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  Early Causes for the Rebellion

 

Canton (Guangzhou) in the 1840s. China was opened up to Western trade and ideas after losing the Opium War of 1839-42 and the Treaty of Nanjing ended the closed 'Canton System.' Foreign countries now had the right to open churches. The village of Hong Xiuquan  was about 30 miles north of Canton

 

During the first Opium War (1839-42) imperial authorities encouraged local volunteer forces to resist the United Kingdom  and allowed large quantities of weapons to fail into the hands of the hitherto repressed secret societies . The total defeat of the antiquated imperial forces against the British in this conflict greatly diminished the government's prestige and its ability to suppress local revolts and disorders and expanding the opium trade in China. The situation was ripe for a rebellion against the Manchu government, all that was need was a spark .

 

 

An opium den. By the 1830s, the large outflow of silver to pay for opium was causing economic problems . In 1838 30,000 chests of opium were imported into China, by 1879 it was 87,000. The Taipings executed opium dealers and smokers. Opium use continued to be a problem in China, till the 1950s, when the Communists executed dealers and forced users into compulsory treatment.

 

 

 The Opium Trade: The Making of Modern China

 

 

 

 

 

 The Players

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of Hong Xiuquan