Hong Xiuquan: The Taiping Rebellion

Hong Xiuquan: The Taiping Rebellion

It’s one of the bloodiest conflicts in human
history. In 1851, the Taiping Rebellion exploded in
Qing dynasty China, causing death on an unprecedented scale. Over 14 years of civil war, an estimated 20
million people died, more than were killed in the whole of WWI. It was, simply, the deadliest war of the nineteenth
century, and it was all thanks to one man: Hong Xiuquan. An ordinary village schoolmaster and aspiring
civil servant, Hong was a nobody when he fell into a trance one day in 1837 and emerged
convinced he was the son of God. Quickly amassing a fighting force of one million,
he marched against the ruling Qing, eventually conquering most of southern China and establishing
his own Heavenly Kingdom. Feted by Christian missionaries, admired and
loathed at home, this is the story of the anonymous man who almost became ruler of China…
and the unprecedented horrors that accompanied his rise and fall. The Man in the Wilderness
In 1837, a young man in Guangzhou got some bad news. After decades of studying, he’d failed the
entrance exam to the Chinese civil service for the third time. Broken by the news, the young man suffered
a mental collapse. He fell into a delirium for days on end, experiencing
strange and terrifying visions. That young man’s name was Hong Xiuquan. When he finally recovered from his breakdown,
China would never be the same again. Born in 1814 in the southern province of Guangdong,
Hong Xiuquan had always felt he was destined for greatness. The youngest of four children, he’d been
famous among his small farming community for his supernatural intelligence. In fact, Hong was so intelligent his community
had banded together to raise funds for his schooling. It was hoped he would one day pass the civil
service entrance exam. If it sounds odd to you that an entire village
would care so much about one guy passing one exam, that’s because you’re fortunate
enough to not live in early 19th century China. In Hong Xiuquan’s day, Chinese social classes
were rigidly defined according to Confucius’s teachings. If you were born poor into a farming village,
you died a poor farmer. The only way out was the exam. Passing meant not just glory for you, but
for everyone you knew. So all of Hong’s neighbors pinned their
hopes and dreams on him acing an exam with a one percent pass rate. No pressure, right? In 1827, after years of study, the teenage
Hong traveled to the nearby city of Guangzhou to take the exam for the first time. It was the moment his entire life had been
building towards, so what happened? You guessed it: Hong flunked. Hard. Not only that, he flunked his retake just
a few years later. By 1837, when our story opened, Hong had traveled
to Guangzhou to take the exam three times. When he failed the third time, his mental
collapse was so great he lapsed into a coma where he was tormented by visions. And what visions! Hong dreamed an old man with a beard gave
him a sword and told him to slay all the demons in China. A middle aged man then instructed him in demon
slaying, before sending him back to Earth. When Hong finally recovered, he was kinda
like “whoa, that was weird”, and went straight back to his day job as schoolmaster
in his village. It wasn’t until a chance encounter years
later that Hong Xiuquan came to realize the significance of his visions. In 1843, the now 29-year old Hong was back
home after failing the civil service exam for a fourth time. He was entertaining a cousin in his house,
when the cousin suddenly frowned at the bookshelf and asked Hong what on Earth that was. “That” was Quanshi liangyan, a Christian
pamphlet written by a Chinese convert. Someone had given it to Hong while he was
failing one of his exams in Guangzhou and he’d never looked at it. But now his cousin had pointed it out, Hong
gave the pamphlet a read. What he read there blew his mind. In the pamphlet’s description of the Bible,
Hong finally found the key to his wacky fever dream. The old man with the sword, that had been
God. The middle aged man, that had been Jesus. The call to rid the world of demons? That had been God himself charging Hong with
wiping out the Qing dynasty in China. By the time he finished reading the pamphlet,
Hong had experienced a revelation. He was Jesus Christ’s brother, God’s second
son. And it was God’s will that he overthrow
the Qing and become ruler of China. A Kingdom on the Edge
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our many attempts to found a Simon Whistler-worshipping
cult, it’s that people tend not to follow a random messiah unless they have a good reason. On the surface, no-one in Qing China had a
good reason for following Hong. The empire was stable, respected around the
