Taiping uprising in China (1850-1864 gg.) - one of the most significant events in the history of the country. What was the reason for the beginning of the peasant war and how did this event affect the further development of the state? Read more about this.
China on the eve of the uprising
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, China entered a period ofa deep crisis that affected all spheres of the life of the state. Its political manifestations were the growth of anti-Manchurian sentiments (since the end of the 18th century the Qing empire, led by the Manchu dynasty, was in power) and the rise of the insurgency. The crisis was the main reason for the "closure" of the country for trade with British and Indian merchants. China's self-isolation led to the First Opium War with England. As a result of the aggressive actions of European states with the policy of "closure" was over. China began to turn into a semi-colony.
Defeat in the First Opium War and furtherThe active invasion of the country's economy by foreign capital undermined the prestige of the ruling dynasty. And it is at this time in China that a new opposition ideology is born, whose father is Hun Xiuquan.
Ideology of Taiping
Hong Xiuquan is the chief ideologist of the Taipingmovement. He was born in 1813 near Guangzhou. His father was an impoverished Chinese official. The future leader of the Taiping uprising repeatedly tried to pass a special examination to fill the state post. However, all his attempts were unsuccessful. It was during his studies in Guangzhou that he became acquainted with Christian ideas that actively penetrated the country through the activities of European missions. Hong Xiuquan began to study an unfamiliar religion. Already in 1843, he created a Christian organization called the Society of the Heavenly Father.
Let us consider the basic ideas of the teachings of Hung Xiuquan.
- It was based on the idea of the Holy Trinity.At the same time, Hong Xiuquan included himself in her composition as a younger brother of Jesus Christ. In this connection, he interpreted all his actions as "the outline of God."
- Hun Xiuquan was also impressed by the Christian idea"The kingdom of God." It corresponded to the ancient Chinese ideas of a "just society". In connection with this, the Taipins put forward the idea of equality and fraternity to the forefront.
- A characteristic feature of the Taiping ideology was itsanti-Manchurian orientation. In his sermons, he said that the Qing dynasty must be overthrown. In addition, the Taiping called for the physical destruction of Manchuria.
- Followers of Hong Xiuquan opposed Confucianism and other alternative religions, but at the same time borrowed from them some ideas (for example, the idea of "filial piety").
- The main purpose of the organization is the creation of Taiping Tianguo (Heavenly State of Great Prosperity).
The beginning of the insurrection and the periodization
In the summer of 1850 the Jintian uprising began.The Taiping considered the situation in the country favorable for an open speech against the state power headed by the Qing dynasty. 10,000 rebels concentrated in the area of Jintian Village in the south of Guangxi Province.
On January 11, 1850, the insurrection was officially announced.
At the first stage of the struggle, the Taiping was aimed at liberating China. Qing (a dynasty that rules here for more than 100 years) was declared enemy and must be overthrown.
In general, researchers agree that the Taiping uprising in China went through four main stages in its development:
Stage 1 covers the years 1850-1853. This is the time of the brilliant success of the Taiping Army. In September 1851, she captured the city of Yun'an. It was here that the foundations of the Taiping State were laid.
2 stage - 1853-1856 years. The beginning of a new period of struggle marks the seizure by the insurgents of the city of Nanjing. At this stage, the taipians sent the main forces to expand their state.
3 period of the peasant war in China lasted from 1856 to 1860. By the time it coincided with the Second Opium War.
Stage 4 covers the years 1860-1864. It was marked by the open military intervention of the Western European powers in China and the suicide of Hong Xiuquan.
The first stage of the war
In 1851, the Taiping moved to the north of Guangxi. Here they occupied the city of Yun'an, where they established their government.
At the head of the new state was Yan Syutin. He received the highest post under the title "Oriental Prince" (he also received the title of "crier of God") and concentrated in his hands the administrative management and leadership of the army. In addition, the head of the state of the Taiping was another 3 princes (Western - Xiao Chaoguy, North - Wei Changhui and South - Feng Yunshan) and their assistant Shi Dakai.
In December 1852, the Taiping Army moveddownstream of the Yangtze River, to the east of the country. In January 1853, they managed to occupy a strategically important region - Tricitye Wuhan, which included cities such as Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankou. The military successes of the Taiping Army contributed to the growing popularity of Hong Xiuquan's ideas among the local population, so the insurgent ranks were constantly replenished. By 1853, the number of insurgents exceeded 500,000.
