- Hong Xiuquan
or Hung Hsiu-ch'üanborn Jan. 1, 1814, Fuyuanshui, Guangdong, Chinadied June 1, 1864, NanjingChinese religious prophet, leader of the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64).Born into a poor Hakka family, Hong showed signs of great intelligence but failed three times to obtain even the lowest degree on the civil-service exams. Suffering an emotional collapse, he had a vision in which he was instructed to rid the world of evil demons. He became the leader of his own brand of Christianity, demanded the abolition of opium smoking and prostitution, and promised an ultimate reward to his followers. In 1850 he began plotting a rebellion; the next year he declared himself Heavenly King of the Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace (Taiping Tianguo). His army of more than a million men and women soldiers captured Nanjing, which became Hong's new capital. Power struggles culminated in his leaving affairs of state to his incompetent older brothers; he withdrew and committed suicide in 1864 after a lingering illness.
* * *▪ Chinese prophet and rebelIntroductionWade-Giles romanization Hung Hsiu-ch'üan , original name Hong Renkun , literary name (hao) Xiuquanborn Jan. 1, 1814, Huaxian [now Huadu], Guangdong province, Chinadied June 1, 1864, NanjingChinese religious prophet and leader of the Taiping Rebellion (1850–64), during which he declared his own new dynasty, which centred on the captured (1853) city of Nanjing (Nanking). This great upheaval, in which more than 20,000,000 people are said to have been killed, drastically altered the course of modern Chinese history.Early lifeHong was the youngest son of four children in a poor but proud Hakka family. The Hakkas were an industrious people who had migrated into South China from the north several centuries earlier and still retained their original customs. At an early age, Hong showed signs of great intelligence; his entire village sponsored him in his studies, hoping that he would eventually pass the Confucian civil service examination, enter the government bureaucracy, and bring wealth and honour to his family and friends.Hong took the government examination for the first time in 1827 and failed to obtain even the lowest official degree, an outcome not surprising in view of the great number of candidates competing. He took the test several times, each time traveling to the provincial capital in Guangzhou (Canton) (Canton), which was also the centre for trade with the West. When he failed the exam for the third time in 1837, the strain was more than he could bear. He suffered an emotional collapse. During a delirium that lasted several days, he imagined himself to be in the presence of a venerable old man with a golden beard. The old man complained that the world was overrun by evil demons, and he gave Hong a sword and seal to use in eradicating the bad spirits. Hong also believed himself to have encountered a middle-aged man who aided and instructed him in the extermination of demons.Hong's conversion to ChristianityWhen Hong recovered, he returned to his occupation as a village schoolteacher. In 1843 he took the examination for the fourth and last time, but again he failed. Shortly after this, Li Jingfang, a cousin, noticed on Hong's bookshelves an unusual work entitled Quanshi liangyan (“Good Words for Exhorting the Age”). Written by a Chinese missionary, the work, which explained the basic elements of Christianity, had been given to Hong on his visit to Guangzhou in 1837. Apparently, Hong had briefly glanced at the book's contents and then forgotten about it. When Li brought it to his attention, Hong reexamined the work and suddenly discovered the explanation for his visions. He realized that during his illness he had been transported to heaven. The old man he had spoken with was God, and the middle-aged man was Jesus Christ. Hong further understood that he was the second son of God, sent to save China. In reading the portions of the Bible contained in the Quanshi liangyan, Hong often translated the pronouns I, we, you, and he as referring to himself, as if the book had been written for him. He baptized himself, prayed to God, and from then on considered himself a Christian.Hong began to propagate the new doctrine among his friends and relatives. One of his most important converts was his schoolmate Feng Yunshan. In 1844 Hong lost his job because he had destroyed the tablets to Confucius in the village school where he was teaching, and Feng accompanied him on a preaching trip to neighbouring Guangxi province. Hong returned from Guangxi after a few months, but Feng remained, establishing the Baishangdi Hui (“God Worshippers' Society”), a religious group devoted to Hong's new doctrines.In 1847 