Revisiting the Boxer Uprising

Joseph W. Esherick

10 Oct commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising on 10 October 1911 which ultimately led to the collapse of the imperial Qing dynasty and the founding of the Republic of China.

China has a history of uprisings. An earlier Uprising is the Boxer Uprising.
The Origins of the Boxer Uprising by Joseph Esherick won the 1987 John Fairbank Prize in East Asian History.

This is a revisionist history book. Because the Boxer Uprising and the Peking siege of 1900 are relatively recent events, the author was able to interview in the 1960s former Boxers and observers still living in Shandong.

Shandong was the epicenter of the Boxer Uprising.

He posits that contrary to the theory by Victor Purcell’s Boxer Uprising, the Boxers did not shift from an anti-Ching phase to a pro-Ching stance.

Esherick contends that the Boxers were from the beginning strictly pro- government and were anti- foreign devils and anti- foreign religion i. e Christianity.

Thus, it’s a misnomer to call it The Boxers Rebellion.

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