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In AD 17 heavy rains fell all over China. Because the dykes were not maintained by Imperial authorities, the Yellow River flooded. Enormous damage was caused and thousands of peasants made homeless.

The peasants of Shantung Province angrily turned upon the Imperial officers who had neglected their duty and rebellion broke out.

In order to make themselves appear more frightening, the rebels painted their eyebrows red. Landowners joined the peasants and the revolt of the "Red Eyebrows" spread across China. The Emperor Wang Mang was killed and a new Emperor set up in his place.

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