Siege At Peking Essay

2741 words - 11 pages

With the Imperial government “backing” the Boxers they moved across the countryside toward Peking, “They destroyed railways, telegraph lines, collieries [coal mines] and machine shops, as well as chapels and schools.” They destroyed any foreign article they could find. The Boxers searched Chinese officials fleeing from the capital for foreign articles in their possession. If any were found they were destroyed. In May of 1900, an increasingly large number of anti-foreign officials were being promoted within the court. Wang, a Civil Service Investigator who was known for his pro-Boxer sentiment was raised two grades and became the Governor of Peking. A rising number of Boxers were seen in and around Peking performing their martial rituals. Fearing the worst, foreign diplomats stationed in Peking demanded permission to garrison a troop base in the Legation Quarter but the Chinese continually denied the request. After the destruction of the nearby railway to Paoting Fu guards were sent for off the coast where a multinational fleet had assembled. About four hundred troops arrived from the coast to protect the Legation Quarter. Britain, France, and Russia all sent seventy-five troops a piece and the rest of the force made up of fifty Americans, forty Italians, and twenty-five Japanese. The troops arrived only a day before all communication with the sea-coast was cut off. During the night of the 31st the troops from the coast arrived at Ma Chaia P’u and walked to the Legations in the dark, thereby avoiding a dangerous public outcry because of the military presence. The occupation settled fears and pacified the citizens for the time being in Peking.
While there was a lull in Peking, the surrounding countryside was engulfed in chaos. Many railway lines were destroyed because of the uprising and in attempt to continue the flow of goods, teams were sent out to repair the broken lines. On June 2, a rescue force was sent to nearby Paotingfu to save a group of German railway workers that were attacked while trying to repair the line. The workers waited in hopes the rescue party would break through the Boxer resistance. After multiple tries to break through the Tientsin force failed to do so and were forced to retreat back without rescuing the German workers. In desperation the workers fled to the river and floated past Boxer forces without being detected. Seven workers were lost in the endeavor and the number or foreign casualties continued to rise. The next day two British missionaries, Harry Norman and Charles Robinson, only fifty miles from the capital were murdered. On June 4, Boxers resumed their destruction of railroad lines. The main railway from Peking to Tientsin became their main target. Downed railway lines made it increasingly more difficult to reinforce the Peking garrison.
As hostilities increased and more foreigners became casualties of the Boxer’s, the international community began taking the necessary steps to pacify the situation. A...

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