Zeng Guofan


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Chinese soldier and statesman. An imperial official and scholar, critical of the emperor's behaviour and the government's financial policies, in 1852 he reluctantly agreed to organize imperial resistance to the Taiping Rebellion, raising the Hunan Army, and played a key role in wearing down resistance. With the crucial help of purchased modern European weapons, foreign military containment of the rebels along the eastern coast, and the capture of Nanjing in 1864, he finally broke their power. He became Governor-General of Liang-Jiang, which gave him considerable powers in east-central China. In the 1860s and 1870s he supported the Self-Strengthening Movement and developed the Jiangnan Arsenal for the manufacture of modern arms and the study of Western technical literature and Western languages.

Subjects: World History.

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