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Chapter 8

History 2601E Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: White Lotus Rebellion, Hong Xiuquan, Old Summer Palace

Course Code
HIS 2601E
James Flath

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Spence - Chapter 8
Social dislocation north and south
- China's growing domestic instability was the cause and consequence of the damaging
defeat inflicted from British
- many elements of instability:
- growing population putting pressure on land
- outflow of silver
- difficulty for educated elites to gain official employment
- growing opium problem/addiction
- decrease in regular banner armies
- demoralization in bureaucracy caused by Heshan
- wide-scale suffering that accompanied the spread and eventual suppression of
White Lotus rebellion
- bureaucracies managing Yellow River dike works and Grand Canal grew ineffective
- using government money for their own private purpose
- consequence: Grand Canal was silting up of stretches & failure to regulate water
levels on Yellow and Huai rivers at the point where they cross the Grand Canal (crucially
weakening the system of government rice transport from the south)
- workers along canal pulled government barges for a living, many workers
banded their own secret associations (to protect their jobs and to tyrannize the
local farming communities)
- massive government system of salt distribution - was once supervised by Qing officials
- inefficiencies and corruption led to salt smuggling and personal trade systems
- private interests were intruding onto governmental sphere
- Lin Qing
- travelled between north and south China, working various jobs
- joined a religious sect, drawing beliefs from millenarian Buddhism
- gave inspirational speeches and people donated money
- made plans to move to Peking and kill Emperor Jiaqing
- plot was unraveled, captured, head cut off and displayed in Henan as warning
to his followers
- the Triads
- developed in Taiwan
- aka Heaven and Earth Society
- engaged in criminal activities while protecting themselves through society members
in the magistrates' own yamens (office)
- offered alternative form of protection and organizational focus for those living on
edge of destitution (without basic necessities of life)
- women would joined - gave them a prestige and function in society
- claimed it was their cause to oust Qing and restore Ming
- anti-Manchu stance fueled by inability of Qing to control foreigners in Canton
and repeated occupations of city by foreign troops
- encouraged formation of army to defend Canton against British
- encounter was a symbol for possibility of united resistance to foreign pressures
The Taiping
- elements similar to the Triads
- restlessness and religious self-identification of an individual (ex: Lin Qing)
- underlying social discord in southeast
- growing strength and variety of secret society organizations among the poor
- dislocation caused by British and opium trade
- Hong Xiuquan
- passed the initial state examination but failed the licentiate's shengyuan degree (that
would exempt him from physical punishment)
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