The Eight-Nation Alliance was a multi-national military coalition set up in response to the Boxer Rebellion in China. The eight nations were Japan, Britain, the United States, Germany and Austria-Hungary. In the summer of 1900, when the international legations in Beijing were besieged by Boxer rebels supported by the Qing government, the coalition dispatched their armed forces, in the name of humanitarian intervention, to defend their respective nations' citizens, as well as a number of Chinese Christians who had taken shelter in the legations; the incident ended with the signing of the Boxer Protocol. The Boxers, a peasant movement, had attacked and killed foreign missionaries and Chinese Christians across northern China in 1899 and 1900; the Qing government and Imperial Army supported the Boxers and under the Manchu general Ronglu, besieged foreign diplomats and civilians taking refuge in the Legation Quarter in Peking. After failing in its initial attempt to relieve the Legation Quarter, in August 1900 the Allied force marched to Peking from Tianjin, defeated the Qing Imperial Army's Wuwei Corps in several engagements, brought an end to the Boxer Rebellion and the siege.
The members of the Alliance occupied Peking and proceeded to loot and pillage the capital. The forces consisted of 45,000 troops, from various countries. At the end of the campaign, the Qing Imperial government signed the Boxer Protocol of 1901; the diplomatic compound in Peking was under siege by the Wuwei Rear Division of the Chinese army and some Boxers, for 55 days, from 20 June to 14 August 1900. A total of 473 foreign civilians, 409 soldiers from eight countries, about 3,000 Chinese Christians took refuge in the Legation Quarter. Under the command of the British minister to China, Claude Maxwell MacDonald, the legation staff and security personnel defended the compound with small arms and one old muzzle-loaded cannon discovered and unearthed by Chinese Christians who turned it over to the Allies. Under siege in Peking was the North Cathedral, the Beitang of the Catholic Church; the Beitang was defended by 43 French and Italian soldiers, 33 foreign Catholic priests and nuns and about 3,200 Chinese Catholics.
The defenders suffered heavy casualties from lack of food and Chinese mines that exploded in tunnels dug beneath the compound. Austria-Hungary had a single cruiser SMS Zenta on station at the beginning of the rebellion, based at the Russian concession of Port Arthur. Detachments of sailors from the Zenta were the only Austro-Hungarian forces to see action; some were involved in defending the legations under siege while another detachment was involved in the rescue attempts. In June, the Austro-Hungarians helped hold the Tianjin railway against Boxer forces and fired upon several armed junks on the Hai River near Tong-Tcheou in Peking, they took part in the seizure of the Taku Forts commanding the approaches to Tianjin, the boarding and capture of four Chinese destroyers by Capt. Roger Keyes of HMS Fame; the Austro-Hungarian Navy sent the cruisers SMS Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia, SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth, SMS Aspern and a company of marines to China. Arriving in September, they were too late as most of the fighting had ended and the legations relieved.
The cruisers together with the Zenta were involved in capture of several Chinese forts. The Austro-Hungarians suffered minimal casualties during the rebellion. After the Boxer uprising, a cruiser was maintained permanently on the Chinese coast and a detachment of marines was deployed at the Austro-Hungarian embassy in Peking. Lieutenant Georg Ludwig von Trapp, made famous in the 1959 musical The Sound of Music, was decorated for bravery aboard SMS Kaiserin und Königin Maria Theresia during the rebellion. At the outset of the Boxer Rebellion, Britain was engaged in the Boer conflict in South Africa. With the army tied down by the war, the British had to rely on the China Squadron and troops from India; the Royal Navy's China Squadron, stationed off Tientsin, consisted of the battleships Barfleur and Centurion. British forces were the third-largest contingent in the international alliance, consisted of the following units: Naval Brigade, 12th Battery Royal Field Artillery, Hong Kong & Singapore Artillery, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 1st Bengal Lancers, 7th Rajput Infantry, 24th Punjab Infantry, 1st Sikh Infantry, Hong Kong Regiment, 1st Chinese Regiment, Royal Engineers, other support personnel.