After the seizure of the Trehgrade of Wuhan, the rebel army moved to the province of Anhui and occupied its most important cities.
In March 1853 the Taypins stormed one of thethe largest cities of China, Nanjing, which then became the capital of their state. This event marked the end of the first and the beginning of the second stage of the peasant war.
Organization of the Taiping State
The peasant war in China began in 1850, and a year later in the south of the country a state of the Taiping was created. Let's consider the basic principles of its organization in more detail.
- Since 1853, the capital of the state was the city of Nanking.
- In its structure, Taiping Tianguo was a monarchy.
- By nature - a theocratic state (the insurgents insisted on the complete merger of the church and the institutions of power).
- The bulk of the population were peasants. Their requirements, as a rule, were carried out by the government.
- The nominal head of the state was Hun Xiuquan, but in fact all power was in the hands of the "Oriental Prince" and "crier of God" Ian Syucin.
In 1853 the most important document was publishedcalled "The Land System of the Celestial Dynasty". In fact, it became the Constitution of the newly-formed Taiping state. This law asserted not only the fundamentals of agrarian policy, but also the basic principles of the administrative organization of the country.
"The Land System of the Celestial Dynasty"provided for the organization of paramilitary patriarchal communities. So, every 25 peasant families formed a separate community. From each family, one person was required to perform military service.
Since the summer of 1850, among the Taipinga system of so-called "sacred storerooms" was established. Of these, the insurgents and their families received food, money and clothing. "Sacred storage" replenished due to military extraction. At the same time, private property was banned in the Taiping State.
In the new Constitution of the Taiping State,the dream of the peasants about the equality and destruction of large landed estates of the landowners was embodied. However, this document was written in a "book" language, unknown to most of the population. That is why the Constitution did not become the basis for the real policy of the leaders of the Taiping uprising.
The second stage of the war
The Taiping Rebellion since 1853 is gaining a newforce. The beginning of a new stage of the war marked the seizure of insurgents by the largest Chinese city of Nanking. During this period, the Taiping had an active struggle to expand the boundaries of its newly formed state.
In May 1853, it was decided to startThe Northern Expedition. Its main goal was the capture of Beijing, the capital of China. Two armies were sent to the Northern Expedition. In June, the unsuccessful capture of Huayzia took place. Then the troops moved to Shanxi Province, and then - Zhili.
In October, the Taiping Army approached Tianjin(the last outpost on the way to Beijing). However, by this time the troops were greatly weakened. In addition, it was a severe winter. The Taipins suffered not only from the cold, but also from the lack of provisions. The Taiping Army lost a lot of fighters. This all led to the defeat of the rebels in the Northern campaign. In February 1854, the detachments left the province of Tianjin.
In fact, simultaneously with the North beganWestern campaign of the Taiping Army. The rebel forces were led by Shi Dakai. The purpose of this campaign was to expand the boundaries of the Taiping state to the west of Nanking and capture new territories along the middle course of the Yangtze River. In June, the rebels managed to recover the lost city of Anqing, and then - and other important points. In the winter of 1855, the army of Shi Dakaya again conquered the cities of Trekhograd, Wuhan.
In general, the Western campaign was very successful for the Taiping. The borders of their state expanded significantly west of the capital city of Nanjing.
The Taiping State Crisis
Despite a number of successful military campaigns, in 1855a crisis began in the newly-formed state, which embraced all spheres of society's life. The Taiping uprising swept the vast territories and met with great popular support. However, his leaders failed to realize most of their plans, and the Constitution of the state became, in its essence, utopian.
At this time, the number ofprinces. In 1856, there were already 4, but more than 200. In addition, the Taiping leaders began to distance themselves from ordinary peasants. By the middle of the war, no one had spoken of universal equality and brotherhood.
The crisis has gripped the very system of power. In fact, the Taipins destroyed the old state system and in return could not organize the correct system. At this time, disagreements also arose between the rulers. The apogee of this was a coup d'état. On the night of September 2, 1860, Ian Xiuqing and his family were killed. The country was seized with a wave of terror. Destroyed not only the supporters of Ian Syutin, but other Vans (Shi Dakaya). The coup d'état of September 2, 1860, was a turning point in the history of the peasant war and marked the beginning of its third stage.