Hong went to Guangzhou to study Christianity with the Rev. I.J. Roberts, an American missionary. The two months he spent with Roberts marked his sole formal training in the doctrines of Christianity; his writings show little understanding of concepts alien to Chinese culture. New Testament ideas of humility and kindness are ignored, as are the Christian ideas of original sin and redemption. Rather, Hong stressed a wrathful Old Testament God, one who was to be worshipped and obeyed. He demanded the abolition of evil practices such as opium smoking, gambling, and prostitution and promised an ultimate reward to those who followed the teachings of the Lord.Hong's contacts with Western Christianity did, however, teach him that there were other countries in the world. Rather than the traditional Chinese ethnocentrism, he postulated a world of many nations, all of them equal under God. Moreover, he was iconoclastic in his attitude toward the Chinese culture of his day, labeling it the work of evil demons and insisting that all symbols of it be destroyed.The Taiping RebellionAfter leaving Roberts, Hong joined Feng and the God Worshippers and was immediately accepted as the new leader of the group. Conditions in the countryside were deplorable, and sentiment ran high against the Qing dynasty rulers. As a result, Hong and Feng began to plot the rebellion that finally began in July 1850. Hong's rebels expanded into neighbouring districts, and on Jan. 1, 1851, Hong's 37th birthday, he proclaimed his new dynasty, the Taiping Tianguo (“Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace”) and assumed the title of Tianwang, or “Heavenly King.” The Taipings pressed north through the fertile Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) valley. As the rebels passed through the countryside, whole towns and villages joined them. They grew from a ragged band of a few thousand to a fanatical but highly disciplined army of more than a million, divided into separate divisions of men and women soldiers. Men and women were considered equal by the Taipings but were allowed no contact with one another—even married couples were forbidden sexual intercourse.After Hong's army captured the great central China city of Nanjing on March 10, 1853, he decided to halt his troops and make the city his permanent capital, renaming it Tianjing (“Heavenly Capital”). A northern expedition to capture the Qing capital at Beijing failed, but Taiping troops scored great victories in other places.Meanwhile, Hong's friend Feng had died en route to Nanjing, and Hong had placed much power in the hands of his minister of state, Yang Xiuqing. It was Yang who organized the new Taiping state and mapped the strategy of the Taiping armies. Eventually Yang began to chastise Hong and to usurp his prerogatives as supreme leader. To legitimize his authority, Yang occasionally lapsed into trances in which his voice supposedly became that of the Lord's. In one of his trances, Yang claimed that the Lord demanded Hong be whipped for kicking one of his concubines (although Taiping followers were allowed no sexual relations with members of the opposite sex, Taiping leaders maintained enormous harems). On Sept. 2, 1856, Hong had Yang murdered by Wei Changhui, another Taiping general. Wei in turn became haughty, and Hong had him slain as well.After this, Hong ignored his ablest followers and entrusted affairs of state to his incompetent elder brothers. He withdrew from all government matters for long periods, spending his time with his harem or in religious speculation. By 1862 Hong's generals were telling him that the situation at Nanjing was desperate and that he ought to abandon the city. He refused, stating that he trusted in divine guidance. He even declined to lay in supplies in case of a siege because he was sure that God would provide. On June 1, 1864, Hong, despairing after a lingering illness, committed suicide. His young son succeeded him on the throne. The city finally fell on July 19, 1864, and government troops initiated a terrible slaughter in which more than 100,000 people were said to have been killed. Sporadic Taiping resistance continued in other parts of the country until 1866.Lee Nathan FeigonAdditional ReadingTheodore Hamberg, The Visions of Hung-Siu-Tshuen and the Origin of the Kwang-si Insurrection (1854, reprinted 1975), is the best account of Hong and the early development of the Taipings. More-recent studies of the Taipings that also deal with Hong include Ssu-yu Teng, New Light on the History of the Taiping Rebellion (1950, reprinted 1966); Franz Michael, The Taiping Rebellion (1966); and Thomas H. Reilly, The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom: Rebellion and the Blasphemy of Empire (2004).
