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Boxer Rebellion In the summer of 1900 members of a secret society roamed northeastern China in bands killing Europeans and Americans and destroying buildings owned by foreigners They called themselves I-ho chuan or Righteous and Harmonious Fists They practiced boxing skills that they believed made them impervious to bullets To Westerners they became known as the Boxers and their uprising was called the Boxer Rebellion Most Boxers were peasants or urban thugs from northern China who resented the growing influence of Westerners in their land They organized themselves in 1898 and in the same year the Chinese government--then ruled by the Ching Dynasty--secretly allied with the Boxers to oppose such outsiders as Christian missionaries and European businessmen The Boxers failed to drive foreigners out of China but they set the stage for the successful Chinese revolutionary movement of the early 20th century Foreigners had entered China during an era of imperialism In the late 1800s Great Britain and other European nations the United States Russia and Japan scrambled for spheres of influence there In some cases they seized Chinese territories but usually they only sought the riches of trade and commercial enterprise At the same time Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries tried to convert the Chinese to Christianity These outsiders were resented and feared by the Chinese who saw Western religion and business practices as a threat to their traditional ways By May of 1900 Boxers were wandering the countryside and attacking Western missionaries and Chinese converts to Christianity In June an expeditionary force made up of Russian British German French American and Japanese troops was organized to proceed to Peking now Beijing put down the rebellion and protect Western nationals The Chinese dowager empress Tzu-hsi the aunt of Emperor Kuang-hsu ordered her troops to block the advance of this expedition The foreigners were turned back Meanwhile Boxers were rampaging in Peking burning down churches and the houses of
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