Second Opium War
The beginning of the third stage of the struggle of the Taiping againstManchurian dynasty marked the Second Opium War. At that time, the Taiping uprising lost its power, and the newly-formed state was forced to exist in conditions of military aggression of Western states.
The reason for the outbreak of hostilities was the arrest of the British ship Arrow in China.
In 1857, the combined Anglo-French troops captured Guangzhou. A year later they occupied Tianjin - a strategically important point that was on the outskirts of Beijing.
In 1858, the Tianjin Peace Treaty was signed. The Qing Empire was forced to capitulate. However, just before the ratification of the peace treaty, the emperor of China announced the continuation of the war.
In August 1860, the Anglo-French troopsonce again occupied Tianjin. The decisive battle took place on September 21 at the Baliciao Bridge (in the Tongzhou area). The Chinese army was defeated. In October 1860, the combined Anglo-French troops approached Beijing. The Chinese government was forced to begin negotiations.
October 25, 1860, the Beijing Convention was signed. Its main results were as follows:
- England and France received the exclusive right to create their embassies in Beijing.
- In China, 5 new ports were opened for foreign trade.
- Foreigners (merchants and diplomats) were given the right to move freely throughout the country.
- Tianjin was declared an open city.
The fourth stage and the end of the uprising
The Taiping uprising in 1860-1864. was no longer so powerful. In addition, the newly-formed state was forced to switch from active military operations to defense. The fourth period of the peasant war in China is characterized by the transition of the United States, Britain and France to open military intervention in the country.
In the early 60's., despite the weakening of the army, the Taiping managed to win a number of major victories. The troops led by Li Siuchen went to the coastal provinces. Here they managed to conquer large ports - the city of Huangzhou and other centers of Zhejiang and Jiangsu. In addition, the Taiping made two trips to Shanghai. However, they were not able to seize the city.
In 1861, the offensive of counter-revolutionary forces began.
At the same time, Britain, France and the United Statesopen intervention against the Taiping. In 1863, the northern coast of the Yangtze River was under the control of the Qing dynasty. The Taipines were then forced to leave all the coastal provinces.
In 1864, the Manchu divisions, with the support of Western European troops, surrounded Nanking. As a result, more than 100,000 Taipingas were destroyed. A strong famine began in the city.
Hong Xiuquan realized the hopelessness of the situation andcommitted suicide. After his death, the leadership of Nanjing's defense passed into the hands of Li Xucheng. In July 1864, the imperial troops blew up the fortress walls of the city and broke into the capital of Taiping Tiangu. Li Xucheng with a small detachment managed to leave Nanjing. However, after he was captured and executed.
Thus, in 1864, the Taiping war came to an end. Their main forces were destroyed, and the leaders of the insurrection were executed. The last centers of resistance of the imperial troops were suppressed in 1868.
Results and consequences of the peasant war
For the Qing Empire, the Taipinga serious shock. It undermined the foundations of the feudal system and the country's economy. The cities and major ports were destroyed, the uprising led to the mass extermination of the population of China.
Taiping Tianguo became a great social experiment, in which broad peasant masses were involved.
The peasant war also had a significantinfluence on the position of the Qing dynasty. Her position in the country was shaken, and the support of the population was lost. To suppress mass protests, the ruling elite was forced to turn to large landowners for help. This led to the strengthening of the position of the landlords. As a consequence, ethnic Han Chinese (Chinese) increasingly began to take part in the government of the country, and in the state apparatus the number of manchuras decreased. In the 60's. in China there is strengthening of regional groupings. This also leads to a weakening of the positions of the central government.
In addition, the middle of the XIX century in the history of China was marked by a number of other major uprisings.
For more than 18 years, the MiaoGuizhou area. In 1862, a major uprising of the Dungan people began, which swept the provinces of Shanxi and Gansu. In 1855, an anti-government war broke out in the Yunnan area. Participation in it was taken by the Hui people, who professed Islam. All these uprisings had a significant impact on the further development of China and its relationship with Western European states.