Welcome to this week’s History Thread!
Today’s picture: On March 19, 1853 forces of the Heavenly Kingdom of Peace seized the city of Nanjing, China and established it as the capital of their Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Their leader, Hong Xiuquan, was a mystic who believed himself the brother of Jesus Christ to redeem the Fallen World; prosecution by the Chinese government led to an armed rebellion in 1851. The Taiping Rebellion was the bloodiest conflict of the 19th Century, claiming at least 20 million lives before the Qing Dynasty defeated the Taipings. Foreign armies of Britain and France, along with mercenary forces (the Ever-Victorious Army organized in Shanghai by Frederick Thompson Ward and Charles Gordon) were involved at different points, notably in the 1860 destruction of Beijing’s Summer Palace.