The Australian colonies did not become a unified federation until 1901. As such several of the colonies, independently of each other, sent contingents of naval and army personnel to support the British contingent. For example, South Australia sent its entire navy: the gunboat HMCS Protector. Australia, was not an official member of the eight-nation alliance and its forces arrived too late to see significant action. Britain provided 10,000 troops, of which a large part were Indian troops, made out of units of Baluchis, Gurkhas and Punjabis. Germany had gained a presence in China after the Juye Incident in which two German missionaries were murdered in November 1897; the concession in Kiaochow, with the port of Tsingtao, was used as a naval base for the East Asia Squadron and a trading port. It was garrisoned by the Imperial German Navy. At the outbreak of the Boxer Rebellion in June 1900, the garrison of the German concession comprised the III. Seebataillon with 1,126 men, a marine/naval artillery battery, a
Prince Qing of the First Rank, or Prince Qing, was the title of a princely peerage used in China during the Manchu-led Qing dynasty. It was one of the 12 "iron-cap" princely peerages in the Qing dynasty, which meant that the title could be passed down without being downgraded; the first bearer of the title was the 17th son of the Qianlong Emperor. He was awarded the title by the Jiaqing Emperor, who succeeded their father. Between 1820 and 1908, the Prince Qing title was capped at a junwang status, which meant that the next bearer of the title would inherit, at most, the title "Prince Qing of the Second Rank". However, from 1908 onwards, the title was accorded a qinwang status; the title was passed down over four generations and held by five princes – three qinwangs and two junwangs. Yonglin, the Qianlong Emperor's 17th son a beile from 1789 to 1799, promoted to Prince Qing of the Second Rank in 1799 and to Prince Qing of the First Rank in 1820, posthumously honoured as Prince Qingxi of the First Rank Mianmin, Yonglin's third son, held a feng'en fuguo gong title from 1802 to 1819 and a beizi title from 1819 to 1820, held the title Prince Qing of the Second Rank from 1820 to 1836, posthumously honoured as Prince Qingliang of the Second Rank Yicai, Mianzhi's son and Mianmin's adoptive son, held the title Prince Qing of the Second Rank from 1837 to 1842, stripped of his title in 1842 Mianxing, Yonglin's sixth son, held the title of a second class zhenguo jiangjun from 1833 to 1837 and the title of a buru bafen fuguo gong from 1837 to 1842, stripped of his title in 1842 Mianti, Yonglin's fifth son, held a buru bafen fuguo gong title from 1831 to 1837, held a buru bafen zhenguo gong title from 1837 to 1842, demoted to a third class zhenguo jiangjun in 1842, posthumously awarded a beizi title in 1852 Yikuang, Mianxing's eldest son and Mianti's adoptive son a fuguo jiangjun, promoted to beizi in 1852 and beile in 1860.
In 1872, he was awarded the status but not the title of a junwang. In 1884, he was made Prince Qing of the Second Rank, was subsequently promoted to Prince Qing of the First Rank in 1894. In 1908, the Prince Qing title was given "iron-cap" status, which meant that the next bearer would be a qinwang by default, he was posthumously honoured as Prince Qingmi of the First Rank. Zaizhen, Yikuang's eldest son, held a second class zhenguo jiangjun title from 1894 to 1901 and a beizi title from 1901 to 1917, held the title Prince Qing of the First Rank from 1917 to 1947, posthumously honoured as Prince Qingzhen of the First Rank Puzhong, Zaizhen's eldest son, held the title of a buru bafen fuguo gong Purui, Zaizhen's second son, held the title of a buru bafen fuguo gong Zaifu, Yikuang's second son, held the title of a second class zhenguo jiangjun from 1906 to 1908, held the title of a buru bafen fuguo gong from 1908 to 1935 Royal and noble ranks of the Qing dynasty Zhao, Erxun. Draft History of Qing.
