What were the long-term effects of the Boxer Rebellion on China?

The long-term consequences of the Boxer Rebellion were the devastation of the Chinese economy due to the imposition of crippling reparations payments and the further weakening of China as a military power. In combination, these consequences of the Boxer Rebellion made China vulnerable to continued foreign dominance and control.

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Perhaps the longest lasting legacies of the Boxer Rebellion in China is what it did to shape the Chinese sense of self-identity in regards to foreign influence and the way the country is governed. At the time of the rebellion, China was one of the oldest monarchies in the world....

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Perhaps the longest lasting legacies of the Boxer Rebellion in China is what it did to shape the Chinese sense of self-identity in regards to foreign influence and the way the country is governed. At the time of the rebellion, China was one of the oldest monarchies in the world. However, the way that foreign powers were able to take advantage of China by forcing humiliating concessions led to the crumbling of the monarchy and its permanent demise in 1911. Decades of internal strife eventually gave rise to the totalitarian Communist regime which still governs the country to this day. Even the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s was partly inspired by the Boxer Rebellion, as it was a violent attempt to rid the country of outside influences under the guise of Chinese patriotism.

Mindful of the dangers of foreign influences that were forcibly imposed on China after the Boxer Rebellion, modern China is conscious of how foreign entities operate within its borders. While there are large amounts of foreign investments in the country today, the Chinese government keeps firm control over how they operate. Memories of European spheres of influence in China ensure that today's China closely controls what goes on within its borders.

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The Boxer Rebellion took place in 1900. It was initiated and led by a secret Chinese society called the Boxers, so named because members practiced forms of boxing and martial arts that they believed made them impervious to bullets.

The rebels, with the support of the Empress of China, fought the Western powers that been running China for more than half a century. The Chinese resented the arrogant attitudes and looting of their country by these foreign powers, who did not consider Asians the equal of white Europeans and did not respect Chinese culture or religion. The Boxer movement represented an expression and assertion of Chinese cultural pride as much as an attempt to expel parasitic foreign powers.

The Boxers, however, were not impervious to bullets, and the weak Chinese monarchy could not adequately support the rebels against the superior wealth and technology of the West. The defeat of the Boxers was a crushing blow to the Chinese on a cultural level, robbing them of their dignity. One long-term effect was to undermine the monarchy to such an extent that a decade later it fell, to be replaced by a Western-style republic.

The Chinese suffered greatly after the Boxer rebellion, humiliated, forced to pay reparations, and increasingly weakened and impoverished. The most important long term effect was to sow such despair in the country that many people were attracted to the message of hope offered by Mao and the Communist Party. This led to China becoming a communist state in 1949.

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The Boxer Rebellion turned out to have a devastating long-term impact on the future prosperity and stability of China. In the immediate aftermath of the rebellion's suppression by Western forces, the victors imposed crippling reparations payments on the Chinese. In both the short and long-term, these payments would overburden an already weak economy, leading to widespread misery and distress throughout China.

The long-term damage to the Chinese economy also had a negative impact on China's ability to defend herself. Unable to devote sufficient resources to national defense, and banned by the Western powers from importing weapons for two years, China was left wide open to future attack from foreign powers. Although it took place a long time after the Boxer Rebellion, the Japanese invasion of Manchuria can be seen as a direct, long-term consequence of the rebellion's failure.

In addition, China had to live with the humiliation of Western troops being stationed in Beijing for an indefinite period of time. This measure, which was particularly unpopular among the Chinese people, was to ensure that a similar uprising would not occur again in future. Although it undoubtedly achieved its aim, it served to increase resentment among the Chinese people by highlighting their weakness in the face of foreign powers.

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The Boxer Rebellion was an anti-colonialism and anti-Christian rebellion that occurred in China. Internal conspiracy and deep hatred for foreigners led to the emergence of the Boxers. They viewed western foreigners as enemies and Christian converts as traitors. Thus, with the support of the Qing administration, the Boxers engaged in a brutal war against the foreigners and the converts. They murdered foreign missionaries and Christian converts, forcing foreign powers to respond. Foreign powers sent armed troops to China to fight the Boxers and the Imperial Army. 

Long-term consequences of the war include a peace treaty that was imposed on China, which included a hefty reparations bill. Western troops decided to occupy Beijing, which was a great affront to the Chinese people. The Rebellion marked the end of the Qing dynasty and the emergence of the Nationalist Kuomintang. Japan’s influence over China emerged and superseded European control and influence after the war.

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One important long-term effect of the Boxer Rebellion was that the defeat of the uprising enabled Western powers to maintain a major presence (including a military presence) in China, to the detriment of Chinese sovereignty. Once the Boxers were defeated, the Western powers and Japan extracted reparations payments (which most of them returned) and forced China to accept a limited Western military presence in Beijing, where the uprising really took shape. Beyond this, the rebellion destabilized and discredited the Qing Dynasty, which was humiliated in its aftermath. Following the rebellion, the youthful Qing ruler, Pu Yi, was overthrown in a revolution that established a republic. Several years of civil war were followed by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and later of China proper. So in many ways, the most important long-term effect of the defeat of the Boxers was many years of domestic unrest and turmoil.

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