The Boxers, China, and the World

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Robert A. Bickers, R. G. Tiedemann
Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - History - 231 pages
In 1900, China chose to take on imperialism by fighting a war with the world on the parched north China plain. This multidisciplinary volume explores the causes behind what is now known as the Boxer War, examining its particular cruelties and its impact on China, foreign imperialism in China, and on the foreign imagination. This war introduced the world to the "Boxers," the seemingly fanatical, violent xenophobes who, believing themselves invulnerable to foreign bullets, died in their thousands in front of foreign guns. But 1900 also saw the imperialism of the 1890s checked and the Qing rulers of China move to embark on a series of shattering reforms. The Boxers have often been represented as a force from China's past, resisting an enforced modernity. Here, expert contributors argue that this rebellion was instead a wholly modern resistance to globalizing power, representing new trends in modern China and in international relations. The allied invasion of north China in late summer 1900 was the first multinational intervention in the name of "civilization," with the issues and attendant problems that have become all too familiar in the early twenty-first century. Indeed, understanding the Boxer rising and the Boxer war remains a pressing contemporary issue. This volume will appeal to readers interested in modern Chinese, East Asian, and European history as well as the history of imperialism, colonialism, warfare, missionary work, and Christianity. Contributions by: C. A. Bayly, Lewis Bernstein, Robert Bickers, Paul A. Cohen, Henrietta Harrison, James L. Hevia, Ben Middleton, T. G. Otte, Roger R. Thompson, R. G. Tiedemann, and Anand A. Yang.
 

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Contents

Village Politics and National Politics The Boxer Movement in Central Shanxi
1
The Church Militant Armed Conflicts between Christians and Boxers in North China
17
A Subalterns Boxers An Indian Soldiers Account of China and the World in 19001901
43
Reporting the Taiyuan Massacre Culture and Politics in the China War of 1900
65
Looting and Its Discontents Moral Discourse and the Plunder of Beijing 19001901
93
Scandals of Empire The Looting of North China and the Japanese Public Sphere
115
After the Fall Tianjin under Foreign Occupation 19001902
133
The Boxer Uprising and India Globalizing Myths
147
The Boxer Uprising and British Foreign The End of Isolation
157
Humanizing the Boxers
179
Bibliography
199
Index
221
About the Contributors
229
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About the author (2007)

Robert Bickers is professor of history at the University of Bristol and co-director of the British Inter-University China Centre. R. G. Tiedemann is senior research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in China, King's College London.

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