Academic journal article Military Review

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Academic journal article Military Review

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

Article excerpt

THE BOXER REBELLION AND THE GREAT GAME IN CHINA

David L. Silbey, Hill and Wang, New York 2012, 273 pages, $26.95

THE BOXER REBELLION was simultaneously a display of colonial power politics and early 20th century multinational operations. Numerous nations converged on China in the late 19th century as the sole remaining frontier for colonial growth, dividing primarily coastal areas--captured land--for trading posts and naval resupply stations. At the same time, the long-standing governance structures based around a Chinese emperor were quickly disintegrating.

The environment of weakening local power and increasing incursion of Western cultural, religious, and military might created a backlash among disillusioned Chinese. As in the past, conservative locals rallied around groups that adhered to the religious and cultural principles they felt were slipping away; in 1900, this took the form of the Boxers. On the other side, descriptions of how colonial nations attempted, and ultimately failed, to join forces to put down the rebellion were of particular interest. …

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