The Boxer Rebellion was a Chinese peasants revolt against Christian foreigners that took place in China between 1899 and 1901. By 1898, nationalist Chinese farmers had organized themselves around secret societies, which strongly opposed Western and Christian influence on Chinese people. The English press called these nationalist peasants boxers, since they used to practice martial arts and did calisthenics, but the society real name was "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists. The boxer uprising began in September 1899, when Christian missionaries were attacked and murdered as their churches were set on fire; Christian Chinese also fell victims to these boxer attacks.
In order to put an end to the Boxer Rebellion and to protect their citizens, Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Austria, Russia, France, Italy, and Japan sent troops to China. This task force was known as the Eight Nation Alliance. Before these 21,000-men force arrived in China, however, the Chinese Empress, of the Ch’ing dynasty, sided with the rebels, ordering the extermination of all Western and Japanese foreigners in China in June 1900 as hundreds of foreign residents, visitors, and diplomats were killed by boxers and imperial troops. Better equipped and trained, and armed with modern rifles, machine guns, and artillery pieces, this multinational task force managed put down the Boxer Rebellion and defeat the Chinese Imperial Army.