China Only Yesterday, 1850-1950: A Century of Change

By Emily Hahn | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter Fifteen

Kuang-hsü, tamed and secure in the Ocean Palace, was carefully watched by the servants of his Imperial Father, and the conservative Manchus thought they had put away their troubles with him. But the adventure of the Hundred Days was not a detached incident: it was only one symptom of a deep-rooted problem that could not be settled so easily as the Emperor had been. There were other symptoms. Though Kuang-hsü's friends and allies had been chased out or killed, the root of the matter remained and spread underground throughout the country. Reform had been lopped off, but the Boxer Movement, like the surviving branch of a tree, grew stronger as soon as its rival was removed.

The Boxers were a secret society that inherited its title from an ancient religious brotherhood. The name is not so much a translation as a foreigners' nickname suggested by the Chinese original, "Society of Righteously Harmonious Fists." Jung-lu, who did not care for the Boxers, had other theories as to their background and said their first name was "Plum Blossom Fists," and that the founder claimed to be a Manchu prince. It is not important. What matters is the strong influence Boxerism had on its members. Anyone who knows the Chinatowns of the Western world can testify to the hold these secret societies maintain over the men who join them, and the climate of China in the 1890s contributed much to the peculiar fervor of the Boxers for their faith. '88 and '89 were both famine years. China was full of discontent arising from the Sino-Japanese debacle and its attendant growth of Western power and interference. The resentment felt by the late lamented Reform party had been shared by the Boxers, but there were important differences between the groups. The Reformers had been educated, scholarly men. The Boxers, at least those of the society's early stages, were

-253-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
China Only Yesterday, 1850-1950: A Century of Change
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 434

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?