Posts Categorized: Chapter 3

The Taiping Rebellion

The Taiping Rebellion raged across southern China for more than a decade. At its height, rebels controlled significant territory and several of China’s wealthiest cities. For the Qing, facing external aggression from the French and British at the height of the rebellion, this was a classic instance of what the Legalists called neiyou waihuan (内忧外患), “anxiety… Read more »

The Summer Palace Burns

The Qing court initially refused to enforce the edicts of the Treaty of Tianjin, which called for more treaty ports and freedom of movement for foreigners in China. When the Chinese stalled, the British and French quickly reopened hostilities, this time in the north of China, to set, in the words of historian James Hevia,… Read more »

The Second Opium War

The Second Opium War (1856-1860), also know as the Arrow War, evolved in a similar fashion to the First Opium War, with a small diplomatic conflict escalating into war. Beset internally by the Taiping rebels, China had few resources to spare to defend itself from an outside threat. With the French joining the British, China… Read more »