Taiping Rebellion

December 1850 - 1864

The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion or civil war that was waged in China from 1850 to 1864, between the established Qing dynasty and the theocratic Taiping Heavenly Kingdom – though following the fall of Nanjing the last rebel army was not wiped out until 1871. After fighting the bloodiest civil war in world history, with 30 to 50 million dead, the established Qing government won decisively, although the outcome is considered a pyrrhic victory.
The uprising was commanded by Hong Xiuquan, the self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ. Its goals were religious, nationalist, and political in nature; Hong sought the conversion of the Chinese people to the Taiping's syncretic version of Christianity, to overthrow the ruling Qing Dynasty, and a state transformation. Rather than supplanting the ruling class, the Taipings sought to upend the moral and social order of China. The Taipings established the Heavenly Kingdom as an oppositional state based in Tianjing and gained control of a significant part of southern China, eventually expanding to command a population base of nearly 30 million people.
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