Miao Rebellion (1854–73)

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Miao rebellion 1854–1873
Part of the Miao Rebellions
Guizhou province of China
Result Qing dynasty victory
Qing dynasty Miao
Casualties and losses
Unknown 4.9 million (Almost certainly overstated)

The Miao rebellion of 1854–1873, also known as the Qian rebellion (Chinese: 黔亂; pinyin: Qián luàn; literally: 'Guizhou uprising') was an uprising of ethnic Miao and other groups in Guizhou province during the reign of the Qing dynasty. Despite its name, Robert Jenks estimates that ethnic Miao made up less than half of the uprising's participants.[1] The uprising was preceded by Miao rebellions in 1735–36 and 1795–1806, and was one of many ethnic uprisings sweeping China in the 19th century. The rebellion spanned the Xianfeng and Tongzhi periods of the Qing dynasty, and was eventually suppressed with military force. Estimates place the number of casualties as high as 4.9 million out of a total population of 7 million, though these figures are likely overstated.[2]

The rebellion stemmed from a variety of grievances, including long-standing ethnic tensions with Han Chinese, poor administration, grinding poverty and growing competition for arable land.[2] The eruption of the Taiping Rebellion led the Qing government to increase taxation, and to simultaneously withdraw troops from the already restive region, thus allowing a rebellion to unfold. Millenarianism was an influence especially on the non-ethnic Miao participants.[3] The aftermath of the rebellion causes many Miao, Hmong and other groups to migrate into Vietnam and Laos.

The term "Miao", explains the anthropologist Norma Diamond, does not mean only the antecedents of today's Miao national minority; it is much more general term, which had been used by the Chinese to describe various aboriginal, mountain tribes of Guizhou and other southwestern provinces of China, which shared some cultural traits.[4] They consisted of 40–60% population of the province.[5][when?]

To date, the only English language account of the Miao Rebellion was written by Robert D. Jenks.[6] Most contemporary records from the uprising comes from Qing officials who were sent to quell the rebellion.

See also[edit]

Miao rebellions[edit]

Rebellions (non-Miao)[edit]

Other topics[edit]


  1. ^ Jenks, 58-73
  2. ^ a b Robert D. Jenks (1994). Insurgency and Social Disorder in Guizhou: The "Miao" Rebellion, 1854-1873. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 25. ISBN 0-8248-1589-0.
  3. ^ The New Way: Protestantism and the Hmong in Vietnam, By Tm T. T. Ng
  4. ^ Norma Diamond (1995). "Defining the Miao: Ming, Qing, and Contemporary Views". In Stevan Harrell (ed.). Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97528-8.
  5. ^ Elleman, Bruce A. (2001). "The Miao Revolt (1795–1806)". Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795-1989. London: Routledge. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0-415-21474-2.
  6. ^ Forward to the 1994 University of Hawaii press edition