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The Boxer Uprising (1899-1901) was a key event in the history of China, as it reflected the colonial powers increasing influence in Chinese affairs and the weakness of late 19th century China.<ref>For an overview of this period, see: Preston, Diana, and Diana Preston. 2001. The Boxer Rebellion: The Dramatic Story of China’s War on Foreigners That Shook the World in the Summer of 1900. New York: Berkley Books.</ref> The rebellion consisted of an uprising led by a group known as the Boxers, which culminated in a siege of representatives of the eight colonial powers in Beijing. The rebellion began in the Shandong province of China before leading to Beijing and spreading throughout much of the northern countryside, with many foreigners and converted Chinese Christians attacked. The Boxers were mostly peasants who performed a type of shaman act that has come down through Western interpretation as a sort of boxing, giving rise to the term Boxers. <ref>For a discussion on shamanism and its role in the rebellion see: Esherick, Joseph W. 1987. The Origins of the Boxer Uprising. Berkeley: University of California Press, Pg. 5-7, 39.</ref> While it is often believed the Boxers were not supported by or were against the main Chinese court and government at the time, the fact is once the uprising was underway it was indeed supported by the Qing Dynasty and its army.