United In Righteousness: Slogans and Actions in the Boxer Movement
MetadataShow full item record
The Boxer movement in 1900 came into world history as an armed conflict between China and Western Powers. However, there was no unanimity in attitudes and actions of Chinese social groups in the conflict. Although all these major groups took saving China from foreign aggression as their"righteous mission" and used the traditional Chinese concept of patriotism--"righteousness" (yi). to legitimize their action in the movement, they interpreted"righteousness" differently to fit their own interests. These different interpretations prominently embodied in the slogans of these social groups. An analysis of the underlying meanings of their political slogans contributes to the exploration of their cultural assumptions and moral frameworks of their political actions. Although previous studies have suggested that Boxer actions were grounded in a sense of moral rectitude, the same interpretation has not been applied to the other main social actors. My research examines the moral framework of these formerly excluded social groups. My dissertation will examine the slogans of each of the five main social groups, the Boxers, the Qing court, the provincial officials, the reformers, and the local gentry, in the Boxer movement and explore the influence of these cultural interpretations on their political actions. I argue that the traditional concept of"righteousness" (yi) played an important role in the movement; however, its meaning and function were a construction of the power relations between these social groups.