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Hong Xiuquan — Hóng Xiùquán (zh cpw|c=洪秀全|p=Hóng Xiùquán |w=Hung Hsiu ch üan; January 1, 1814 ndash; June 1, 1864), born Hong Renkun (洪仁坤), courtesy name Huoxiu (火秀), was a Hakka Chinese who led the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, establishing the… … Wikipedia
Hong Xiuquan — [xʊŋ˧˥ ɕi̯ou̯˩˥ tɕʰy̆ɛn˧˥] (chinesisch 洪秀全 Hóng Xiùquán, W. G. Hung Hsiu ch’üan; * 1814 in Fuyuanshui im Kreis Hua der Provinz Guangdong; † 1864 in … Deutsch Wikipedia
Hong Xiuquan — Hong Xiuquan. Hóng Xiùquán (洪秀全, Wade Giles: Hung Hsiu ch üan; nacido como Hong Renkun 洪仁坤, nombre de cortesano: Huoxiu 火秀) en la provincia de Guangdong el 1 de enero de 1814 en medio de una pobre familia de granjeros. Él era Hakka, (subgrupo de… … Wikipedia Español
Hong Xiuquan — [ çiutʃan], Hung Hsiu ch üan, chinesischer Rebell, * Hua Xian (Provinz Guangdong) 1813 (nach anderen Angaben 1. 1. 1814), ✝ Nanking 1. 6. 1864; Führer des Taipingaufstandes, der 1851 64 weite Teile Südchinas erfasste. Hong Xiuquan sah sich als… … Universal-Lexikon
Hong Xiuquan — Portrait de Hong, env. 1860 Hong Xiuquan (chinois : 洪秀全 ; pinyin : Hóng Xiùquán) (1812 1864) est un Hakka membre de la révolte des Taiping. Hong se proclame empereur du Ciel et conteste le pouvoir de l empereur Xianfeng. Sommaire … Wikipédia en Français
Hong Xiuquan — o Hung Hsiu ch üan (1 ene. 1814, Fuyuanshui, Guangdong, China–1 jun. 1864, Nanjing). Profeta religioso chino, líder de la rebelión Taiping (1850–64). Nació en una familia pobre de la etnia hakka, mostró signos de gran inteligencia, aun así, en… … Enciclopedia Universal
Xiuquan — Hong Xiuquan Hong Xiuquan [xʊŋ˧˥ ɕi̯ou̯˩˥ tɕʰy̆ɛn˧˥] (chin. 洪秀全, Hóng Xiùquán, W. G. Hung Hsiu ch’üan; * 1814 in Fuyuanshui im Kreis Hua der Provinz Guangdong; † 1864 in Nanking) war Anführer des Taip … Deutsch Wikipedia
Hong Rengan — (zh cpw|c=洪仁玕|p=Hóng Réngān |w=Hung Jen kan; 1822–November 23, 1864) was an important leader of the Taiping Rebellion. He was the cousin of the movement s founder and spiritual leader Hong Xiuquan. His position as the Prince Gan (干王) resembled… … Wikipedia
Hong Renda — (洪仁達), (? Nankin, 1864) et Roi des Bénédictions (Fu Wang, 福王), fut le plus jeune des deux frères aînés de Hong Xiuquan (un Hakka qui fut le Roi céleste du Royaume céleste de la Grande paix). Lui et son frère aîné Hong Renfa reçurent tous deux le… … Wikipédia en Français
Hong Renfa — (洪仁發), (? Nankin, 1864 ?), parfois appelé Hong Renhua), et « Roi de la Paix » (An Wang, 安王), fut le plus âgé des deux frères aînés de Hong Xiuquan (un Hakka qui fut le Roi céleste du Royaume céleste de la Grande paix). Lui et son… … Wikipédia en Français