Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in History



First Reader/Committee Chair



This paper offers an evaluation of the Chinese Nationalist and Communist interpretations of the Taiping Rebellion (December 1851- August 1864). As the largest uprising of the time, whose importance was central to the course of modern Chinese history, prominent members of both the CCP and the KMT perceived the seeds of their political movements in the Taiping Rebellion. What evidence supports their claims, to what extent they are rational, and how their narrations illuminate aspects of the rebellion is our primary task. In addition, the particular Taiping creed, and the many interpretations of it, will be analyzed and a cross-cultural understanding of the faith will be provided. Lastly, the different names which are ascribed to the uprising, and how a philosophy of perspectivism serves well when questioning the meaning of the past, will be considered.

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