Volume 221. China
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Grand Council (Qing dynasty)
The Grand Council or Junjichu was an important policy-making body during the Qing dynasty. It was established in 1733 by the Yongzheng Emperor; the Council was in charge of military affairs, but attained a more important role and attained the role of a privy council, eclipsing the Grand Secretariat in function and importance, why it has become known as the "Grand Council" in English. Despite its important role in the government, the Grand Council remained an informal policy making body in the inner court and its members held other concurrent posts in the Qing civil service. Most of the officials serving in the Grand Council were Manchus, but Han Chinese officials were admitted into the ranks of the council. One of the earliest Han Chinese officials to serve in the Council was Zhang Tingyu; the chancellery was housed in an insignificant building just west of the gate to Palace of Heavenly Purity in the Forbidden City. In the early Qing dynasty, political power was held by the Council of Princes and High Officials, which consisted of eight imperial princes who served as imperial advisers at the same time.
It included a few Manchu officials. Established in 1637, the Council was responsible for deciding major policies of the Qing government. Decisions of the Council had precedence over decisions of the Grant Secretariat, the imperial cabinet. Under rules set by Nurhaci, the Council had the power to depose the Emperor. In 1643, the Shunzhi Emperor expanded the Council's composition to Han Chinese officials, with its mandate expanded to all important decisions relating to the Qing Empire; the Council's powers waned after the establishment of the Southern Study and the Grand Council, it was abolished in 1717. The Southern Study was an institution that held the highest policy-making power after its establishment in 1677, it was abolished in 1898. The Southern Study was built by the Kangxi Emperor in the southwestern corner of the Palace of Heavenly Purity. Members of the Hanlin Academy, selected on the basis of literary merit, were posted to the Study so that the Emperor had easy access to them when he sought counsel or discussion.
When posted to the Study, officials were known as " access to the Southern Study". Because of their proximity to the Emperor, official posted to the Study became influential to the Emperor. After the establishment of the Grand Council, the Southern Study remained an important institution but lost its policy advisory role. Officials regarded secondment to the Southern Study as an honourable recognition of their literary achievements. In Chinese, the term "access to the Southern Study" in modern usage indicates a person who, through channels other than formal government office, has significant influence over leaders of the government. In 1729, the Yongzheng Emperor launched a military offensive against the Dzungar Khanate. Concerns were raised that the meeting location of the Grand Secretariat did not ensure security for military secrets; the Junjichu was established in the Inner Court of the Forbidden City. Trustworthy members of Cabinet staff were seconded to work in the new Office. After defeating the Dzungars, the Yongzheng Emperor found that the streamlined operations of the Office of Military Secrets avoided problems with bureaucratic inefficiency.
As a result, the Junjichu turned from a temporary institution into a "Grand Council" in 1732 outstripping the powers of the Council of Advisor Princes, the Southern Study, to become the chief policy-making body of the Qing Empire. In 1735, the Yongzheng Emperor was succeeded by his son, the Qianlong Emperor. Shortly before his death, the Yongzheng Emperor established an interim council to assist his son; the Interim Council soon consolidated many of the "Inner Court" agencies of the Yongzheng era, expanded its power. Three years in 1738, the Interim Council disbanded and the Grand Council was reconstituted. During the Qianlong Emperor's reign, the Grand Council had many duties; some of them included more mundane duties such as keeping track of paper work and planning events, such as entertainments for the imperial court and transportation of the Emperor. Other duties were more tied to state administration, such as drafting edicts, advising the Emperor on various policies and problems, its proximity to the Emperor and inner court and unofficial status allowed it to expand and sustained its central role in state administration, freed it from some of the constraints of many of the outer-court agencies.