world. Not long before, the philosopher Voltaire
had written: “One need not be obsessed with the merits
of the Chinese to recognise that their empire is the best that the world has ever seen.” But scratch that shiny surface, and you’d
discover a rot had set in that was nearly terminal. The ruling Qing were ethnic minority Manchus
who’d seized power in 1644. Although they’d since run China like any
other dynasty, they were despised by the Han majority. They’d also overseen an enormous population
boom that saw China’s population double over the 18th century. This was accompanied by no expansion in civic
infrastructure, so no extra sewers, roads, or job prospects. On top of that, the First Opium War had just
concluded in 1842, winning Britain not just Hong Kong, but also the right to flood China
with highly addictive drugs. By the time Hong declared himself the second
son of God, China was a country that was creaking at the seams: humiliated on the world stage,
and full of angry young men with no prospects for social betterment, marriage, or employment. This was worst in the Hakka class, of which
Hong was a member. We didn’t mention this in the rush to get
Hong’s story started, but Hong’s family came from an internal migrant class called
the Hakka. Their ancestors had settled in their village
some 800 years earlier, but they were still treated as outsiders, a humiliation Hakka
across China faced every day. Hakka. Remember that word. It’s gonna be important. The last chess piece we need to get onto the
board are the missionaries. Protestant missionaries had been active in
China before our story is set, but they’d been forced to work in secret and keep a low
profile. After the First Opium War, though, they suddenly
had a lot more freedom to move and preach. When Hong discovered the Bible in 1843, he
was just one of millions of Chinese learning about the Good Book for the first time that
year. So, when Hong starts telling random villagers
he’s the son of God in a few moments, people are going to be primed to believe in the Christian
God in a way they simply weren’t before. Not that Hong immediately amassed followers. At first, his village was mortified by Hong’s
new career path. He was even fired from his schoolmaster job
in 1844 for calling Confucius a false God. With his cruddy career over, Hong and a friend,
Feng Yushang, decided to become traveling preachers. This… wasn’t a success. When the pair entered Guangxi province in
1844, Hong’s wacky claims of “OK, I’m God, you gotta worship me now,” won him
exactly zero friends, and he and Feng soon became laughingstocks. But there was one group prepared to listen. Hong’s Christian teachings found an audience
among the outsider Hakka class. Whether because Hong was one of them, or just
because they were fed up with Confucius, the Hakka began to band around the new messiah. By the time Hong left to continue his preaching,
he had enough followers in Guangxi that Feng stayed behind to organize them into an effective
militia/cult. Known as the Baishangdi Hui, or God Worshippers’
Society, the militia numbered only a few thousand. But they would soon become the core of an
army that would lay waste to China. A New Crusade
The next few years were spent with Hong honing
his new religion. In 1847, he studied under the American preacher
I.J. Roberts, but the two fell out over Hong’s rejection of Christian concepts of forgiveness
and focus on his own divinity. Not long after, Hong returned to Guangxi and
took charge of Feng’s militia. Together, they wandered the countryside, fine-tuning
their message. The more they walked, the more their anger
grew. In village after village, Hong and Feng witnessed
the misery and deprivation of Qing rule. Faced with all these wasted lives, Hong began
preaching the abolition of private property. The end of social classes. But his rhetoric didn’t stop at property. Hong started casting the Manchus – the ethnic
group the Qing came from – as literal demons. Before long, he was prophesizing a Millennial
final battle between good and evil that would take place in China. This was enough to make Qing officials take
notice. They began harassing the God Worshippers,
hoping to stop people believing in Hong’s prophesized war. Instead, they triggered it. In July, 1850, government troops attacked
a God Worshippers’ militia. Across Guangxi, Hong’s followers took up
arms. Eye for an eye became tooth for a tooth became
life for a life. Things came to head in January, 1851, when
government troops attacked Hong’s followers in the city of Jintian. Nearby, some ten thousand God Worshippers
gathered. Whipped up into a rage, they marched on Jintian. The Qing troops didn’t stand a chance. By January 11, Jintian was overrun. The city fell to the God Worshippers. That day, Hong declared the creation of the
