Letter To Asia Dbq Analysis

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Britain’s forced introduction of opium in 1825 in China had devastating effects on its population and economy. The people of China express their just displeasure with the British people and its monarchy in documents 1, 2, and 9. In Document 1, a Chinese emperor is addressing the King George of England in 1793 in a letter. The letter states that the Celestial Empire (China) has all the things that it needs in abundance and therefore does not need to trade with the “barbarians” of England. The excerpt goes on to say that because tea, silk, and porcelain are so important to Europe that they would allow a foreign hongs (businesses) in the town of Canton, so that they may be beneficial to China. The letter was written by a Chinese Emperor who may have wanted to be viewed favorably by the British, stating that he was going to let foreign businesses open “as a signal mark of favor”. The…show more content…
The excerpt begins by dehumanizing the English people and their leader by calling them vultures, barbarians, and wild beasts. The speaker goes on to call the English greedy and demons of the night. The speaker goes on to say that the English have “poisoned our people with opium” and that they “murder all of us that they can”. The speaker then calls them dogs, says that they can never be satisfied and that they (China) do not need to inquire peace. At the end of the excerpt the speaker says “let us rise, arm, unite and go against them.” The speaker’s POV is obviously extremely angry and most likely has seen some opium-related deaths, “poisoned our people with opium”. The speaker’s audience is likely to live in Canton since the speech was in Canton, and so the audience may have shared his grim experiences with the British and opium and so the audience may have agreed with him. The purpose of the speech was to inspire Canton’s residents to revolt against the British “let us rise, arm, unite and go against
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