In 1796, the Qianlong Emperor abdicated in favor of the Jiaqing Emperor. Upon his father's death three years in 1799, the Jiaqing Emperor, along with purging his father's favorite, who had served on the Grand Council since 1776, introduced numerous reforms to the Grand Council, including a reduction of the numbers of grand councilors, the introduction of administrative punishments for grand councilors, the regulation of Grand Council clerk appointments by imperial audiences. During the regencies of the empress dowagers Ci'an and Cixi, the Grand Council took on many of the decision-making duties as the two women were novices in affairs of state. Soon after the two women became regents for the Tongzhi Emperor in 1861, edicts went out detailing how state papers and affairs were to be dealt with, with many of the policies being decided by the Grand Council. Papers were to be first sent to the empress dowagers, who would refer them back to the Prince-Regent, Prince Gong, who ov
Hubert Vos was a Dutch painter, born Josephus Hubertus Vos in Maastricht. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts with Fernand Cormon in Paris, he exhibited in Paris, Brussels and Munich. From 1885 to 1892, he worked in England, where he exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1888 and 1891, he was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. His second wife was Eleanor Kaikilani Coney, of Hawaiian and American descent. In 1898, he visited Hawaii. In that same year, Vos traveled to Korea. In each case, he kept one copy; the paintings are a life-sized portrait of Emperor Gojong, a portrait of Min Sangho, a landscape of Seoul. The copies left in Korea hung in the Deoksugung Palace until all except the landscape of Seoul, were destroyed by fire in 1904. Vos visited painted portraits of prominent leaders. Empress Dowager Cixi, whose portrait had been painted in oil by the American artist Katharine Carl, saw these portraits and invited Vos to visit China in 1905, he did one portrait of her, still displayed in the Summer Palace after he got back to New York, finished another portrait which he had started in China.
This was displayed at the Paris Salon acquired by Grenville L. Winthrop and given to the Fogg Museum at Harvard. In addition to portraits and landscapes, Vos is known for his interior scenes and still-life paintings of Chinese porcelains; the gifts from Empress Dowager Cixi are favorite objects of the still-life paintings. He died in New York City in 1935; the Louvre Museum, Bonnefanten Museum, the Chicago History Museum, the Fogg Art Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Luxembourg Palace, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Capital Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum are among the public collections holding works by Hubert Vos. Virginia Anderson, "'A Semi-Chinese Picture': Hubert Vos and the Empress Dowager of China," Proceedings and Other Publications. Ellis, George R. and Marcia Morse, A Hawaii Treasury, Masterpieces from the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Asahi Shimbun, 2000, 150, 223-4. Forbes, David W. "Encounters with Paradise: Views of Hawaii and its People, 1778-1941", Honolulu Academy of Arts, 1992, 220-223.
Luke SK Kwong, "No Shadows," History Today 50: 42-43. Severson, Don R. Finding Paradise: Island Art in Private Collections, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p. 104-5. Wood, Victorian Painters, 3rd ed. revised, Suffolk, 1995. Painting an Empress. C. D. D; the First Man to Portray the Dowager Empress of China The New York Times, December 17, 1905, Sunday] Hubert Vos in AskArt.com Smithsonian American Art Museum, Art Inventories Catalog
The Kansu Braves or Gansu Army was a unit of 10,000 Chinese Muslim troops from the northwestern province of Kansu in the last decades the Qing dynasty. Loyal to the Qing, the Braves were recruited in 1895 to suppress a Muslim revolt in Gansu. Under the command of General Dong Fuxiang, they were transferred to the Beijing metropolitan area in 1898, where they became the Rear Division of the Wuwei Corps, a modern army that protected the imperial capital; the Gansu Army included Hui Muslims, Salar Muslims, Dongxiang Muslims, Bonan Muslims. The Braves, who wore traditional uniforms but were armed with modern rifles and artillery, played an important role in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion. After helping to repel the Seymour Expedition – a multinational foreign force sent from Tianjin to relieve the Beijing Legation Quarter in early June – the Muslim troops were the fiercest attackers during the siege of the legations from 20 June to 14 August, they suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Peking, in which the Eight-Nation Alliance relieved the siege.
The Kansu Braves guarded the Imperial Court on their journey to Xi'an. In the spring of 1895, a Muslim revolt erupted in the southern parts of Gansu province. Dong Fuxiang, who had fought under Zuo Zongtang in the suppression of a larger Muslim rebellion in the 1860s and 1870s, had by 1895 become Imperial Commissioner in Gansu and he now commanded the Muslim militias that Zuo had recruited locally. In early July 1895, Dong commanded these troops in relieving the siege of Didao by Muslims rebels; when he attended Empress Dowager Cixi's sixtieth birthday celebrations in Beijing in August 1895, he was recommended to Cixi by the powerful Manchu minister Ronglu. The Muslim rebels, who were armed with muzzleloaders and various white arms, were overwhelmed by the firepower of the modern Remington and Mauser rifles that Dong brought back from Beijing. Dong used his understanding of local politics to convince the rebels to return to their homes. By the spring of 1896, Gansu was again pacified. Generals Dong Fuxiang, Ma Anliang and Ma Haiyan were called to Beijing during the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894, but the Dungan Revolt broke out and they were subsequently sent to crush the rebels.