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, with himself as Heavenly King and Feng as King of the South. No sooner was Jintian secured than the new
Heavenly King’s army was marching up the Yangtze River, no longer the defenders, but
the attackers. If you were a Qing official, the next few
months must’ve been terrifying. When Hong started marching, his army was only
a few thousand strong. Before long, he was leading an army of one
million. There was just something about the way Hong
had captured Jintian that made him seem legit. Suddenly, everyone with a grievance against
the government thought he was their man. Peasants joined the army. Hakkas. Intellectuals. Even tradesmen suffering the post-Opium War
economic collapse. Hong even let women join his ranks and march
into the thick of combat. He encouraged his followers to grow their
hair long, something punishable by death under Qing law. As 1851 progressed into 1852, the insurgents
steamrollered across the landscape. The Qing’s legendary armies scattered before
them. Towns and cities fell without a fight. Like ISIS sweeping across the deserts of Syria
and Iraq, Hong and his religious fanatics appeared unstoppable. And, just like ISIS, the Taiping developed
a reputation for brutality. As city after city fell before them, the Taiping
began massacring any civilians who didn’t join their ranks. Captured Qing soldiers were executed. Any ethnic Manchus taken alive didn’t remain
alive for much longer. By March, 1853, the Taiping were approaching
Nanjing. As people tried to flee the city, Hong’s
army weeded out the Manchus and had them burned alive. The flames flickering upwards from their melting
flesh warned Nanjing of what was to come. On March 10, Hong’s forces finally entered
the city. As Hong was carried in by sixteen bearers
on a yellow silk chair, he declared Nanjing the new capital of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom,
and himself the rightful ruler of China. Up in Beijing, all the Qing could do was look
on in shock. Most of southern China had fallen to this
demented cult, and now it’s self-proclaimed messiah had captured one of the empire’s
former capitals! All of a sudden, it was starting to look like
Hong was maybe right. The world really was ending. And for the Qing, the Apocalypse was here. Our Jerusalem
After Nanjing was made the Taiping capital, a steady stream of Europeans began to trickle
in, determined to observe the new, Christian kingdom in China and see if it was for real. What they experienced there left them more
confused than ever. The Taiping kingdom was so puritanical it
would have shocked even puritans. There were punishments for smoking, drinking,
or dancing. All forms of sexual contact carried the death
penalty, even between husbands and wives. At the same time, Hong himself had retreated
to an opulent palace, where he lived surrounded by a harem of beautiful women who attended
to his every desire. Then there was the religious aspect. The Taiping leadership was divided into “kings”,
all of whom could supposedly communicate with God. There was the King of the East, Yang Xiuqing,
the King of the West, Wei Changhui, and so on. Each of them would fall into trances and speak
in tongues, with official Taiping policy made during these spooky ceremonies. But there was more to the Heavenly Kingdom
than mere religious mania. After Feng had died in battle during the march
to Nanjing, Yang Xiuqing – the King of the East – had been elevated to Hong’s right
hand man. With Nanjing now conquered, Yang had effectively
become the Prime Minister of the Kingdom. And he was slowly turning it into a functioning
state. Throughout 1853, Yang oversaw an intense program
of railway building. He founded a Taiping postal service, began
collecting taxes, organized the army. He also instituted social reforms that prefigured
Chairman Mao’s program a near-century later. Yang made men and women equal and eliminated
private property. So confusing was all this that Western powers
didn’t know what to make of it. The Times of London called for Britain to
back the Taiping against the Qing in Christian solidarity. Karl Marx first cheered the peasant revolution,
then decided its violence was worse than class oppression. The American preacher, I.J. Roberts, was at
first so delighted with his old pupil that he hot footed it to Nanjing to live there,
before leaving after a year in disgust at Hong’s unchristian habits. This Western attention was encouraged by the
Taiping. One of Yang’s goals as minister was to get
American, French, and British businessmen onside, and try to woo their governments into
supporting his and Hong’s new state. It helps to think of the Taiping as similar
