A small museum focusing on the Taiping Rebellion (1843-1868), a piece of history not well known in the West. This was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recorded history — some estimates put the death toll higher than for World War I, and it was certainly much worse than the American Civil War at about the same time, even though the Chinese used more primitive weapons. It was a crucial moment in China's relationship with the West, modernity, and its relationship to its own imperial history. It was partly a religious movement; the leader claimed to be God's second son, Jesus' younger brother. The quasi-Christian, peasant-led rebellion overran an area greater than Texas with Nanjing as its capital. At different times it threatened both the foreign settlements in Shanghai and the Qing government in Beijing, though it did not take either. On exhibit are documents relating to Taiping history and the grinding reduction of their movement by enterprising Qing generals and their European auxiliaries, culminating in the siege of Nanjing. Next door are the beautiful Zhanyuan Gardens.