During the 19th century, the two Opium Wars started by Britain and France weakened the Qing Dynasty.
Besides the Opium Wars, there was also the Taiping Rebellion, which lasted more than a decade.
In 1900, the so-called Boxer Rebellion (known as “I-ho Chuan” or the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”) was originally started to bring down the Manchu Qing Dynasty but the Qing government managed to redirect the rebellion against the foreigner invaders that had defeated China during the Opium Wars.
This ended in a worse defeat after the foreign powers formed an alliance and marched on Beijing slaughtering the rebels.
Back to the Qing Dynasty
How does a country innovate and prosper when it is fighting endless rebellions and wars. For a brief example, Business Insider estimates 25-million died during the Qing conquest of the Ming dynasty, a period of extreme political turmoil in China that lasted for sixty-five years. It is estimated that during the Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864, another 20-million died (some estimates allege the number was closer to 100-million). During the Dungan Revolt 1862-1877, another 10-million were killed. If you click this link, you will discover a list of thirty wars and revolts that the Qing Dynasty was involved in. Do you see any comparison to the United States since the end of World War II?
The driving force behind the revolution of 1911 that ended the Qing Dynasty was Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who had been educated in Hawaii when it was an American territory. This exposure to the U.S. Republic motivated Sun Yat-sen to build a Republic to China but one that would fit the Chinese culture.
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