A few years earlier, he had been given a few Christian pamphlets by a missionary. After this fourth failure, he went back to the pamphlets and re-examined them. It was at this point that he decided that the celestial family he had been part of in his dream had been that of the Christian God. He became convinced that Jesus Christ was quite literally his older brother and that he, Hong Xiuquan, was therefore the Son of God. While converts to this new religion did not initially flock to it en-masse, within a few years Hong had amassed enough followers to give his movement a name: he called it the God Worshipping Society.
The principles Hong was preaching quickly started to become more militaristic and openly rebellious against the ruling Qing Dynasty. It is important, at this point, to note that huge numbers of disaffected Chinese peasants were in a position that would have made them receptive to the kind of insurrectionary teachings that the God Worshipping Society was spreading. During the first half of the 19th-century, China — especially southern China, where Hong was based — had been hit by a crushing series of natural disasters: floods, droughts, and famine.
Corruption among government officials was rife, and the Qing Dynasty was seen as aloof and uncaring about the problems faced by the peasants. Furthermore, the nation was in the grip of an opium epidemic and had recently suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the British in the First Opium War — There were also ethnic tensions Hong was able to exploit.
He was part of the Hakka minority, who, along with the Han population, had long resented the Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty. Such teachings held great appeal to landless peasants. He told his followers that the demons God had instructed him to slay were the members of the Qing Dynasty. He began organizing his followers into a military hierarchy as well as stockpiling weapons and gunpowder. Alarmed at what was happening in the south-west of China, the ruling Qing Dynasty demanded that Hong disband his cult. Predictably, he refused, so the Qing authorities sent an army to crush him.
In February , the Taiping army routed and wiped out a force of 10, Qing men. The Taiping Rebellion had officially begun. They also possessed better weapons and far more money. On the 25th of September , the town of Yongan fell to the Taiping forces.
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Seven SEALs from his platoon testified that Gallagher unexpectedly stabbed the war prisoner in the neck, and later posed with the body in photos. The defence said Gallagher was framed by junior SEALs who fabricated the allegations to oust a chief who was tough on them. The defence said the text and photos were gallows humour and pointed out that almost all platoon members who testified against him also posed with the corpse.
The jury of five Marines and two sailors, including a SEAL, was comprised mostly of combat veterans who served in Iraq. Several lost friends in war. He said he tried to lead by example but didn't always succeed. Gallagher also got credit for days of pretrial confinement.
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