The rebellion was led by Hong Xiuquan (1814–64), who had founded a religious group inspired by elements of Christian theology and proposing egalitarian social policies. His large army captured Nanjing in 1853 but was eventually defeated at Shanghai at the hands of an army trained by the British general Charles Gordon
Taiping from Chinese T'ai-p'ing-wang 'Prince of great peace', a title given to Hong Xiuquan.
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