week 12 journal
DepartmentGlobal Asia Studies
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The Taiping Rebellion
The greatest rebellion in Chinese history is said to be the Taiping rebellion. It took place in
southern China from 1850 to 1864. It is estimated that 40 million people have died in this
uprising, most of which were civilians. It started with the bursting growth of Chinese
population, which caused massive famine in the southern parts of China, and also China
during that time was having many internal rebellions. The Taiping leader at the time was
Hong Xiuquan. To point out, his background story was that he failed the rigid imperial
examination three times and since then adopted a strange version of Christianity that he
picked up from a foreign missionary. He saw himself as the younger brother of Jesus Christ.
He grew in popularity in the poor areas of south China. With his ideologies, he waged war
on the Manchu empire. They picked up massive support along the way. They had to turn
back before getting to Tianjin, but by that time they have already taken over 16 out of the
18 provinces in China. It wasn’t years later, with the help of British and French forces that
China defeated against the rebellion.
The Treaty Port System in China
By 1910, there were over 100 treaty ports in China. They were used as a base for foreign
trade according to terms of a treaty. Shanghai was the largest treaty port in China and also
the center of foreign presence and foreign privileges. Though the number of westerners in
treaty ports were small, their influences were great. Surrounding areas experienced
manufacture growth and the production of many new types of consumer goods. With the
rise of foreign power, some Chinese began to experience mistreatment by these same
westerners. They were excluded from foreign clubs and parks and treated like second class
citizens. Most Chinese people never saw a westerner but rather dismissed them as weird
barbarians by way of rumour.
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