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When Japan defeated China in 1895 European powers answered with an order they called carving up the Chinese melon Following the division of Africa among European powers they turned their sights to what they saw as an extremely weak Chinese government European powers and America began to scramble for what was called spheres of interest These spheres of interest involved holding leases for all railway and public advantages in different regions of China Russia got Port Arthur Britain got the New Territories near the Hong Kong region Germany got Shantung and America got nothing America was focusing largely on Guam and the Philippines and had missed the opportunity and so insisted on the open-door policy in China were commercial opportunities were equally available to all Western powers and the political and territorial integrity of China stayed intact The imperial court responded to this foreign threat by giving aid to various secret societies Traditionally secret societies had been formed in opposition to imperial government as such they were certainly a threat to the Ching government However anti-foreign sentiment had risen so greatly in China that the Empress Dowagerruler of China believed that the secret societies could be the leaders in a military deportation of Europeans This policy reached its crucial period in 1900 with the Boxer RebellionThe Boxers or The Righteous and Harmonious Fists were a religious society that had originally rebelled against the imperial government in Shantung in 1898 They practiced an animistic magic of rituals and spells that they believed made them invulnerable to bullets and pain The Boxers believed that the expulsion of foreign devils would magically renew Chinese society and begin a new golden age Much of their discontent however was focused on the economic scarcity of the 1890s They were a passionate and confident group full of contempt for authority and violent emotions In reality the Boxer Rebellion could hardly be classified as either a rebellion or a war against the
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