During the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898 Generals Dong Fuxiang, Ma Anliang, Ma Haiyan were called to Beijing and helped put an end to the reform movement along with Ma Fulu and Ma Fuxiang. Late in the afternoon it transpired that the Empress Dowager was not in the Imperial city at all, but out at the Summer Palace on the Wan-shou-shan--the hills of ten thousand ages, as these are poetically called. Tung Fu-hsiang, whose ruffianly Kansu braves were marched out of the Chinese city--that is the outer ring of Peking--two nights before the Legation Guards came in, is with the Empress, for his cavalry banners, made of black and blue velvet, with blood-red characters splashed splendidly across them, have been seen planted at the foot of the hills. Tung Fu-hsiang is an invincible one, who stamped out the Kansu rebellion a few years ago with such fierceness that his name strikes terror to-day into every Chinese heart, but it is grave notwithstanding the laughter. Once in 1899, after the Empress Dowager's coup d'etat and the virtual imprisonment of the Emperor, Legation Guards had to be sent for, a few files for each of the Legations that possess squadrons in the Far East, what is more, these guards had to stay for a good many months.
The guards are now no more, but it is curious that the men they came to protect us against— Tung Fu-hsiang's Mohammedan braves from the savage back province of Kansu who love the reactionary Empress Dowager—are still encamped near the Northern capital. Following the killing of two German missionaries in Shandong in November 1897, foreign powers engaged in a "scramble for concessions" that threatened to split China into several spheres of influence. To protect the imperial capital against possible attacks, Cixi had the Gansu Army transferred to Beijing in the summer of 1898, she admired the Gansu Army because Ronglu, in her favor, had a close relation with its commander Dong Fuxiang. On their way to Beijing, Dong's troops attacked Christian churches in Baoding. After the failure of the Hundred Days' Reform sponsored by the Guangxu Emperor, Cixi named Ronglu Minister of War and highest official in the Grand Council, put him in charge of reforming the metropolitan armies. Ronglu made Dong's militia the "Rear Division" of a new corps called the "Wuwei Corps".
Dong Fuxiang was the only commander of the five divisions who did not hide his hostility toward foreigners. Beijing residents and foreigners alike feared the turbulent Muslim troops, it was said "the troops are to act tomorrow when all foreigners in Peking are to be wiped out and the golden age return for China." During 23 October 1898. Some Westerners described the Gansu Braves as the "10,000 Islamic rabble","a disorderly rabble of about 10,000 men, most of whom were Mohammedans", or Kansu Irregulars, others as "ten thousand Mohammedan cutthroats feared by the Chinese". In late September and early October 1898, several minor clashes between the Gansu troops and foreigners heightened tensions in the capital. Soldiers from the United States Marine Corps were among the new guards called from Tianjin to protect the Beijing Legation Quarter from possible assaults. By late October, rumors were circulating that the Gansu Army was preparing to kill all foreigners in Beijing. Responding to an ultimatum by the foreign ministers, Cixi had the Gansu troops transferred to the "Southern Park", known as the "Hunting Park" because
Beijing Legation Quarter
The Beijing Legation Quarter was the area in Beijing, China where a number of foreign legations were located between 1861 and 1959. In the Chinese language, the area is known as Dong Jiaomin Xiang, the name of the hutong through the area, it is located in the Dongcheng District to the east of Tiananmen Square. The city of Beijing was called Peking by Europeans and Americans until the 1950s; the Legation Quarter was the location of the 55-day siege of the International Legations, which took place during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. After the Boxer Rebellion, the Legation Quarter was under the jurisdiction of foreign countries with diplomatic legations in the quarter; the foreign residents were exempt from Chinese law. The Legation Quarter attracted a large number of diplomats, scholars, artists and Sinophiles. World War II ended the special status of the Legation Quarter, with the Great Leap Forward and other events in communist China most of the European-style buildings of the Legation Quarter were destroyed.