to ISIS. Like the terror group, they believed they
were the true voice of their religion. Like ISIS, they hoped others of the same religion
would flock to them and help their cause. And, just like ISIS, they used religion to
justify unbelievable violence, even against their own people. The cruelest example of this barbarity came
in 1855. Yang was starting to challenge Hong’s authority. The minister had quietly built his own powerbase
in the Taiping army, and was now claiming God was speaking through him, not Hong, and
that the Heavenly King himself was merely an imposter. This would turn out to be a fateful move. On September 2, Hong ordered the King of the
West, Wei Changhui, to exterminate Yang. Over two bloody months, Wei slaughtered all
of Yang’s followers within Nanjing. Soldiers, civilians, Yang family members…
all of them were killed in a non-stop orgy of bloodshed. It’s estimated today that 27,000 Taiping
citizens died in the purge. When it was over, Hong had Wei put to the
sword too. In the aftermath, Hong switched the entire
way his government functioned. People were now promoted based not on merit,
but on their personal loyalty to Hong. Any pretense at equality was gone. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom was no longer
even masquerading as a utopia. It was a brutal dictatorship where everyone’s
lives were in the hands of a religious fanatic. Fortunately, it also wouldn’t be around
much longer. Armageddon
With the Taiping state eating itself like a hungry dragon devouring its own tail, now
might be the time to ask where the Qing were in all this. The answer is… fighting the French. Yep, with impeccably bad timing, the French
had chosen to start the Second Opium War just as Wei was turning Nanjing into an abattoir. Rather than press the opportunity, the Qing
were instead stretched almost to breaking point. But there had been a change in the winds of
fate. Not a perceptible one, not just yet, but one
that would ultimately become a hurricane. In the contested areas of Taiping rule, local
militias had started to spring up that were loyal to the Qing. Known as the New Armies, these militias were
grassroots affairs focused on local issues. Although they fought under the Qing banner,
they were basically run by warlords who hated the Qing a little less than they hated the
religious nutjobs on their doorstep. In normal times, the Qing would have tried
to crush these toy soldiers. But times weren’t normal. Instead, the Qing forged an alliance with
the New Armies, on the implicit understanding that the warlords would be left to their own
devices. It would turn out to be the best decision
the distant Qing emperors ever made. As the New Armies grew, alarm bells were also
ringing in Western capitals about the Taiping. In 1861, the Taiping armies tried to take
Shanghai, an important new trading port in the aftermath of the First Opium War. The Taiping failed in their assault, but it
had convinced the British and the Americans something needed to be done. They began arming the Qing forces and training
them, just as the official Qing army was hooking up with the New Armies. In no time at all, the revitalized Qing were
ready to give the Heavenly Kingdom hell. And Hell they gave them. Really, it’s hard to imagine an underworld
much worse than the inferno unleashed on the Taiping. After a decade of Taiping strategies like
“shoot everyone, shoot them some more, and then set the survivors on fire”, the Qing
armies were through with the rules of war. From now on, the Qing would raze any town
they passed through to the ground. They would mass execute prisoners. They would put civilians to the sword. Hong had predicted an apocalyptic Final Battle
in China? Well, the Qing were gonna give him one. For two whole years, southern China burned. The New Armies raped and pillaged their way
across the landscape. The Qing and Taiping destroyed so many crops
that severe famine set in. There were peasant rebellions. Plagues. The mass destruction of property. It’s said that over 600 cities were wiped
from the map. At first, the outcome of this renewed war
was uncertain. A late surge by the Taiping actually got their
armies to within 70km of Beijing and the seat of Qing power. But slowly, surely, the tide began to turn. The winds of change had finally reached the
force of gales. And the Taiping wave was swept all the way
back to Nanjing. By summer, 1863, the Qing armies were encircling
the Heavenly capital. Supply lines were cut off. Escape routes blocked. Come May of 1864, the Taiping rebel stronghold
was completely isolated, it’s population starving. The Qing armies had done the impossible. They’d recovered from the onslaught to beat
