The Boxer Rebellion (1900-1901)

I. Background
The Boxers, or Yihequan - "The Righteous and Harmonious Fists," were a religious society that originally rebelled in 1898 against the imperial government of Guangaxu, the 11th Qing Emperor of China, who ruled under the influence of the Dowager Empress Cixi, in Shantung. Foreigners called members of this society "Boxers" because they practiced martial arts.

The Boxers practiced an animistic magic of rituals and spells which they believed made them impervious to bullets and pain. The Boxers also believed that the expulsion of foreign devils would magically renew Chinese society and usher in a new golden age. Much of their discontent, however, was focused on the economic scarcity of the 1890's.They were a passionate and confident group, full of contempt for authority and violent emotions.

In reality, the Boxer rebellion could hardly be classified as either a rebellion or a war against the Europeans. China was largely under the control of regional Governors General. These regional officials ignored the Empress Dowager's instructions and put forth every effort to prevent disorder or any harm coming to foreigners.

The Boxer Rebellion, then, was only limited to a few locations, but concentrated itself in Beijing (known as Pekin or Peking at the time). The Western response was swift and severe. Within a couple months, an international force, which included Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S., captured and occupied Beijing and forced the imperial government to agree to the most humiliating terms, known as the Boxer Protocol of 1901.

The Boxers

Under the Boxer Protocol, European powers maintained the right to garrison military forces in the capital, thus placing the imperial government more or less under arrest. The Protocols suspended the civil service examination, demanded a huge indemnity to be paid to European powers for the losses they had suffered, and required government officials to be prosecuted for their role in the rebellion. In addition, the Protocols suspended all arms imports into the country.

Eight Nation Alliance
Nation Commander Warships Marines Soldiers
Austria-Hungary RADM Count Rudolf
Corv,-Captain Eduard Thomann von Montalmar
4 296 0
France General Henri Nicolas Frey 5 390 3,130
Germany Gen Alfred Graf von Walfersee 5 600 300
Italy Colonel Vincenzo Garioni 2 80 0
Japan Viscount FukiShima Yasumasa 18 540 20,300
Russia General Nikolai Linevich 10 750 12,400
United Kingdom Sir Edward Seymour
MGEN Alfred Gaslee
8 2,020 10,000
United States RADM Louis Kempff, USN
Col. Robert Meade, USMC
MGEN Adna Chafee, USA
2 295 3,125

RADM Count Rudolf Montecuccoli, Corvette-Captain Eduard Thomann von Montalmar and General Henri Nicolas Frey

Gen Alfred Graf von Waldersee, Colonel Vincenzo Garioni and Viscount Fukishima Yasumasa

General Nickolai Linevich, Sir Edward Seymour and MGEN Alfred Gaselee

RADM Louis Kempff, USN, Col. Robert Meade, USMC and MGEN Adna Chafee, USA

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