Taiping rebellion. Hung Hsiu-ch'uan fails his civil service examination, he goes into a trance and discovers that he is the Son of God. He declares the T'ai-p'ing T'ien-kuo, the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace, and begins the Taiping rebellion, the bloodiest civil war in world history.
1851 · Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a large, long-lasting rebellion that thrust China into a state of civil war from 1850 to 1864. The Qing Dynasty was pitted against the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, an oppositional state led by Hong Xiuquan that embraced Christian Millenarian teachings. Fighting officially began on January 1, 1851, when the Qing Standard Army attacked Jintian, Guangxi. The Taiping soldiers escaped Qing forces and, in 1853, captured Nanjing; that same year, they nearly captured Beijing. The Taiping forces were weakened after an unsuccessful coup in 1856. Hong died in the summer of 1864. The Qing Dynasty was ultimately victorious and the conflict ended in August of 1864.
1884 · Sino-French War
The Sino-French War, Tonkin War, or Tonquin war, was a conflict between China and France regarding the control of Tonkin, a region in northern Vietnam. The Qing Dynasty performed well on land and won limited strategic victories; however, the Qing forces in Taiwan and other surrounding islands were defeated by the French. Ultimately, the war ended with the Treaty of Tientsin, which arguably satisfied most of the goals of the French.
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