the Taiping at their own game. Now it would just take one final push to bring
about Judgement Day. Judgement Day
At this stage, you might be wondering: “where the heck is Hong Xiuquan?” The answer is, exactly where we left him all
the way back in 1856. Inside his palace in Nanjing, completely unable
to grasp reality. After the murder of Yang and his supporters,
Hong had disappeared completely from public view, retreating into a world of orgies and
vice while his kingdom burned. Policy making had been left to squabbling
generals, with the result that the Qing fightback went unanswered until it was too late. By 1862, the few Taiping leaders able to speak
to Hong had urged him to evacuate the city. To fall back and regroup. To them all, Hong had said the same thing. No-one would leave. Not while the Taiping had God on their side. So people stayed. They stayed as the Qing armies strangled the
supply lines. They stayed as food ran out and starvation
gripped the city. Come 1864, even Hong’s most devoted disciples
could see the Taiping were in trouble. Three years before, a Qing siege of the Taiping
city of Anqing had resulted in industrial-scale cannibalism. Human flesh had been sold in local markets. Desperate to avoid a similar situation in
Nanjing, Hong’s advisors begged him to do something. Finally, the second son of God agreed. Leaving his palace for the last time, Hong
appeared to his people and declared God would provide for them. Like Moses in the desert, they would eat manna
sent from the Heavens. He ordered his people to go and gather this
“manna” wherever they could find it. What the starving prisoners of Nanjing found
were weeds. Weeds and wild-growing, inedible berries. Nonetheless, they gathered them all and returned
them to their leader. Hong smiled beatifically at their bounty,
blessed the food and had it cooked. Finally, the Heavenly King took his bowl of
“manna”, ate from it… …and promptly died of food poisoning. Turns out those inedible berries were really
inedible. Rather than manna, Hong had provided his people
with the Chinese version of Jonestown-brand Kool Aid. Now, there are some who dispute this account
of Hong’s death. There’s another school that says he intentionally
committed suicide, and yet another that says he died after contracting an illness. In practical terms, though, it didn’t really
matter. In the aftermath of Hong’s ascension to
Heaven – or maybe his descent to Hell – his teenage son, Hong Tianguifu was put on the
throne. But by now it was hopeless. The Qing were literally at the gates. These were the last days of Sodom, and the
brimstone was already on its way. On July 19, 1864, the Qing retook Nanjing
in a three day running street battle. It was at that time the bloodiest battle humankind
had ever seen. There were house by house massacres as Nanjing
fell. Mass suicides as Taiping true believers gathered
together and set themselves on fire by the thousands. It was the Somme, the Jonestown Massacre,
and the Battle of Stalingrad all rolled into one. It was death and destruction on a scale mankind
had never seen before. The seal had been opened. Judgement Day was here at last. After 72 hours of carnage, the city was pacified. In the three days alone, over 100,000 people
had died. But still the killing didn’t stop. The Qing mass executed all their prisoners. They forced the surviving Taiping leaders
to write confessions and then executed them too. Finally, they exhumed Hong’s corpse from
its resting place inside his palace and had it cremated. Tradition says they fired his ashes out a
cannon to deny him a resting place. Although sporadic fighting would continue
until 1866, the Taiping Rebellion was officially over. Its Heavenly King was dead. Its Heavenly Kingdom lay in ashes. In the 14 years of its existence, the Taiping
Rebellion is thought to have killed somewhere in the region of 20 million people, more than
died during WWI. It’s probably the deadliest civil conflict
to have ever gripped the world. The US Civil War? That killed around 750,000. Compared to the fighting in China, it was
barely a blip. Not that the deaths stopped with the rebellion’s
end. About 75 years later, a man obsessed with
the Taiping Rebellion was inspired by Hong’s life to launch his own revolution in China. Known as Mao Zedong, he would go on to oversee
a regime that, at an absolute minimum, killed another 20 million people. Hong Xiuquan may seem like an obscure figure
in the West, a Chinese fanatic who committed war crimes in some far away land many decades
ago. But in many ways, our world is still living
with his legacy. He may not be as famous as Hitler or Stalin
or ISIS, but Hong Xiuquan was as terrible as any of them. Maybe it’s time we found the space to remember
his victims, too.

