On June 21, 1900, China’s Empress Dowager Cixi declared war on the Eight Nation Alliance—the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, United States, Germany, Italy, France, and Austria-Hungary. The declaration was the height of the Boxer Rebellion, a violent anti-Western movement that was crushed a year later.Members of the Militia United in Righteousness (Yihetuan) were nicknamed “Boxers” by Westerners because of their practice of martial arts and vigorous calisthenics. The Boxer movement resented what it interpreted as a growing and unfair Western and Japanese influence in China—the expansion of Western businesses, the outreach of Christian missionaries, and the privileged treatment of Western residents. The Boxers and their supporters attacked and burned businesses and churches, and assaulted and killed individuals. Christian missionaries were especially targeted.The Boxers were ultimately defeated. Troops from the Eight Nation Alliance stormed the Forbidden City, took control of the Chinese capital of Beijing, forced the imperial court (including the empress) to flee, and imposed a treaty that devastated the Chinese economy.The failure of the Boxer Rebellion led to a leadership crisis in China. This, in turn, contributed to the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, in which a republican government replaced the 2,000 year-old Chinese empire.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry assault Noun
Boxer Rebellion Noun
(1898-1901) anti-Western, anti-Christian movement in China.
calisthenics Plural Noun
repetitive exercises (such as sit-ups or jumping jacks) performed to promote physical fitness, usually conducted without special equipment.
city where a region's government is located.
Encyclopedic Entry: capital Christian Noun
people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers.
monarch or other noble person and the group of people who serve, advise, and consult with them, or the place where this group meets.
to state clearly, in formal terms.
to overcome an enemy or obstacle.
widow who has inherited property or titles from her husband.
system of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.
process of enlarging.
to run away.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
condition of being resistant to disease or liability.
having to do with an empire.
to force or set out rules to be followed.
to encourage or persuade a person or organization to act a certain way.
to explain or understand the meaning of something.
martial arts Plural Noun
forms of self-defense and combat that do not usually use weapons.
group of armed, ordinary citizens who are called up for emergencies and are not full-time soldiers.
benefit or special right.
system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.
to reject or dismiss due to a sense of injury or insult.
official agreement between groups of people.
final or maximum.
active or energetic.
having to do with the developed nations of Europe and North America.