Scene from the Taiping Rebellion 1850 to 1864. The Taiping Rebellion was a civil war in southern China waged against the ruling Manchu Qing dynasty.Led by Hong Xiuquan, it is estimated that at least 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history. The Rebels 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. Taiping combatants were nicknamed "Longhairs" because of their refusal to wear the queue. The Qing government eventually crushed the rebellion with the aid of French and British forces.
While China dealt with internal economic and political upheaval after the formation of the First Chinese Republic in 1911, Japan was emerging as a formidable imperial power. Following their victories in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), Japanese leaders sought for more territories in the region. Gradually, Japan grew a vast empire.