The Boxer Rebellion
Major Wars Of 20th Century
Years 1900 1900 Battle deaths 3,003 The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement was a violent anti foreign and anti Christian movement which took place in China towards the end of the Qing dynasty between 1898 and 1900. It was initiated by the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan), known in English as the Boxers, and was motivated by proto nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and Christianity. The Great Powers intervened and defeated Chinese forces. The uprising took place against a background of severe drought, and the disruption caused by the growth of foreign spheres of influence. After several months of growing violence against foreign and Christian presence in Shandong and the North China plain, in June 1900 Boxer fighters, convinced they were invulnerable to foreign weapons, converged on Beijing with the slogan Support the Qing, exterminate the foreigners. Foreigners and Chinese Christians sought refuge in the Legation Quarter. In response to reports of an armed invasion to lift the siege, the initially hesitant Empress Dowager Cixi supported the Boxers and on June 21 authorized war on foreign powers.
Diplomats, foreign civilians and soldiers, and Chinese Christians in the Legation Quarter were under siege by the Imperial Army of China and the Boxers for 55 days. Chinese officialdom was split between those supporting the Boxers and those favoring conciliation, led by Prince Qing. The supreme commander of the Chinese forces, Ronglu, later claimed that he acted to protect the besieged foreigners. The Eight Nation Alliance, after being initially turned back, brought 20,000 armed troops to China, defeated the Imperial Army, and captured Beijing on August 14 (Siege of the International Legations), lifting the siege of the Legations. Uncontrolled plunder of the capital and the surrounding countryside ensued, along with the summary execution of those suspected of being Boxers.The Boxer Protocol of September 7, 1901 provided for the execution of government officials who had supported the Boxers, provisions for foreign troops to be stationed in Beijing, and an indemnity of 67 million pounds (450 million taels of silver) more than the governments annual tax revenue, to be paid as indemnity over a course of thirty nine years to the eight nations involved.