100 thoughts on “Hong Xiuquan: The Taiping Rebellion

  1. Simon doesn't give a damn what you say about his pronounciations! The man gives absolutely 0 f's at this point. Love it Simon, – keep doing ya thing baby😎

  2. Looking for the ad for the VPN app you pitched. They were a sponsor for one of your videos. Please tell me the app name or episode so I can watch it again and click on the link and get you paid. Keep up the great videos!

  3. Just like Jesus, he claimed to be the son of God, showed them a couple of magic tricks, said a few beautiful words, and got a few million sucker followers to come along.

  4. 21:25 "It was the Somme, the Jonestown Massacre, and the Battle of Stalingrad all rolled into one"… wow, that is quite a statement, but I'm dubious as to the accuracy of the next statement, that it was "on a scale mankind had never seen before." Numbers as to the number killed and people raised would go far in backing it up though.

  5. Suggestion, I'd like to see more maps when you are mentioning places

    I'm fortunate enough to not live in current Communist China that prisons and murders its dissenters and so was he.

  6. You should do Ahn Sahng-hong. He thought he was a prophet but his followers say he was Jesus returned. Really bizarre Korean mind control cult at work today. They are trying to revive the whole Asherah/Baal mother and father gods thing from 3000 years ago.

  7. and people wonder why the Japanese banned Christianity in the 17th century. They saw this shiz coming centuries early

  8. If you want a view of perhaps the final golden period of Imperial China you should definitely do a video on the Kangxi or Qianlong Emperors perhaps the last two truly great(ish) emperors of the Qing

  9. How tf did this guy think he was the brother of Jesus? Like didn't the fact that he was born in the 1800s to a Han Chinese family that didn't speak a lick of Hebrew or Aramaic tip him off?

  10. The old saying "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely' is so true in every leader who starts with a great idea but,  eventually corrupted by the absolute power they held.

  11. The USA goes on about its civil war as though it was the worse ever with 600,000 dead. They can't hold a candle to the horrors of the history of other countries. Americans are ignorant of the world outside.

  12. I think Confucius devised the original civil service exam over 2,000 years ago. Hong failed it so naturally to a grandiose paranoid Confucius must have been a false god. But what if Hong had passed? It may have been as bad. A grandiose delusional paranoid would have had his hands on the levers of powers, even challenged the Qing Dynasty and imposed his Christian puritanical apocalypse from Beijing rather then Nanjing.

  13. I was triggered when he was pronouncing "Empaaaar" x3 in a row in the Last Emperor of China video, hes totally doing a Stewie!

  14. The Taiping revolution during Qing Dynasty.

    The Taiping army is like the ISIS, they are Christian religious extremists.

    Their leader claim he is brother of Jesus. His followers killed Buddhist monks, nuns and Taoist priests.

    Destroyed temples of other religions. Loot and killed innocent civilians like land lords, Qing government
    officials and Manchu.

    The Taiping leader allow their army to loot in order to reward them and motivate them to fight.

    The Qing empire Eight Banners army and Green Standard armies had decline in military

    effectiveness that rendered them utterly ineffective in combating rebels.

    At least eight factors contributed to this decline:

    (1) soldiers' pay did not rise with inflation, requiring most to seek outside employment to support their families;

    (2) wide dispersion of posts prevented centralized training while the armies' policing and civic responsibilities

    left little time for drilling;

    (3) wartime forces were created by taking small numbers of soldiers from numerous existing units rather than

    using existing units, breaking up unit cohesion and leading to "divisive influence, poor coordination, and operative inefficiency";

    (4) vacancies in the armies' ranks were either left unfilled so officers could pocket the missing soldiers' allowances

    or fill positions with personal proteges;

    (5) rampant gambling and opium addictions;

    (6) the practice of allowing soldiers to hire substitutes, often beggars, to train and fight in their place;

    (7) infrequent drilling;

    (8) lax discipline due to a lack of respect for inept officers often appointed

    due to favoritism or nepotism. "Soldiers had no fixed commander, commander had no fixed soldiers" .

    This new military rule is to prevent commander become too powerful and attempt a coup to over throw the government like what happen in previous dynasty.

    However, this also make the army ineffective because soldiers don't have confident with commanders that they do not know.

    Banner army structure

    Banner army

    1 company = 5 X 60 = 300 men + 15 sergeants + 1 captain

    1 regiment = 5 companies = 5 X 300 = 1,500 men + 75 sergeants + 5 captains + 1 major

    1 banner = 5 regiments = 5 X 1,500 = 7,500 men + 375 sergeants + 25 captains + 5 majors + 1 colonel

    8 banners = 8 X 7,500 = 60,000 men

    24 banners = 24 X 60,000 = 180,000 men

    The number of Green Standard troops changed over time.

