The Boxer rebellion was an event that occurred back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s after the Opium wars. The Boxers were a group of people that were unhappy with foreigners coming into China and destroying their culture. They practiced Martial arts and incorporated it with magic, going around putting on shows, recruiting people, and killing all Christians they came across, including the Chinese people that had been converted. They ended up gaining the support of the head of China at the time, but still failed to drive foreigners out of China and protect their culture. The question I am trying to answer is “do the Boxers deserve a bad reputation?”. I believe that the Boxers did not deserve a bad reputation. I believe that they were just trying to defend their country, and adapting to the situation they were thrown into.
Something that proves this is the fact that foreign powers were treating the Chinese people unfairly. They would take large amounts of land because a few of their men had been killed, or because other countries were getting some, and had China give them ridiculous sums of money. When the Boxers were first formed, they killed some foreigners, and this was reported to the Empress Dowager Cixi, head of China, so that she would do something about the Boxers. However, she was also sick of having foreigners in her land and wanted them out. She didn’t see the Boxers as a problem, she saw them as her chance to get foreigners out of China. She ended up supporting them and the Chinese military teamed up with the boxers to form a formidable army. This shows the Boxers did not deserve a bad reputation because they had good reasons for revolting against foreigners. The foreigners had been treating China bad enough that the citizens decided they had to do something about it, and this shows that the foreigners were bad.
During the Boxer uprising, the Boxers cut the telegraph and railway lines. This caused many things to happen. First off, this prevented all communication, because the telegraph station in Beijing was the central communication system where all telegraphs were sent to be delivered. When the Boxers cut off the telegraph lines, they effectively stopped anyone from being able to communicate. When multiple telegraphs from Tianjin went unanswered, people believed Boxers had killed everyone in the town, which was not true. The cutting of the telegraph lines affected the war greatly by disabling communication. The cutting of the railway lines also affected the war. These were lines that were used to transport people from other cities in China to Beijing and other places quickly. When people didn’t get a response from Beijing after they sent a telegraph, they were worried, and foreign soldiers went by railway to investigate. They were going along when they realized lines in front of them were cut. They tried to go back since they couldn’t move forward, but then they saw that the lines behind them were also cut. The Boxers killed the people on the railway, and forced people to have to march when attacking Beijing. This gave the Boxers a huge advantage, since Beijing had really good defenses. These events prove that the Boxers are good because they are protecting the innocent people in the city by making it so foreigners can’t organize an attack easily, and making it so that they can’t launch an attack easily. The Boxers also are trying to help innocent people by freeing them from foreign devils.
When the 8 main foreign powers in China(Germany, Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the United States, Italy and Austria-Hungary)realized what was happening Beijing, they each contributed troops to create a huge army of 55,000 soldiers. The Multinational army made it to Beijing, only to realize that there was a wall. The wall was big enough they couldn’t get over it and they had to search for a way in to kill the Boxers. After a while they found a chink in the armor that was Beijing wall. It was the water gate. The 55,000 troops climbed through the dirty water canal into Beijing and when the Boxers saw this, they panicked. The people in Legations and church were saved, however, the Boxers were scared and removed the symbols that marked them as Boxers so nobody could tell them apart from regular Chinese people. The army wanted to take out their rage on someone, and as they couldn’t figure out who was or wasn’t a Boxer, they killed anyone they thought were Boxers. The army killed many people, but majority of the people they killed weren’t boxers though, they were innocent. This shows that the foreigners are bad, as the foreigners did not need to kill anyone, but they did because they were violent and wanted to kill people. The Boxers are proved to be good from this because when they could not win they didn’t want to die, but they also didn’t want to cause trouble, so they tried to flee or disguise themselves so that no one would be hurt.
The Boxer Uprising has lingering effects today, some bigger than others. Even though it only lasted 2 years, it had a huge impact on history, and we will look back on this event for some time. You might think that it isn’t all that important whether the Boxers have a bad reputation or not, but it affects us and how we think of China, so it actually is. They were doing what they believed was right and we must respect and remember that. In conclusion, the boxers were just trying to help their country, not trying to cause trouble, so they don’t deserve a bad reputation.