Abstract

The year 1964 marked the centenary of the suppression of the Taiping Revolution, China's largest-scale revolution up to that time, and of the death of one of its greatest heroes, the Taiping's Loyal Prince, Li Hsiu-chʻeng. The Taiping movement has ever since been held in respectful esteem by Chinese revolutionaries. Sun Yat-sen considered himself the “spiritual” successor to the leader of the defeated movement. The Communists too maintain a respectful sympathy for die Taipings, whom they regard more or less as important forerunners of their own revolution. This does not mean that Communist historians, when writing from a Marxist-disciplined perspective, fail to point out the revolutionary shortcomings of the Taipings. But, everything considered, the movement and its principal leaders remain objects of considerable historical respect.

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