Taiping Christian Rebellion
Tai Ping Tian Guo - Sheng Bao, 50 cash Coin
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom - Holy Treasure
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Reference: Hartill 23.8
Size: 43mm; Weight: 28.5
Obv: 太平天国 Tai Ping Heavenly Kingdom
Rev: 聖寶 top and bottom
Tai Ping Heavenly Kingdom Currency
In its first year, the Heavenly Kingdom minted coins that were 23 mm to 26 mm in diameter, weighing around 4 grams. The kingdoms name was inscribed on the obverse and Holy Treasure on the reverse. The kingdom also issued paper notes, at least one of which is on the internet (dated 1861).
The Taiping Rebellion was a massive civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, against the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty. It was a millenarian movement led by Hong Xiuquan, who announced that he had received visions, in which he learned that he was the younger brother of Jesus. At least 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.
Hong established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom with its capital at Nanjing. The Kingdom's army controlled large parts of southern China, at its height ruling about 30 million people. The rebel agenda included social reforms such as shared property in common, equality for women, and the replacement of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Chinese folk religion with their form of Christianity. Because of their refusal to wear the queue, Taiping combatants were nicknamed Longhairs by the Qing government, which besieged the Taiping armies throughout the rebellion. The Qing government eventually crushed the rebellion with the aid of French and British forces.
In the 20th century, Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party, looked on the rebellion as an inspiration, and Chinese leader Mao Zedong glorified the Taiping rebels as early heroic revolutionaries against a corrupt feudal system.
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