An Original Front Cover from THE NAVY & ARMY ILLUSTRATED Sat. July 14th 1900. Page size is 14 1/4" x 9 1/2". The Boxer Rebellion, or Yihetuan Movement was a violent anti-foreign and anti-Christian movement which took place in China between 1899 and 1901. It was initiated by the Righteous Harmony Society (Yihetuan) and was motivated by proto-nationalist sentiments and opposition to foreign imperialism and Christianity. The Great Powers intervened and defeated Chinese forces, in a humiliation for China.
The uprising took place against a background of severe drought and the disruption caused by the growth of foreign spheres of influence. 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 , 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.
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