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Late Qing Catastrophes: The Taiping Rebellion

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
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France
It kinda surprises me that Hollywood hasn't yet made a biopic of Frederick Townsend Ward, probably with Tom Cruise in the title role. I remember reading his biography by Caleb Carr before I even started taking an interest in Chinese history.
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
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It kinda surprises me that Hollywood hasn't yet made a biopic of Frederick Townsend Ward, probably with Tom Cruise in the title role. I remember reading his biography by Caleb Carr before I even started taking an interest in Chinese history.
But we're fortunate that they haven't tried to make one of Mad Gordon.
 

Bonniecanuck

DIEF WILL BE THE CHIEF AGAIN
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One thing the article is leaving out is that the Qing were so tied down due to facing no less than three non-Taiping rebellions all at the same time, with some lasting even longer than the Taiping. The Nian Rebellion in northern China, the Miao Rebellion in Guizhou, and the Hui Rebellion in the northwest. I can't speak for how much the Qing prioritised each of them, but the Nian, despite being a mostly peasant rebellion with less organisation and élan than the Taiping, were geographically much closer to the Qing seat of power and a more immediate threat.

The Nian and Taiping had a very loose association with each other in OTL, but never anything close to a formal partnership or alliance. There are potential what-ifs there, but I'm personally quite skeptical since their grounding in the White Lotus societies of the 18th century, which leaned heavily towards Buddhism and restoration of the Ming, was diametrically opposed to the Taiping millenarian theocracy. And judging by their treatment of Catholic converts, the Muslim-majority Hui would have even less reason to join forces. It seems like the Taiping were doomed to fight all by themselves from the very beginning.
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
Sea Lion Press staff
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One thing the article is leaving out is that the Qing were so tied down due to facing no less than three non-Taiping rebellions all at the same time, with some lasting even longer than the Taiping. The Nian Rebellion in northern China, the Miao Rebellion in Guizhou, and the Hui Rebellion in the northwest. I can't speak for how much the Qing prioritised each of them, but the Nian, despite being a mostly peasant rebellion with less organisation and élan than the Taiping, were geographically much closer to the Qing seat of power and a more immediate threat.
I think that omission is mostly a word count thing, Tyler is aiming to cover the other rebellions and the effects of them on this war in other articles.

It's always a tricky thing when you're talking about a topic so vast that it covers multiples articles to judge what you put in each one. On the one hand its all interconnected, on the other you don't want be confusing by going too deep into elements you haven't properly introduced. This was very nearly split into two by itself.
 

Bonniecanuck

DIEF WILL BE THE CHIEF AGAIN
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I think that omission is mostly a word count thing, Tyler is aiming to cover the other rebellions and the effects of them on this war in other articles.

It's always a tricky thing when you're talking about a topic so vast that it covers multiples articles to judge what you put in each one. On the one hand its all interconnected, on the other you don't want be confusing by going too deep into elements you haven't properly introduced. This was very nearly split into two by itself.
Ah, in that case please forgive me for that assumption. I didn't see any lead into or mention of the other rebellions, so I thought to bring it up, but it's understandable not to turn to that just yet given the constraints.
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
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Ah, in that case please forgive me for that assumption. I didn't see any lead into or mention of the other rebellions, so I thought to bring it up, but it's understandable not to turn to that just yet given the constraints.
No worries, reasonable assumption to make.

@TR1996 can correct me but I think his initial plan is for the next article to be about Taiping internal governance, the third to be about western reaction/interventions and the fourth about how the other rebellions played into both side's situations.
 

TR1996

Well-known member
Very informative article - the Taiping uprising is one of the great ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ moments.
Yeah, I've always found it fascinating.

It kinda surprises me that Hollywood hasn't yet made a biopic of Frederick Townsend Ward, probably with Tom Cruise in the title role. I remember reading his biography by Caleb Carr before I even started taking an interest in Chinese history.
Supposedly his character in The Last Samurai was very, very, loosely inspired by Ward. But there's not really any commonalities other than ''American doing soldierly things in 19th-century Asia''.

But we're fortunate that they haven't tried to make one of Mad Gordon.
We do have Charlton Heston's Khartoum movie, though- with Laurence Olivier as the Mahdi, because 60s.

Ah, in that case please forgive me for that assumption. I didn't see any lead into or mention of the other rebellions, so I thought to bring it up, but it's understandable not to turn to that just yet given the constraints.
No worries, reasonable assumption to make.

@TR1996 can correct me but I think his initial plan is for the next article to be about Taiping internal governance, the third to be about western reaction/interventions and the fourth about how the other rebellions played into both side's situations.
Yeah, Gary has the right of it.

Thought I'd take on the Taiping first as they were the earliest and (arguably) most serious of the Rebellions. Also noteworthy that many of the generals who rose to prominence taking on the Taiping were later put to use in suppressing the other Rebellions.

So, stuff on the Nian, Miao, and the two Muslim Rebellions will follow in due course. Perhaps some stuff on the smaller turmoils as well.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
Location
France
Supposedly his character in The Last Samurai was very, very, loosely inspired by Ward. But there's not really any commonalities other than ''American doing soldierly things in 19th-century Asia''.
Well that character was actually an Americanized version of a French officer named Jules Brunet. So I wonder, why bother when there's an honest-to-God American adventurer in Asia that you can use instead? It's all there, the Mighty Whitey leading an army of natives in battle and falling in love with a local woman.
 

TR1996

Well-known member
Well that character was actually an Americanized version of a French officer named Jules Brunet. So I wonder, why bother when there's an honest-to-God American adventurer in Asia that you can use instead? It's all there, the Mighty Whitey leading an army of natives in battle and falling in love with a local woman.
Because Samurai are more iconic than some Chinese rebellion no one has heard of, I suppose?
 

Alex Richards

A crack Papal-Venetian-Dutch Negotiating Team
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Derbyshire
I think that omission is mostly a word count thing, Tyler is aiming to cover the other rebellions and the effects of them on this war in other articles.

It's always a tricky thing when you're talking about a topic so vast that it covers multiples articles to judge what you put in each one. On the one hand its all interconnected, on the other you don't want be confusing by going too deep into elements you haven't properly introduced. This was very nearly split into two by itself.
I've had this issue so many times with the Thirty Years War. I've certainly mentioned the War of the Mantuan Succession, the Neapolitan Revolt and so forth, but at the same time there was also the conflict between the Popes and the Farnese Dukes of Parma and Castro over the latter territory that led to it being absorbed into the Papal States and a wealthy city that had been an episcopal see since the 8th Century being literally razed to the ground and never rebuilt.

And basically this conflict ended up drawing in Tuscany, Mantua, Modena and Venice as well, impacting on the Franco-Spanish War and meaning that at one point between this war, the Neapolitan Revolt, a French invasion of Spanish-held Elba and the Presidio and the continuing mess from the Thirty Years War in the Valtellina, literally the whole of Italy was at conflict in ways that tied into the negotiations going on in Westphalia.

Except Savoy of course, but that's because they'd just had a civil war over who was going to be regent for the underage Duke which was, itself, essentially a proxy-conflict of the Franco-Spanish war.
 
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