taiping [great peace]. Strong discontent with the corrupt and decaying Chinese government brought him many adherents, especially among the poorer classes, and the movement spread with great violence through the E Chang (Yangtze) valley. The rebels captured Nanjing in 1853 and made it their capital. The Western powers, particularly the British, who at first sympathized with the movement, soon realized that the Ch'ing dynasty might collapse and with it foreign trade. They offered military help and led the Ever-Victorious Army, which protected Shanghai from the Taipings. The Taipings, weakened by strategic blunders and internal dissension, were finally defeated by new provincial armies led by Tseng Kuo-fan and Li Hung-chang. Some 20 million people died in the uprising, which was filled with acts of barbarism on both sides.

See J. M. Callery and M. Yvan, History of the Insurrection in China (tr. 1853, repr. 1969); W. J. Hail, Tseng Kuo-fan and the Taiping Rebellion (1927, repr. 1964); E. P. Boardman, Christian Influence upon the Ideology of the Taiping Rebellion, 1851–1864 (1952); F. H. Michael, The Taiping Rebellion (3 vol., 1966–71); S. R. Platt, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (2012).

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"Taiping Rebellion." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Taiping Rebellion

Taiping Rebellion (1850–64). A major Chinese uprising which threatened to overthrow the Ch'ing dynasty. The Taiping's ‘Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace’ (T'ai-p'ing t'ien-kuo) was a theocracy established and ruled by Hung Hsiu-ch'uan (1814–64). Influenced by Confucian utopianism and Protestant Christianity, Hung came to understand himself through dramatic visionary experiences to be the brother of Christ Jesus and God's second holy son. The religio-political movement stressed the equality of the sexes, Christian education, and social welfare. As Hung Hsiu-ch'uan promised his followers reward in heaven for martyrdom on earth, zealous Taiping forces fought Ch'ing government troops with remarkable success. At the zenith of its wealth and power, however, the Taiping kingdom was shaken by internecine strife, and the religious community slowly began to disintegrate. Realizing the end was near, Hung Hsiu-ch'uan committed suicide in 1864. The Taiping Rebellion lasted for fourteen years and inspired many later anti-Ch'ing revolutionaries such as Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek.

The basic ‘programme’ of the rebellion is contained in T'ien-t'iao shu (Eng. tr., North China Herald, 14 May 1853), including a reapplied Ten Commandments.

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"Taiping Rebellion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Taiping Rebellion

Taiping Rebellion a sustained uprising against the Qing dynasty in China 1850–64. The rebellion was led by Hong Xinquan (1814–64), who had founded a religious group inspired by elements of Christian theology and proposing egalitarian social policies. His large army captured Nanjing in 1853 but was eventually defeated at Shanghai at the hands of an army trained by the British general Charles Gordon. The rebellion was finally defeated after the recapture of Nanjing, some 20 million people having been killed, but the Qing dynasty was severely weakened as a result. The name comes from Chinese T'ai-p'ing-wang ‘Prince of great peace’, a title given to Hong Xinquan.

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"Taiping Rebellion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Taiping Rebellion

Taiping Rebellion (1851–64) Revolt in China against the Manchurian Qing dynasty, led by a Hakka fanatic, Hung Hsiu-ch'uan. The fighting laid waste to 17 provinces of China and resulted in more than 20 million deaths. The Qing never fully recovered their ability to govern all of China.

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