Rebellion In China 19th Century

In the late 19th century, from 1899 to 1901, a rebel broke out in China known as the Boxer Rebellion. The Boxer rebellion derives its name from a group of young men from Shandong forming a martial arts group known as The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists.

Many of these young people are the oppressed and the unemployed because of the prevailing attitude of Western capitalism in their area and the problems of natural disasters that have devastated almost their entire source of income. Shandong natural disasters have been considered by Boxer members to be the fault and sin of foreigners in their area.

Hatred of foreigners caused them to call themselves Guizi meaning 'Demons'. The uprising culminated when on November 1, 1897, a group of Boxers, 20 to 30, attacked the neighborhood of German Christian pastor George Stenz. The incident led to the death of George Stenz and two other priests.


News of the assassination reached the ears of the German government, Kaiser Wilhelm II. In a flash of lightning, Wilhelm II ordered the East Asian Squadron to invade and further plunder Shandong. Finally, Shandong fell into German hands.

The Boxer uprising has spread to a region in China where most of its communities are Islam, Gansu or Kansu. A group of youths and martial arts joined forces under the auspices of a general, General Dong Fuxiang.


Dong Fuxiang is said by some historians to be Muslim but some opinions suggest that he is non-Muslim but has close ties to Gansu Muslims.

Dong Fuxiang is of Han descent while the Chinese in China are mostly of Uighur, Tartar, Salar and Hui descent. The participation of 10,000 Gansu Muslims formed a powerful and courageous military squad.


They are called by Westerners as Gansu Brave. They were divided into eight battalions of Infantry, two Cavalry, two Artillery Brigades and one engineer unit. At that time, they were the most modern squad in China.

They were supplied with Krupp Artillery and Mauser guns as well as swords as their basic battlefield. Brave Gansu are known as soldiers wearing black turbans and using black flags as symbols of their bravery.


Under General Dong Fuxiang, Gansu Brave joined forces with the Boxer Rebellion and served as a front-line force against eight combined forces. They were greatly feared by the eight combined forces because of their inhuman attitude toward the foreign army.

They are also said to hate the widespread use of drugs in China. A Japanese consulate Sugiyama Akira and several other foreigners were killed for the same purpose.


At one point, Kaiser Welhelm II had to seek the help of Sultan Abdul Hamid II to persuade Gansu Brave to continue attacking and rioting in the neighborhood of foreigners.


Enver Pasha was sent to China to persuade but failed to reach an agreement. Their greatness had triggered a phenomenon and was the awakening of the spirit to break free from Western policy in China in the future.

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