Lin Shuangwen rebellion

Last updated
Pacification of Taiwan
Crossing the ocean and triumphant return.jpg
The Qing fleet returning from Taiwan
Result Qing victory
Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg Qing Empire Taiwanese rebels
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg Qianlong Emperor
Flag of the Qing Dynasty (1889-1912).svg Fuk'anggan
Lin Shuangwen  [ zh ]  (POW)
Zhuang Datian  [ zh ]  (POW)
3,000 police
10,000 troops sent to relieve Taiwan in 1786
20,000 troops brought by Fuk'anggan in 1788
300,000 rebels
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Lin Shuangwen rebellion (Chinese :林爽文事件; Pe̍h-ōe-jī :Lîm Sóng-bûn sū-kiāⁿ) occurred in 17871788 in Taiwan under the rule of the Qing dynasty. [1]


In 1786, the Qing-appointed Governor of Taiwan, Sun Jingsui  [ zh ], discovered and suppressed the anti-Qing Tiandihui (Heaven and Earth Society). The Tiandihui members gathered Ming loyalists, and their leader Lin Shuangwen  [ zh ] proclaimed himself king. Many important people took part in this revolt and the insurgents quickly rose to 50,000 people. In less than a year, the rebels occupied almost the entire part of southern Taiwan. Hearing that the rebels had occupied most of Taiwan, Qing troops were sent to suppress them in a hurry. The eastern insurgents defeated the poorly organized troops and had to resist falling to the enemy. Finally, the Qing imperial court sent Fuk'anggan while Hailancha  [ zh ], Counsellor of the Police, deployed nearly 3,000 people to fight the insurgents. These new troops were well equipped, disciplined and had combat experience which proved enough to route the insurgents. The Ming loyalists had lost the war and their leaders and remaining rebels hid among the locals.

Lin Shuangwen, Zhuang Datian  [ zh ] and other Tiandihui leaders had started a rebellion which at first was successful, and as many as 300,000 took part in the rebellion. The Qing general Fuk'anggan was sent to quell the rebellion with a force of 20,000 soldiers, which he accomplished. The campaign was relatively expensive for the Qing government, although Lin Shuangwen and Zhuang Datian were both captured. After the revolt ended, the Qianlong Emperor was forced to rethink the method of government for Taiwan. Lin, who was an immigrant from Zhangzhou, had come to Taiwan with his father in the 1770s. He was involved in the secret Heaven and Earth Society whose origins are not clear. Lin's father was detained by the local authorities, perhaps in suspicion of his activities with the society; Lin Shuangwen then organized the rest of the society members in a revolt in an attempt to free his father. There was initial success in pushing government forces out of Lin's home base in Changhua; his allies did likewise in Tamsui. By this point, the fighting was drawing in Zhangzhou people beyond just the society members, and activating the old feuds; this brought out Quanzhou networks (as well as Hakka) on behalf of the government. Eventually, the government sent sufficient force to restore order; Lin Shuangwen was executed and the Heaven and Earth Society was dispersed to mainland China or sent into hiding, but there was no way to eliminate ill-will between Zhangzhou, Quanzhou, and Hakka networks. Though they never again were serious to push out the government or encompass the whole island, feuds went on sporadically for most of the 19th century, only started coming to an end in the 1860s.

There were more than a hundred rebellions during the early Qing. The frequency of rebellions, riots, and civil strife in Qing Taiwan is evoked by the common saying "every three years an uprising; every five years a rebellion" (三年一反、五年一亂). [2]

The Manchu Aisin Gioro Prince Abatai's daughter was married to the Han Chinese General Li Yongfang 李永芳. [3] [4] The offspring of Li received the "Third Class Viscount" (三等子爵; sān děng zǐjué) title. [5] Li Yongfang was the great great great grandfather of Li Shiyao 李侍堯 who during Qianlong's reign was involved in graft and embezzlement, demoted of his noble title and sentenced to death, however his life was spared and he regained his title after assisting in the Taiwan campaign. [6] [7]

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  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-06-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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