Philip Kuhn emphasizes the limitations of the grasp of the imperial state in his analysis of the local and regional responses to the Taiping Rebellion. “Local militarization posed acute problems for the imperial state; for if irregular military force could not be regularized and brought under control, if the widespread militarization of local communities could not be brought into a predictable relationship to the state, then the security of the state itself might soon be shaken” (Philip Kuhn 1980, p. 9).
The people of China realized that the Ch’ing was no longer an absolute power. With that act, the Taipings awakened a nation to rebellion. The Taiping ideology came to be a conglomerate of Christianity and the golden age of Chinese culture. The Taiping goal was simple: destroy the Manchus and restore to China her past greatness. The leader of the Taipings, Hung Hsiu-Ch’uan, shaped the entire rebellion and thus much of modern China. Hung tried to pass several times until 1843. This incident may have fed his hostility towards the Ch’ing and China’s condition. Hung spent two months studying the bible doctrines under the missionary. Some years before, in 1835, Leang-afa, the first protestant Christian in China, had given Hung several papers also about religion.
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