The Boxer Rebellion

Following the Hundred Day’s Reforms, peasants in the north of China increasingly began to follow a popular rising political, mystical and martial arts movement known as the Boxer Rebellion. The growing movement, disgruntled at the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War and the unequal treaties, began to threaten foreigners in northern China. When foreign diplomats in China threatened to have to step in to quell the movement, Cixi fatefully sided with the Boxers. The xenophobic movement, inspired by Cixi’s backing, ran amok, terrorizing Beijing and forcing Cixi and her entourage to flee the capital. For a second time, foreign troops had to march through Beijing, this time to help quell a Chinese uprising.

Unfortunately for Cixi and China, repaying the foreigners for their aid required yet another unequal treaty, the Boxer Protocol, demanding a massive indemnity in silver from the Chinese government.

This History Channel documentary summarizes the Boxer movement and contains interesting archival footage from the period.