    During the mid-19th century, there were about 600,000 troops in 1,169 garrisons –

    this is several times more than the total strength of the Banner units.

    However, during peace time, they are mostly deploy to do police work or guard duty.

    They seldom train during peace time for war.

    Green Standard troops were normally recruited from among the local population. This procedure ensured their loyalty

    and guarded against disobedience or rebellion, because it was easy to punish the family of a deserter or rebel (see collective punishment).

    In contrast to this system, the posts of Banner men were inheritable.

    The Taping Army follow the military structure of the Chou dynasty based on what is describe in the book "Chou Li".

    Taiping Army structure

    1 squad = 4 men + 1 corporal

    1 platoon = 25 men + 1 sergeant = north, south, east, and west platoons

    1 company = 4 X platoons = 100 men + 4 sergeants + 1 captain = the front, rear, left, right, and center

    1 regiment = 5 X companies = 500 men + 20 sergeants + 5 captains + 1 major = = the front, rear, left, right, and center

    1 brigade = 5 X regiments = 2,500 men + 100 sergeants + 25 captains + 5 majors + 1 colonel = = the front, rear, left, right, and center

    1 division = 5 X brigades = 12,500 men + 500 sergeants + 125 captains + 25 majors + 5 colonel + 1 general = = the front, rear, left, right, and center

    They also make use of military tactics used by Ming dynasty soldiers.

    Their total number is about 600,000 men/women at their peak.

    The QIng government have no choice but to ask province governors to raise mercenary militias in their own provinces to fight against the Taiping army.

    During the Taiping Rebellion, mercenary militia was expanded by Zeng Guofan into an army force of thirteen battalions consisted of 6500 men,

    a navy of ten battalions consisted of 5000 men, of a total of 17,000 men, was given the name of Xiang Army, with Zeng Guofan as the

    Commander-in-chief, accepting orders from Zeng alone. The new rule was termed "Soldiers followed the commander, soldiers belonged to

    the commander", contrary to the old military rule "Soldiers had no fixed commander, commander had no fixed soldiers".

    This new military rule was the direct cause of the Warlord era because these type of army is like private army.

    The Xiang Army, is a militia formed that used modern weapons and the officers were never rotated, so relationships formed between officers and the troops,

    unlike Green Standard and Banner forces. The soldiers trust their commanders because they live in the same village/town/city and know each other before

    joining the Xiang Army. The Huai Army and Chu Army are also created in this manner but at other provinces.

    At their peak, these militia army number 600,000 men.

    Both Taiping Army and Xiang Army reward their men by looting. That is why there are severe civilian casualty.

    The civilian may have die from starvation because these armies taken all their food or they may have been killed while trying to protect their properties.

    That is why the Taiping revolution is the bloodiest revolution in China history.

    Eventually, the Taiping revolution failed because one two reasons.

    1) There are internal power struggles among the heavenly kings ( leaders ).

    This cause many of the capable commanders to be killed during the coup. One of the most capable commander left their Nanjing city with 100,000 men.

    2) After seeing the ability of western firearms and drill of Gordon's 5000 men army. The Xiang, Huai and Chu Army are modernize with

    western weapons and military drills. Zeng Guo Fan also recognize its Xiang army weakness after two major defeats by the Taiping Army.

    Therefore, he come out with a tactic to use trenches and sandbags fortification against the Taiping army. By avoiding close combat, which the Taiping army

    are much more superior due to their religious conviction and experiences. Zeng is able to reduce the casualties of its Xiang army to the minimum

    and at the same time use western rifles and military drills to inflict heavy casualties on the Taiping Army.

  15. I realize you pack a lot of information into a very short period of time, so I understand how it might be necessary to not mention certain things that you don't deem to be important to the end result, but I wish you could have at least mentioned Charles Gordon and the Ever Victorious Army.

  16. I have read the final death toll was far greater than 20 million. Some chroniclers claim it exceeded the figures from WWII, which, if true, would make it the greatest human tragedy since the black death.

