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Joseph Ross

Joseph Ross

Project title

The American Civil War in the Age of the Taiping Rebellion: How did the Taiping Rebellion Shape American Ideas About Unification, Reconstruction and Migration?


A painting of the Taiping Rebellion.

Project description

My thesis will explore US engagement with China between 1850 and 1882. How did Americans make sense of the Taiping Rebellion? Did they see parallels with China's struggles over unity and rebuilding?

And what role did they see for China - and the Chinese - in a Pacific World reeling from two rebellions? I will use sources from American public culture. I will explore how American ideas about the Far East played into understandings of:

  • unification
  • reconstruction
  • migration

The project shows how transnational history of 19th-century America needs to include the Pacific world.


  • BA History (Hons) – University of Sheffield 
  • MA Modern History – University of Sheffield