In addition to actual deaths, the rebellion disrupted the lives of many Chinese people, especially the peasants. In the heightened euphoria of the war, they abandoned their farms and joined in the campaign against the ruling dynasty. Some got displaced from their farms as the revolt intensified. The Taipings also wreaked havoc wherever they went, destroying infrastructure and especially irrigation canals that were vital in sustaining agricultural production. As a result, famine struck the nation since neither labor nor agricultural infrastructure could sustain food production. Poverty, which had already affected the Chinese due to opium consumption and the Opium War some years, was accentuated by these conditions since the peasants had nothing to sell to earn income.
Another immediate effect of the Taiping uprising was the fundamental change in the Chinese people’s way of thinking. This is because the Taipings adopted beliefs derived from a version of Christianity. The people were swept by the widespread propaganda of a heavenly kingdom. The Taipings made the Chinese people to discard their past beliefs in Confucianism and instead adopt beliefs from a derivative of Christianity. The Taiping rebellion also raised a nationalist force among large factions of China’s society. It fuelled the bitterness and animosity that many people had towards Manchu’s rule and the entire Qing dynasty. Therefore, the insurgence was instrumental in promoting nationalist spirit amongst Chinese people.
Lastly, perpetrators and supporters of the Taiping uprising had political objectives that they intended to execute once they had established their utopian society. For instance, they aspired to bring exploitative practices characteristic of the Qing Dynasty to an end, by implementing military, political, social and economic reforms. They achieved this, albeit to a limited extent. The Taipings also altered the content of the exam that qualified candidates for the Mandarin gentry. The exam that was previously based on Confucian principles was changed to one founded in the Bible.6 The Taiping administration abolished the right to ownership of private property, declaring that all land would be allocated to the public by the government. The Taipings even replaced the lunar calendar with a solar one and granted women equal rights, making it possible for them to even take exams for admission to the gentry. The Taipings banned the Chinese custom of foot binding, in addition to gambling, opium, tobacco, prostitution, polygamy, alcohol consumption