Westerners established contacts with China starting with Marco Polo, but who would knowthat these contacts would have a great impact on the future. As time progressed, the Westbegan to see China as another potential colony as the Age of Imperialism began during the19th century. China was colonized late, due to its large geographical area andlarge population. At first, the Chinese, saw the Westerners and other Asian nations asinferior and ignored their presence. However, when China lost influence of Korea, Vietnam,and Taiwan during the Sino-Japanese War of 1885-95, China finally realized that foreignerswere carving up their lands. The United States, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, and manyother nations fought to gain spheres of influence over the China, exploiting it as acolony. At the turn of the century, many Chinese were tired with the foreigners and in thesummer of 1900 and a secret society roamed the country of China called the "Righteousand Harmonious Fists." The believed that the current Chinese government was unable tothrow out the foreigners and they took it as their goal and mission to overthrow thewestern control over their lands. These thugs, mostly from the north, roamed thecountryside attacking missionaries and Chinese converts of Christianity until, in Junethey surfaced in Beijing. The western powers joined together to put down the rebellion inBeijing and protect Western nationalists, however the dowager Empress Tz’u-hsiblocked Western advances with her army. In response, the allied westerners sent 19,000soldiers and captured Beijing on August 14, 1900. The failure of the rebellion andEmpress’s army to throw out foreigners caused the Chinese people to lose confidencein the Imperial System that had been established. The Boxer Rebellion was the spark thatignited the political strife and conflict that would happen for the remainder of the 20thCentury.


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