Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Tai-Pings

Tai-Pings, the name by which the followers of the Chinese rebel Hung Hsiu-chwan (1813-64) are known to the outside world. Tai-Ping (Grand Peace) was really the name of the dynasty of which Hung was to be the founder. He was born in the province of Canton, and in early life acquired some perverted notions of Christianity, which worked strangely in his mind. Believing he was summoned by a divine call to overthrow the Manchau dynasty and establish a new religious and political era, he proceeded, in concert with two friends who shared his views, to organize an insurrection, which broke out in 1851 in the province of Kwang-si. It gradually extended northwards, and in March, 1853, the rebels appeared before the gates of Nanking. From the city, which was soon taken, a large body was sent against Peking. It advanced nearly to Tien-tsin, but did not venture to attack the capital. In 1855 the insurgents began to lose ground, owing to the decline of religious enthusiasm and the rivalry of Hung's subordinate "kings." the Emperor was aided by a body of foreigners led by an American, General Ward, and after his death in 1862 a British contingent was raised in Shanghai, the command being now taken by Colonel Charles Gordon (q.v.). the rebels were speedily dispersed, Nanking falling in July, 1864. Hung is said to have taken poison.

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