A history of the opium war

For more information, please see the full notice. The Opening to China Part I: The Signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in The Opium War and these treaties were emblematic of an era in which Western powers tried to gain unfettered access to Chinese products and markets for European and U.

A history of the opium war

Civilizations Past And Present Book: South And East Asia, Author: The ruling dynasty was the Ching, established by Manchus from Manchuria, who in had superseded the Ming. These descendants of the Tatars appreciated Chinese civilization and adopted a conciliatory attitude toward their subjects.

They refused, however, to allow intermarriage with the Chinese, for they realized that only their blood difference kept them from being assimilated and conquered.

By and large, however, the Manchus gradually became Chinese in their attitudes and habits.

A history of the opium war

The Manchu emperors were remarkably successful. The reign of Chien-lung was a time of great expansion. The Manchus gained Turkestan, Burma, and Tibet. By the end of the eighteenth century Manchu power extended even into Nepal, and the territory under the Ching control was as extensive as under any previous dynasty.

The Western Response The foreigners were especially irritated by the high customs duties the Chinese forced them to pay and by the attempts of Chinese authorities to stop the growing import trade in opium.

The drug had long been used to stop diarrhea, but in the seventeenth and eighteenth century people in all classes began to use it recreationally. Most opium came from Turkey or India, and in its import was forbidden by the imperial government.

Despite this restriction, the opium trade continued to flourish. Privately owned vessels of many countries, including the United States, made huge profits from the growing number of Chinese addicts. The government in Peking noted that the foreigners seemed intent on dragging down the Chinese through the encouragement of opium addiction.

The stacking room at an opium factory in Patna, India. The army became corrupt and the tax farmers defrauded the people. The central bureaucracy declined in efficiency, and the generally weak emperors were unable to meet the challenges of the time. The balance of trade turned against the Chinese in the s, and the British decided to force the issue of increased trade rights.

The point of conflict was the opium trade. By the late s more than 30, chests, each of which held about pounds of the extract, were being brought in annually by the various foreign powers. In the spring of Chinese authorities at Canton confiscated and burned the opium. In response, the British occupied positions around Canton.

In the war that followed, the Chinese could not match the technological and tactical superiority of the British forces. In China agreed to the provisions of the Treaty of Nanking.

Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain, and other ports, including Canton, were opened to British residence and trade. It would be a mistake to view the conflict between the two countries simply as a matter of drug control; it was instead the acting out of deep cultural conflicts between east and west.

This began the period referred to by the Chinese as the time of unequal treaties - a time of unprecedented degradation for China. The humiliation the Central Kingdom suffered is still remembered and strongly affects important aspects of its foreign policy.

Meanwhile, the opium trade continued to thrive. The British and French again defeated China in a second opium war in By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin the Chinese opened new ports to trading and allowed foreigners with passports to travel in the interior.

England and China: The Opium Wars, 1839-60

Christians gained the right to spread their faith and hold property, thus opening up another means of western penetration. The United States and Russia gained the same privileges in separate treaties.The First Opium War (Chinese: 第一次鴉片戰爭), also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty of China over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice in China.

Beyond the health problems related to opium addiction, the increasing opium trade with the Western powers meant that for the first time, China imported more goods than it exported.

Settling this financial problem eventually led to the First Opium War between Great Britain and China, from to At the end of the s China's four million square miles held million people, up from million a century earlier.

A history of the opium war

The ruling dynasty was the Ching, established by Manchus from Manchuria, who in had superseded the Ming.

These descendants of the Tatars appreciated Chinese civilization and. History of the Opium Wars by Aunt Mary 2 years ago in fact or fiction / history / strains / politics Queen Victoria, through her victory during the Opium Wars, became the first drug dealing monarch.


Watch video · Watch the Opium in China video clip of HISTORY's series Mankind The Story of All of Us'.

Find this and many more videos only on HISTORY. Julia Lovell is Senior Lecturer in Chinese History at Birbeck, University of London and is the author of The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China (Picador, ).

England and China: The Opium Wars,