Corruption in the Qing Government and the Taiping Rebellion

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I agree to a larger extent that the Qing Government was primarily responsible for causing the Taiping Rebellion. However, other underlying factors leading to the Taiping insurrection cannot be ignored. This essay will discuss how corruption in the Qing bureaucracy, the incompetent leadership, the closed mentality of the Qing Government, shortage of land and impact of an alien Manchu regime highlighted the Qing Government as the main cause of the rebellion. The essay would also include the other causes of the rebellion, such as the opium war and natural disasters.

Firstly, there was obvious corruption in the bureaucracy. When the lowly-paid officials were taxed, the consequence was that the officials taxed the peasants even more in order to cover their share of taxes. Obviously, the peasants, who were already burdened with their own taxes and rent of the land to the feudal lords, could not cough up the required sum of money. Thus, the Qing Government decided that the yield of the current tax was insufficient, which resulted in a vicious cycle of over taxation where taxes were increased when the present amount was insufficient. Finally, the peasants were extorted of all their riches, leading them to the mentality that they had nothing to lose in the rebellion.

Now, these taxes that were paid to the government were supposed to be used for the modernisation and development of China. However, due to incompetency of leadership in the Qing Government, these funds were spent on constructing lavish and extravagant palaces. Having had unquestioned authority, numerous emperors started to neglect their duties of governing the country and sought personal enjoyment with concubines and indulgence in food. In addition, these palaces were situ...

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...few alternatives to a career besides farming, and only one percent of the candidates who took the Imperial Examinations actually passed. As such, Hong brought fresh hope into many lives, promising them with abundance of land, food, clothes and money. Believing that Hong would bring an end to the regime, the rebels followed unquestioningly.

In conclusion, the Qing Government was largely responsible for the Taiping Rebellion. The government did not care for the people’s interests and needs, wasting away the tax money on personal enjoyment rather than the development of the country. As a result, China progressively declined, leading to the commoner’s immense dissatisfaction with the entire government. While it cannot be denied that the rebellion had other underlying causes, the main cause was the Qing Government which caused people to rebel, in hope of a better life.
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