History Paper 2

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Historically speaking, oppressed people eventually revolt, whether because of poverty, governmental oppression, a need for social or religious reform, or any number of other oppressive factors. Often, a combination of factors becomes a growing problem leading to widespread dissatisfaction boiling under the surface.


God's Chinese Son, by Jonathan Spence, illustrates this principle well. In the case of the Taiping Rebellion, which only lasted almost fourteen years, the impact that this particular movement had was that ultimately in 1864 when Nanjing and the Taiping "Dynasty" fell to the Qing, (its founder, Hong Xiuquan, dying for unknown reasons shortly before the city was taken), it left a legacy of millions of deaths. Though the Qing took back the rule, its weakening was irrevocable and its control was never the same. Scholars in the People's Republic of China have devoted attention to it largely because they think of the Taipings as proto-Communists. Long-term reverberations of the heretical pseudo-Christian movement still include a continued wariness of full religious liberty as a potential for governmental or political overthrow or at least strong unwanted influence.
Who is to blame in the vast, great country, filled with masses of people, powerful bureaucrats in untouchable offices in the great cities--but a younger son of a poor farming family from the mountains north of Canton, an ethnic minority group in the region called the Hakka. ...
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