21 Jun: Righteous and Harmonious Fists

The Boxer Rebellion was an anti-foreign, anti-colonial, anti-Christian uprising in China, reaching  Peking on 21st June, 1900, when Empress Dowager Cixi declared war on all foreign powers and demanded that they depart the country at once. 

The rebels were known as the “Boxers” in English, because many of its members practiced Chinese martial arts; in their native language they went by the more evocative title of “the [secret] Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists” (Yìhéquán). 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly uncover some of the Boxer’s magical beliefs; consider why Christian converts became so hated in the North of China in particular; and explain how the Emperor himself was forced to take a back seat in this moment of national crisis… 

Further Reading:

• Boxer Rebellion in China | Boxer Rebels (ThoughtCo, 2018): https://www.thoughtco.com/chinas-boxer-rebellion-in-photos-195618

• ‘Boxer Rebellion: China, Definition & Cause’ (HISTORY, 2009): https://www.history.com/topics/asian-history/boxer-rebellion

• ‘Why did so many countries get involved in the Boxer Rebellion?’ (History Matters, 2022):

#China #1900s #War