  17. This will happen again if Christianity is allowed to enter current China. The different believe system means no less than 3 Holy man with three very distinct new new testaments(that make scientology look like a regular religion) in 20 years and it will have higher population base, which if combined, is higher than current total Catholic and Christianity, of semi literate men who don't understand Christianity trandition at all. They will completely deny the relevance of Jesus, Jerusalum while trying to convert the western world, and also begin killing the two Islamic minorities in Xinjiang after they were given power and then Pakistan. Christianity must not enter China, unless of course, you want to create the fourth Abrahamic religion all too willing to start a new holy war. Oh, and remember all of missiles CPC have.

  18. Every countries Seems to have this sort of a religious fundamentalism militants like ISIS in middle east and Taiping rebellions in 19th century in china.

  19. This story totally changed my mind about CCP's persecution of Christians (and religions in general)… Given what happened, it kind of make sense.

  20. Those really are some rigid social groupings when people ethnically the same as those around them, and who have lived in an area for 800 years, are still considered outsiders.

  21. 2:17 … uhh … early 19th century China was the richest nation on earth, consisting of one third of world GDP. It wasn't until the mid 19th century when everything went pear shaped

  22. I’m trying to comprehend what I just heard. In 1850, a young man aspired to be a civil servant. When he failed the entrance test he “fell into a trance” and awoke with some kind of new found religious beliefs. He then raised an army of 1 million and started a war that eventually killed 20 million.


    This sounds like the plot for a Science Fiction novel.

  23. Sad but China is just as racist and xenophobic today. Most Asia is, you could live in China or Japan for 80 years, know every bit of their history and country down to triva, be a good neighbor and they would never allow you to be a citizen.

  24. Reminds me of Francisco Lopez and Paraguay's suicidal war with Brazil, Uruguay, AND Argentina. China's one thing, but it's beyond belief that any nation in the western hemisphere, even in the 19th century, could lose 90% of their male population in a war.

  25. Also …. Unlike ISIS…. this nut wasn’t following the Bible…. If people would take time to read the Koran they would find out its not about peace…. and ISIS applies the Koran the same way Muhammad ( pedo be upon you) did… death, rape and slavery and/or convert….
    All Middle East Land was Christian 700 years before and Jewish for Thousands…. That’s history they don’t teach no more in schools/colleges…..

  26. 6:48 Protestant missionaries? You displayed an image of Jesuit missionaries. Catholic missionaries. It's an important distinction, since Catholics had a more active role in the evangelization of China.

  27. I have often been astounded at how many times in Christianity, God's name has been successfully used to justify killing people and taking their shit….A person not familiar with the story of Jesus could easily believe from the actions of Christians, that Jesus was a blood thirsty psychopath god.

  28. The Falun Gong cult is the new wannabe Taipings. In the US they own Epoch Times, the Shun Yun dance troupe, and even the Youtube channel China Uncensored.

  29. Enlightened, this guy. The Emperor of China is Son of Heaven, Eastern God. Hong claimed Divine right from another God and tried to take the Throne.

  30. Hong Xiuquan is the self proclaimed brother of Jesus?
    Well Jesus is the self proclaimed son of god, and Mary is a self proclaimed vrigin. The pope is a self proclaimed holy man. Isn't christianity all about believing self proclamations?

  31. Absolutely love this channel, I’ve learnt a lot about people who I never knew existed

    I remember a post you made a while back saying how one video you made was the poorest in terms of views but that’s the beauty of this channel, it doesn’t matter about views for you

    Because now, should anyone want to learn of these people, they have a well educated video there to teach them regardless of performance and for free

    Love ya stuff ya baldy Brit and the rest of the team x

  32. "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many."

    Funny he read the bible, but missed the parts which called him out as a sham.


  33. Don't compare this man with Christianity. When he called himself the second son of God, he denied any faith in God.

  34. Ironic how the rebellion is called TaiPing which means Great Peace or Heavenly Peace in chinese when its the bloodiest conflict. the irony

  35. the difference is that the quran literally says all the violent things isis did. Jesus never once called for violence even calling down his own friend, ally, and apostle for cutting off the ear of a soldier sent to take him into fatal custody.

  36. If you want to know more about them,you learn more form us actually,Some of your source are a bit subjective. But one things is sure: China almost become a Christian nation and Theocracy because of this guy.

  37. And of course the Whistler cult failed. We kept telling you we wanted real kool-aid and not that purple drink from the dollar store

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