New College of the Humanities

The Boxers 101 Years On

Robert Bickers reviews the legacy of the 1900 uprising.

In History Today in August and September 2000, Henrietta Harrison and Robert Bickers explored the domestic and global ramifications of the Boxer rising in China. This millennial anti-Christian movement sparked an international response that saw an eight-power alliance march on Beijing to suppress the rising and fight a war with the Qing state. Beijing was occupied, the court fled into the interior, and a punishing Protocol, signed in 1901, exacted harsh revenge on the Qing. Foreign military expeditions marched on alleged Boxer strongholds in the northern provinces and punished individuals and communities thought to be responsible for attacks on Christian missions, personnel, and converts. Although central and southern China avoided war, 1900 was an undoubted calamity for China.

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