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The Taiping Rebellion

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  1. The Taiping Rebellion By: Joseph Randles

  2. Overview • The Taiping Rebellion was a rebellion started by a fanatical religious sect of christianity lasting from 1850 to 1864 • The fighting lead to an estimated 20 million soldier and civilian lives • Most human lives lost in a civil war ever recorded

  3. Hong Xiuquanthe Chinese Jesus • Xiuquan was a aspiring civil servant who failed the jinshi exam three times • He had a psychological breakdown and experienced visions instructing him to rid the world of evil • He believed he was the younger son of Jesus Christ sent to reform and change China • He studied Christianity, specifically the old testament under a southern Baptist preacher

  4. God Worshippers society • Hong and a few other collaborators create the BaiShangdiHui or God worshippers society • The society is comprised mostly of peasants • Hong declares a new dynasty called the TaioingTianguo or Heavenly Kingdom of Great peace

  5. Taiping Society • The Taiping society was extremely strict and radically different from the rest of 18th centaury China • The people all studied the wrathful old testament and abided by it’s draconian laws • Prostitution, foot binding, and use of tobacco and alcohol were forbidden and all were punished severely

  6. Taiping Society Cont. • Men and woman were made equal to the point that women fought in war. However they were severely segregated • Equal distribution of land, property, and te government owning all the land formed a rough version of communism • Extremely militaristic, focused most energy on the army • Attracted followers with propaganda against the then current Qing dynasty and with religious fanaticism

  7. Taiping Rebellion • The Taiping eventually mobilized their army and took the city of Nanjing and continued to win subsequent battles agaisnt Qing • Eventually defeated at Shanghai by both Qing and colonist forces

  8. Last stand at Nanjing • Hong and the Taiping army retreated to Nanjing and prepared for the Qing’s attack • Days before the attack Hong killed himself and or died of illness, appointing his 15 year old son to power • Without their true leader Nanjing fell • Over 100,000 Taiping citizens killed themselves, rather than being captured

  9. Aftermath • With Hong Xiuquan dead and the capitol captured the Taiping were almost done • Sparse resistance continued until 1864 • The Qing dynasty was severely weakened • Some Communist groups see Hong as a pioneer of early communism and today Hong has multible monuments along with a museum dedicated to him in China

  10. Bibleography • "Taiping Rebellion." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 18 May 2009  <>. • Spence, Jonathan D. God's Chinese Son. New York: Norton & Company, 1996.