Duguilan Movement

Duguilan Movement

 

a democratic liberation movement of the Mongolian arats (livestock breeders) in Inner Mongolia (China) during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

The movement received its name from the word duguilan, “circle,” because in the meetings of rebellious or unsubdued arats, the participants would seat themselves in a circle as a sign of complete equality. The movement originated under the influence of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64). It was a spontaneous response to the arbitrary rule of the Manchurian authorities—the enforced colonization of Mongolian lands by Chinese and the increasingly oppressive yoke of the Mongolian feudal lords. After the I-ho ch’uan (Boxer) Rebellion in China (1899-1901) and the Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia, the duguilan movement took on an especially broad scope, encompassing a number of regions in Inner Mongolia. Having united more than 10,000 families within its ranks, it became a mass insurgent movement. From 1905 to 1908 in the koshchuns of Ushen, Otok, and several other regions of the Ordos area, the participants formed people’s councils, de facto organs of people’s power. The councils removed the princes from power, abolished all forms of obligation (alba), collected taxes, conducted clerical work, appointed persons to responsible posts, established a court, organized arat armed groups, and so forth.

The duguilan movement also influenced the arats of outer Mongolia, where from 1903 to 1905 a duguilan movement also arose. However, it was put down by governmental punitive expeditions.

REFERENCE

Dylykov, S. D. Demokraticheskoe dvizhenie mongol’skogo naroda v Kitae: Ocherk istorii. Moscow, 1953.

M. I. GOL’MAN

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