China Since 1900

China 1900 to 1976
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In the late 19th century, because of growing economic impoverishment, a series of unfortunate natural calamities , and unbridled foreign aggression in the area, the Boxers began to increase their strength in the provinces of North China.

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In conservative , antiforeign forces won control of the Chinese government and persuaded the Boxers to drop their opposition to the Qing dynasty and unite with it in destroying the foreigners. Many of the Qing officials at this time apparently began to believe that Boxer rituals actually did make them impervious to bullets, and, in spite of protests by the Western powers, they and Cixi , the ruling empress dowager, continued to encourage the group.

Christian missionary activities helped provoke the Boxers; Christian converts flouted traditional Chinese ceremonies and family relations; and missionaries pressured local officials to side with Christian converts—who were often from the lower classes of Chinese society—in local lawsuits and property disputes. By late the Boxers were openly attacking Chinese Christians and Western missionaries. By May , Boxer bands were roaming the countryside around the capital at Beijing. Finally, in early June an international relief force of some 2, men was dispatched from the northern port of Tianjin to Beijing.

On June 13 the empress dowager ordered imperial forces to block the advance of the foreign troops, and the small relief column was turned back. Meanwhile, in Beijing the Boxers burned churches and foreign residences and killed suspected Chinese Christians on sight. On June 17 the foreign powers seized the Dagu forts on the coast in order to restore access from Beijing to Tianjin.

The next day the empress dowager ordered that all foreigners be killed. The German minister was murdered, and the other foreign ministers and their families and staff, together with hundreds of Chinese Christians, were besieged in their legation quarters and in the Roman Catholic cathedral in Beijing.

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Imperial viceroys in the central Yangtze River Chang Jiang valley and in South China ignored government orders and suppressed antiforeign outbreaks in their jurisdiction. They thus helped establish the myth that the war was not the policy of the Chinese government but was a result of a native uprising in the northeast, the area to which the disorders were mainly confined. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! This series of short books on key areas of twentieth-century world history can be used in a variety of ways:. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review.

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Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Tzu Hsi, the empress dowager of the Manchu Dynasty, was publicly "anti-Boxer. These eight foreign powers also maintained legations in the Legation Quarter of Peking.

The population of Peking started to grow as hundreds of foreign missionaries and Chinese Christians began flocking to the city for protection. On May 28 and 29, Boxers burned several railroad stations between Peking and Paotingfu, including the large railroad junction at Fengtai.

By R.J. Rummel

The legations in Peking, fearing they were being isolated, quickly telegraphed for help. The immediate response was the deployment of sailors and marines from foreign ships off China.

On May 31, Capt. John T. Navy Assistant Surgeon T. Lippett from the USS Newark. On June 18, foreign ministers in Peking received word from the Chinese government that a state of war would soon be in effect. The declaration came in response to the capture of the Chinese forts at Taku by the foreign powers the day before. The foreign ministers were given twenty-four hours to leave Peking with the promise of safe passage as far south as Tientsin. The ministers met the next day and declined the offer to leave. The empress dowager issued a declaration of war that included praise for "the brave followers of the Boxers.

Chinese artillery and small arms fire became constant. There were no organized attacks against the legations. On the twenty- fifth, marines took a critical position on the Tartar Wall. Since the beginning of the siege, Chinese forces had constructed barricades some distance from the front of the marines. On the night of June 28, Pvt. Richard Quinn reconnoitered one of these barricades by crawling on his hands and knees to the Chinese position.

Starting around two o'clock the next morning, Captain Myers led U. Marines and British and Russian troops in a charge on the Chinese barricade. The attack, carried out during a rainstorm, was successful; the Chinese fell back to another barricade hundreds of yards to the rear. Two marine privates were killed, and Myers was wounded in the leg.

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Sniper and artillery fire died down to a minimum after an informal truce was made on the sixteenth. This activity continued until the foreign legations were relieved on August Marines participated in several actions in China after Myers's force reached Peking.

Before the siege began, an allied force moved north from Tientsin toward Peking days after a railroad line was torn up, isolating the capital city. Navy Capt. Bowman McCalla second in command.

Seymour's expedition included American sailors and marines. The allied force traveled north, rebuilding the railroad line as they went. Seymour's expedition came within twenty-five miles of Peking but was forced by Boxers and Chinese soldiers to retreat back toward Tientsin. After five days of retreating south, Seymour's force fought its way into a Chinese arsenal six miles north of Tientsin, where they fortified their position and waited for help.

The United States quickly scrambled to send additional troops to help lift the siege of Peking. Two separate detachments of marines left Cavite in the Philippine Islands and joined up near Taku, China.

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Littleton W. On the twentieth, this marine battalion and approximately four hundred Russians engaged the Chinese near Tientsin. The marines were the spearhead of the American-Russian attack but had little success against the more substantial Chinese forces. After an overwhelming counterattack, the Americans and Russians retreated.

The marines formed the rear guard of the retreat, in which they were pursued for four hours. Ending up where they started, the marines had marched a total of thirty miles after going to Tientsin and back. They suffered three killed and seven wounded. This enlarged force went on the offensive the next day and took all but the inner walled city of Tientsin. On the twenty-fifth, the international force relieved Seymour's expedition, which had been held up for a month at the Hsi-Ku Arsenal north of Tientsin. The Ninth U. Infantry arrived on July 6 and joined the allied forces near Tientsin.

The number of marines in China increased when Col. Robert L. The next day, the allied force launched an attack against Tientsin to rid the walled inner city of the remaining Chinese and Boxer forces. The attacking force, under the command of a British general, included the marines, the Ninth U. Fighting took place most of the day with little to show for it.