A 1900 peasant
uprising in China
that attempted to drive out the imperialist
Western powers. It was officially sanctioned by the Qing Dynasty
, for it too was suffering from the oppression of the Open Door Policy
. Ironically, the secret society that started the rebellion
, Yi He Chuan
, or the Righteous and Harmonious Fists
, was also formed for the purpose of overthrowing the dynastic rule of China
. Also known as the Boxers
, they were a splinter group from the Eight Trigrams Society
, another anti-dynastic organization in China
. Incidentally, they were the ancestors of the Chinese mafia
, the Triads
Popular dissent against the foreigners (especially the Brits) gave the Boxers plenty of support in Northern China. The members of the group went through strange rituals of worship that supposedly made them impervious to bullets. In addition, the Dowager Empress, sick of the Open Door Policy, was moved to officially support the group as "patriotic". The roving bands of bandits stormed Beijing, attacking foreigners and Chinese Christians. They suspected the Christians to be on the foreigners' side. On June 18, the Empress decided to go all-or-nothing, and ordered that all foreigners in Beijing to be executed. Beijing turned into a siege, with the Westerners hiding out in a fortified cathedral in the middle of town.
In August an international force consisting of American, British, French and German forces smashed their way from Tianjin into Beijing and relieved their beseiged comrades. The imperial court fled to Xian, and the foreigners burned and looted Beijing and committed several atrocities against the helpless civilians. China was forced to pay heavy fines to the collective foreign powers for their support of the rebellious Boxers. It wasn't until the 1930's that the Open Door Policy was abandoned.