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Re: Hakka Involvement in the Taiping Rebellion
On Dec 16, 1996 09:37:39, 'firstname.lastname@example.org' wrote:
>>From PITTOLIM@aol.com Sat Dec 14 08:17:04 1996
>Subject: Re: Hakka Involvement in the Taiping Rebellion
>[moderator: Chhiang ki yit fun to email@example.com Tou chhia!]
>The whole Taiping Rebellion Saga was basically due to a doomsday cult led
>a deluded failed Hakka scholar who thought he was the brother of Jesus.
>disaster was of a grand scale but there are many modern parallels such as
>Shoko Ashara in Japan and David Koreshi in US. It just reflected how
>guillible and naive Hakka peasants were in those days.
This is too simplistic an explaination although it is a position held by
the limited perspective of some Western historians. If the Hakka are
to survive as a people, they should try to understand 'their' history.
The Taiping revolution has its roots with the ethnic conflict between
Hakka and non Hakka and the fact that China was being ruled by a
non-Chinese (Manchu) government. The Hakka did not get along with the
southern 'natives'. In this era, the Hakka were proud of their Northen
'true-Chinese' origins and viewed the natives (Cantonese) as less
'Chinese' while the natives viewed the Hakka as displaced peasants who were
taking 'their' land.
There was also deep resentment at the non-Chinese Manchu
'oppressors' as well. One point of contention was the stilted examination
process to join the government which the Hakka, whose values strongly
emphasised education, viewed as discrimatory/racist. It was biased against
Chinese in the south and was a sore point for the Hakka.
It was inevitable that in this environment, one of many mini-conflicts
the natives and Hakka became a full uprising. And this one was led by
a disgrunted scholar who initially used Christianity to motivate. But it
an 'ethnic' struggle. But this quickly became a pro-Han
uprising as the Hakka begun attracting many non-Hakka Chinese peasants.
The Hakka, being a displaced people were poorer, and many poorer
people were attracted by its ideology of equality as well as its pro-Han
stance. Thus it became a class stuggle as landlords (non-Hakka, ethnic
Chinese warlords) reacted with alarm and begun raising troops.
A couple of Taiping armies, led by Hakka generals, marched onto Peking
to overthrow the Manchu government. Facing them was a coalition of
Chinese (non-Hakka) landlords and merceneries, foreign (ie.British)
troops*, and government (Manchu) led troops (the British and landlords
to preserve the status-quo). The invading Taiping armies were defeated and
massacred to the man.
*Note that some British citizens did side with the Hakka side providing
Although the Hakka led coalition had lost the main war, the various
dragged on for many more years often degenerating back to simple ethnic
conflicts. Millions perished during this civil war and many Hakka were
displaced. The Taiping revolution proved to be a severe blow to the Hakka
people as a whole.