The Boxer Rebellion Essay

720 words - 3 pages

As written in the book The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China by David J. Silbey, the author gives an account of the Boxer Rebellion. David J. Silbey, the author gives an account using allied soldier and diplomat’s letters and diaries of the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer Rebellion is an anti-foreigner movement in China during 1900. The conclusion of this rebellion lead to China having signed the Boxer Protocol in September 1901(Page 225). This treaty entailed the Chinese paying reparations to the United States, Russia, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and Austria-Hungary.

Aptly named the Boxer Rebellion, the first question you must ask if who the Boxers are. The Boxers is the name used by western society to call the peasant based group Yi-he Quan, which can be generally translated to “Righteousness Fists of Harmony” or “Boxers United in Righteousness” (Page 35).Very few written documents are composed by the Boxers as they were largely illiterate. As a group they were largely autonomous, with no central leader or a ranking system. The Boxer’s were largely composed of poor illiterate males, although they were thought to have a mystical female group called Red Lanterns.

The Boxer’s followed a philosophy which when in practice used physical and religious rituals which can make the person supposedly impervious to bullets and physical harm (Page 7). They wore elaborate red clothing and sashes and displayed spiritual martial arts performances in public spaces to display their prowess. (Page 36). Another principle of the Boxers, was the anti-foreigner policy in China. They blamed their misfortunes of China on the foreigners who came to China as missionaries, railroad workers, diplomats, and soldiers.

The Boxers wanted to force out all foreigners and their Christian converts from the country. Their first targets were the Christian Chinese themselves, who used the foreign powers and missionaries as a benefit to avoid local law disputes. Criminals used the missionaries as a protective defense from their crimes, which most locals would not have access to outside help.

As Sibley mentions, the Boxers used a different form...

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