The Boxer Rebellion displaced and killed many Chinese citizens, and fatally weakened the Qing Dynasty, allowing China's transition to a republic in 1912. The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising, started in 1900. It began in northern China and spread throughout the country after government militias failed to stop attackers.
The Boxer Rebellion started with the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists. That organization included citizens in northwestern China disenchanted with China's foreign occupation. They complained of reduced living standards and poor quality of life following invasions by Japan and other foreign nations during the late 1890s. This group attacked foreigners in China and targeted Chinese Christians, too. They derived primarily from the peasant class and gained support quickly. The Society's civilian army proved powerful and relentless. They destroyed buildings and infrastructure in northern China and Beijing. After arriving in the nation's capital, the Society demanded change in foreign policy. Empress Cixi responded by declaring war on Japan and other nations involved in Chinese foreign affairs. In response, the United States, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Russia sent troops to rescue their citizens living in China and protect targeted Chinese Christians. Foreign nations sought reparations for damaged property and lost lives during the Rebellion. China acquiesced, although the weakened Qing Dynasty lost power, and dismantled in 1911 as a result.