Perspectives of the Boxer Rebellion (Thanks Cohen)

From Cohen’s writings, I’ve picked out 2 significant ways to tell the Boxer Rebellion: first through the historian’s perspective, and second through the experiences provided to us by those who lived it.

The voices we hear from historians lay out the story of the Boxers in a cause-and-effect format, where they’ve taken apart every little detail, and find ways to correlate them to the overarching movement as a whole.  They do not just explain the Boxer Movement, but they go out of their way to pick out every faction and -what they deem as- significant event prior to the movement itself that lead to the inevitable creation of the aforementioned movement. The major issue of viewing through historians is that they tend to have their own agendas also, telling history in a way that puts the “actors (the people in the history)” in one certain light or another.

The alternative is that of experience, which is somewhat harder (in my opinion) to assemble in regards to a flowing narrative. The two major issues when dealing with history by experience is that: 1. Everyone comes from a different place, and therefore 2. Everyone has a different way of interpreting events. This way of viewing history feeds into the ideas of Bias, in which the people telling these stories interpret them in a way that fits their personal stances either in real-time, or at the time of the event.  Though while this may seem like an ineffective way of seeing history, people who lived in the moment have more to say in regard to the events as a whole. What history tells us and what those who experience it tell us may conflict or align; which is why it is important to see a way through both.

What I learned from the readings thus far, and from our discussions as a class, is that in a way, blending experience and historian interpretation may be an ideal way to reach the actual truth of a historic event. As I stated before, connections and differentiation are necessary. There is always more than one side of the story, and somewhere in the middle they culminate the actual event. Firsthand testimonies and Textbook sermons are in a sense two pieces of a puzzle, meaning that they are in need to each other in order to complete the whole picture.

Personal Introductions (WITH FLICKR)

Hi. I’m Robert. This will not only serve to fulfill my first assignment, but it will also give future viewers of this blog a little background about myself and where I’ve been. I was born in 1997 in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Majuro aerial

I was adopted by a Military family, and brought to Virginia before I even turned 1. We lived in Quantico until I was 4, and my family was transferred over to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

Kadena Air Base

We stayed there for about three years, and we were transferred once again; this time to Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany.


After two years of living there, my father’s oversea tour was over, and we came back to Virginia; this time moving out into rural Spotsylvania. I have since lived here for the past nine or so years, but the impact that the cultures and histories of the world had on me in my time overseas has not left. I love the world outside of Virginia, and I want to learn more.


-PS: A former student of my professor of this class said I’d score bonus points if I brought Mongolians into the topic at any time, so here is the “Legacy of Genghis Khan.”


Genghis Khan Legacy


Fig. 1. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Majuro aerial. 6 November 2013, Photographic print. Available from: Flickr Commons, (accessed September 7, 2017).

Fig. 2. Héctor García, Kadena Air Base. 30 December 2006, Photographic print. Available from: Flickr Commons, (accessed September 7, 2017).

Fig. 3. Edgar Ja, Stuttgart. 13 May 2017, Black and white photographic print. Available from: Flickr Commons, (accessed September 7, 2017).

Fig. 4. Cool Art, Genghis Khan Legacy. 11 February 2013, Black and white photographic print. Available from: Flickr Commons, (accessed September 7, 2017).