DepartmentGlobal Asia Studies
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Treaty Ports: was the name given to the port cities in China that were opened to foreign
trade by the Unequal Treaties. The treaty port system in China lasted broadly speaking one
hundred years. The treaties were signed by China after suffering military defeat in The
Opium War with the British due to the threat of military action by this Western power. It
began with the 1841 Opium War, and the major powers involved were initially the British,
with the eventual involvement of the French and the Americans.
Taiping Rebellion: The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from,
led by heterodox Chr istian convert Hong Xiuquan, against the ruling Qing Dynasty. About 20
million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest milit ary conf licts in history. Hong
established the "Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace", with its capital at Nanjing. The Kingdom’s
Army controlled large parts of southern China, at its height containing about 30 million people.
The rebels attempted social reforms and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism and
Chinese folk religion with a for m of Chr istianity. Troops were nicknamed the Long hair. The
Taiping areas were besieged by Qing forces throughout most of the rebellion. The Qing
government defeated the rebellion with the eventual aid of French and Br itish forces.
Vietnam’s 30 Year War: This war was fought between North Vietnam, suppor ted by its
communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, suppor ted by the U.S. and other anti-
communist nations. The U.S. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a
communist takeover of South Vietnam and part of their wider strategy of containment. The North
Vietnamese government viewed the war as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed
by the U.S., and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a U.S. puppet state. The war
exacted a huge human cost; estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed
vary from less than one million to more than three million.
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