He was not aiming his rebellion at Han Chinese, but was anti-Qing and wanted to destroy the Manchu government. The other Muslim rebellion, the Dungan revolt , was the reverse: Rather, it erupted due to intersectional fighting between Muslim factions and Han Chinese.
Various groups fought each other during the Dungan revolt without any coherent goal. Jonathan Spence says that a key reason for the Taiping's defeat was its overall inability to coordinate with other rebellions. The rebels announced social reforms, including strict separation of the sexes, abolition of foot binding , land socialisation, and "suppression" of private trade.
In religion, the Kingdom tried to replace Confucianism , Buddhism and Chinese folk religion with the Taiping's version of Christianity, God Worshipping , which held that Hong Xiuquan was the younger brother of Jesus. The libraries of the Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, almost completely in the case of the Yangtze Delta area. Within the land it controlled, the Taiping Heavenly Army established a theocratic and highly militarized rule. Governance was remarkably ineffective, haphazard, and brutal.
Even though polygamy was banned, Hong Xiuquan had numerous concubines and frequently mistreated them. The Taiping army was the rebellion's key strength.
It was marked by a high level of discipline and fanaticism. In the beginning of the rebellion, there were large numbers of women serving in the Taiping army also distinguished it from other 19th-century armies. However after there ceased being many women in the Taiping army. Combat was always bloody and extremely brutal, [ citation needed ] with little artillery but huge forces equipped with small arms. Both armies would attempt to push each other off of the battlefield, and though casualties were high, few battles were decisively won.
The Taiping army's main strategy of conquest was to take major cities, consolidate their hold on the cities, then march out into the surrounding countryside to recruit local farmers and battle government forces.
Estimates of the overall size of the Taiping army are around , soldiers. These corps were placed into armies of varying sizes. In addition to the main Taiping forces organised along the above lines, there were also thousands of pro-Taiping groups fielding their own forces of irregulars. Contrary to popular belief, while the Taiping rebels did not have the support of Western allies, they were not as primitive in terms of weapons as their Qing counterparts.
There was also a small Taiping Navy, composed of captured boats, that operated along the Yangtze and its tributaries. Ethnically, the Taiping army was at the outset formed largely from these groups: It is no coincidence that Hong Xiuquan and the other Taiping royals were Hakka. As a Han subgroup, the Hakka were frequently marginalised economically and politically, having migrated to the regions which their descendents presently inhabit only after other Han groups were already established there.
For example, when the Hakka settled in Guangdong and parts of Guangxi , speakers of Yue Chinese Cantonese were already the dominant regional Han group there and they had been so for some time, just as speakers of various dialects of Min are locally dominant in Fujian province. The Hakka settled throughout southern China and beyond, but as latecomers they generally had to establish their communities on rugged, less fertile land scattered on the fringes of the local majority group's settlements.
As their name "guest households" suggests, the Hakka were generally treated as migrant newcomers, often subject to hostility and derision from the local majority Han populations.
Consequently, the Hakka, to a greater extent than other Han Chinese, have been historically associated with popular unrest and rebellion. The other significant ethnic group in the Taiping army was the Zhuang , an indigenous people of Tai origin and China's largest non-Han ethnic minority group.
Over the centuries, Zhuang communities had been adopting Han Chinese culture. This was possible because Han culture in the region accommodates a great deal of linguistic diversity, so the Zhuang could be absorbed as if the Zhuang language were just another Han Chinese dialect which it is not. Because Zhuang communities were integrating with the Han at different rates, a certain amount of friction between the Han and the Zhuang was inevitable, with Zhuang unrest leading to armed uprisings on occasion.
Prominent at this level was Shi Dakai , who was half-Hakka, half-Zhuang and spoke both languages fluently, making him quite a rare asset to the Taiping leadership. In the later stages of the Taiping Rebellion, the number of Han Chinese in the army from Han groups other than the Hakka increased substantially.
Socially and economically, the Taiping rebels came almost exclusively from the lowest classes. Many of the southern Taiping troops were former miners, especially those coming from the Zhuang. Very few Taiping rebels, even in the leadership caste, came from the imperial bureaucracy. Almost none were landlords and in occupied territories landlords were often executed.
Opposing the rebellion was an imperial army with over a million regulars and unknown thousands of regional militias and foreign mercenaries operating in support. Zuo Zongtang from Hunan province was another important Qing general who contributed in suppressing the Taiping Rebellion.
Where the armies under the control of dynasty itself were unable to defeat the Taiping, these gentry-led Yong Ying armies were able to succeed. Although keeping accurate records was something imperial China traditionally did very well, the decentralized nature of the imperial war effort relying on regional forces and the fact that the war was a civil war and therefore very chaotic, meant that reliable figures are impossible to find.
The Taiping Rebellion was a total war. Almost every citizen of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom was given military training and conscripted into the army to fight against Qing imperial forces. Under the Taiping household registration system, one adult male from each household was to be conscripted into the Army. During this conflict, both sides tried to deprive each other of the resources needed to continue the war and it became standard practice to destroy agricultural areas, butcher the population of cities, and in general exact a brutal price from captured enemy lands to drastically weaken the opposition's war effort.
This war was total in the senses that civilians on both sides participated to a significant extent in the war effort and that armies on both sides waged war on the civilian population as well as military forces. Contemporary accounts describe the amount of desolation to rural areas as a result of the conflict. This resulted in a massive civilian death toll with some towns destroyed  and other bloody policies resulting.
Since the rebellion began in Guangxi , Qing forces allowed no rebels speaking its dialect to surrender. Beyond the staggering human and economic devastation, the Taiping Rebellion led to lasting changes to the late Qing dynasty.
Power was, to a limited extent, decentralized , and ethnic Han Chinese officials were more widely employed in high positions. Mass death caused by the rebellion especially in the Yangtze delta region led to a shortage in labor supply for the first time in centuries and labor became relatively more expensive than land.
Merchants in Shanxi and the Huizhou region of Anhui became less prominent as the rebellion disrupted trade in much of the country. Streams of refugees entering Shanghai led to the economic development of the city, which was previously less commercially relevant than other cities in the rea.
It is thought that only a tenth of Taiping published records survive to this day, as they were mostly destroyed by the Qing in an attempt to rewrite the history of the conflict. The Taiping Rebellion has been treated in historical novels. Robert Elegant 's Mandarin depicts the time from the point of view of a Jewish family living in Shanghai. In Lisa See 's novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan the title character is married to a man who lives in Jintian and the characters get caught up in the action.
The Heavenly Kingdom takes place within the Taiping capital at Nanjing . The war has also been depicted in television shows and films. The Warlords is a historical film set in the s showing Gen. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article or section appears to contradict itself. Please see the talk page for more information.
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