Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Uprisings Now and Then

Imperialist Uprising
From early 1900 till September 7, 1901, a group of Chinese nationalists lashed out against foreign interference.  The Boxer Rebellion was an extremely violent uprising which sought to rid China of foreign interference.  After the Chinese defeat in the Sino- Japanese war, China under the rule of Tzi Hsi, experienced a period of great turmoil upon realizing how vulnerable they were to foreign invasion.  This realization led people to realize that the European countries could effectively divide the country amongst themselves.  Therefore the Boxers thought it necessary to dispel all foreigners, especially Christians.  They worked towards this goal by murdering 200 foreign missionaries and several thousand Chinese Christians.  This murderous rampage paired with the Boxer's invasion of the embassy quarter in Beijing led to Western intervention.  The Western governments successfully sieged Beijing using an international force of 20 000 soldiers used to force China to accept a large number of penalties which led to political turmoil within the countries and eventually anarchy.  However, this rebellion was one of the early catalysts for the end of the Qing Dynasty (1912),which led to a republic being formed by Dr. Yet-sen.

Modern Day Uprising
           On December 18,2010, Mohammed Bouazizi lit himself on fire after being stripped of his livelihood by the government of Tunisia, this event sparked the revolutionary fire in the country of Tunisia.  Bouazizi was unemployed much like 14% of the country. This extremely high level of unemployment serves as one of the key reasons for the Tunisian Revolution which ousted President Zine El Abidine Ali from power because of the political corruption practiced by his administration, the high unemployment rate, a lack of freedom of the press, and severe economic distress.  This rebellion was made up of series violent street protests often involving setting buildings and cars on fire.  This continued until the resignation of Ali, who was replaced by his prime minister, Mohamed Ghannouahi, who later resigned on February 27, 2011.  A new popularly elected Constituent Assembly was formed and Moncef Marzouki was elected as interim president, and Hamadi Jebali was elected as Prime Minister, later to resign and be replaced by Ali Larayedh.  After this rebellion the government was a Republic operating under a two party system, rather than the single party system which was in place before the rebellion.  A constitution is currently being drafted and debated.           

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