During the Yuan dynasty, the street was known as the Dong Jiangmi Xiang, or "East River-Rice Lane". It was the location of the tax office and customs authorities, because of its proximity to the Grand Canal, 30 kilometres east, by which rice and grains arrived in Beijing from the south. During the Ming dynasty, a number of ministries relocated into the area, including the Ministry of Rites, in charge of diplomatic matters. Several hostels were built for tributary missions from Vietnam, Mongolia and Burma; the Chinese government had long denied the European countries and the United States a diplomatic presence in the imperial capital of Beijing. However, the Convention of Peking after China's defeat in the Second Opium War of 1856-60, required the Qing Dynasty government to permit diplomatic representatives to live in Beijing; the area around Dong Jiangmi Xiang was opened for the establishment of foreign legations. The Zongli Yamen was established as a foreign office of the Qing Dynasty to deal with the foreigners.
In 1861, the British legation was established in the residence of Prince Chun, the French legation was established in the residence of Prince An, the Russian legation was established in the existing Russian quarters of the Orthodox Church. In 1862, the American legation was established in the home of Dr. Samuel Wells Williams, an American, appointed to head the U. S. legation. Other countries soon followed suit. By 1900 there were 11 legations in the Legation Quarter: the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Spain, Belgium and the United States; the Legation Quarter was rectangular in shape 1,300 metres east to west and 700 metres north to south. The southern boundary was the city wall of Beijing called the Tartar Wall; the Tartar wall was 13 metres high and 13 metres thick on top. The northern boundary was near the wall around the Imperial City. On the east the Legation Quarter was bordered near the Hata gate, the Chongwenmen in pinyin, on the west near the Chien or Zhengyang gate, the Qianmen in pinyin.
Legation Street, now called Dongjiaomin Xiang, bisected the Legation Quarter from east to west. The Imperial Canal, described as "noxious" ran through the center of the quarter from north to south, exiting the legation quarter through a watergate beneath the Tartar Wall. In the late 19th century the eleven foreign delegations were scattered among modest Chinese houses and opulent palaces inhabited by Manchu princes. However, in 1860, Peking was "in a wretched state of dilapidation and ruin, scarcely one of their palatial buildings is not falling into decay." Legation Street in 1900 was still "a straggling unpaved slum of a thoroughfare, along which one sees a European picking his way between the ruts and puddles with the donkeys and camels." A number of foreign enterprises in addition to the legations had been established in the quarter, including two large stores catering to Europeans, two foreign banks, the Jardine Matheson trading house, the Imperial Maritime Customs offices, managed by an Englishman, Robert Hart, the Swiss-run Hotel de Pekin.
During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the Legation Quarter was besieged by Boxers and the Qing army for 55 days. The Siege of the Legations was lifted on August 14 by a multi-national army, the Eight-Nation Alliance, which marched to Beijing from the coast and defeated the Chinese army in a series of battles, including the Battle of Peking. Of the 900 foreign nationals, including 400 soldiers, who took refuge in the Legation Quarter, 55 soldiers and 13 civilians were killed. Beijing was occupied for more than one year by the foreign armies; the Boxer Protocol of 1901 ended the Boxer Rebellion. China was forced to pay a large indemnity to the foreign powers. Article VII of the Protocol said that "the quarter occupied by the legations shall be considered as one specially reserved for their use and placed under their exclusive control, in which Chinese shall not have the right to reside and which may be made defensible." The Protocol established the exact boundaries of the Legation Quarter. Most of the buildings and foreign-owned, in the Legation Quarter were damaged or destroyed during the Boxer Rebellion.
The area was rebuilt and became more European. In 1902, legations had been rebuilt and expanded, Legation Street had been paved, the Peking-Mukden Railway from Tianjin had been extended to