The main force behind the Boxer Uprising was the Boxers. The Boxers, also known as the Righteous Harmonious Fists, were a group of Chinese Reactionaries who were against the imperialism of the foreign powers who kept on hurting China by taking territory. They were proto-nationalists who wanted a strong Chinese state at the cost of the minorities in China.
A group of Boxer Officers before a battle
Boxer soldiers armed with only spears
Boxers committing atrocities during the uprising. The Boxers killed over 100,000 Chinese civilians during the conflict
Soldiers from all the eight nations nations in order from left to right, United Kingdom, USA, United Kingdom again, United Kingdom again, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary. Italy, and Japan
The main side opposing the Boxers was known as the Eight-Nation Alliance. It consisted of all the current great powers in the world at that time. The powers were, The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, The United States, Japan, and Russia. These powers all declared war with the pretense of being outraged by Boxer acts but they all grabbed a piece of China by the wars end so that may have not been the case.
The Beginning of the War
The war begin when it the Boxers opened fire on and laid siege to the International Legations in Beijing. Because of events leading up to the war, there was a small motley force of soldiers from all the alliance defending the building with rifles, three machine guns, and one old cannon made from thrown together parts. The defenders only numbered 700 so the Boxers though they could easily take the Legations, but the allies proved to be fierce defenders with superior technology and they held till the end of the war.
A group of British soldier offering relieve fire to the besieges in Beijing
Despite the fact that the garrison was holding out, it was apparent to the Eight-Nation Alliance that they couldn't hold out forever ad would eventually starve to death. So they prepared a massive relief force to land on the coast and march to Beijing while, at the same time, 200,000 Russian soldiers would invade Manchuria, the resource rich part of northwestern China
Artwork depicting the march of allied army to relieve Beijing
The relief expedition consisted of 18,000 men from all countries and beat the Boxers all the way to Beijing. Once they the easily crushed the Boxers besieging the Legations and relieved them. They managed this because of a complete superiority in technology, equipment, organization, and soldiers. The Boxers had lost their advantage of numbers and the uprising was over.
The End of the War
After the eight powers relieved the nations they quickly drew up plans to cripple China by taking the monetary equivalent of eight million of today's dollars. however, they did no take any lad and realized that they should give up on colonizing China and instead focused on economic benefits by bullying the ruling dynasty into submission.
The Qing Empire which was forced to give away 540,000 troy ounces of silver