Opium War Analysis

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For centuries china had reminded isolated from the involvement in world politics, but the world as they knew it was beginning to change, and what started as dispute over trading rights, escalated into a full scale war. China would never be the same again and it all started with two highly lucrative and addictive goods tea, and opium. The opium war involved both China and Britain. The two opposing countries had completely different perspectives, cultures, and values the perfect recipe sure for disaster. The opium emerged from China's unwillingness to trade with Britain. Britain wanted to spread its newly found advancements and westernize china. Britain was especially interested in china’s silk, spices, ceramics, tea etc. Britain smuggle huge…show more content…
For what started as a popular social pastime opium took a turn for the worst and by the late 18th century increasingly large sums of opium, produced by the british east india company were being shipped to China. The Chinese government tried to ban the opium trade but were unsuccessful. The british were able to bypass these laws with help from smugglers. The number of Chinese addicts became overwhelming, growing up to 12 million. Chinese people started to become inefficient and the social effects of opium smoking caused most of the Chinese population to become deleterious. The chinese emperor became concerned something had to be done. A thousand tons of opium was confiscated and destroyed, the Chinese government saw opium as being a poison to society. In 1810 the Emperor issued a decree denouncing the use and trade of opium stating that “Opium is a poison, undermining our good customs and morality. Its use is prohibited by law. Indeed, he flouts the law! He should be turned over to the Board of Punishment, and should be tried and severely sentenced.” The Chinese government felt that their opinions and values were being ignored by the british despite their…show more content…
They thought that the responsibility should lie with the chinese. The british sent a fleet to china with a list of their demons including compensation, end of cohong monopoly, and accessibility to sea ports. The british resented China for not allowing them to sell opium, they would try to open sea ports at china by any means necessary. The British defeated chinese forces, killing Thousands of Chinese which died in bombardments. Britain eventually won the war, because of its circumstances China had to sign many unequal treaties. With Britain's victory they got 20 million silver dollars among other things. China also abolished the cohong monopoly adhere to fix customs duties and open five ports to foreign trade. Over many decades china had to sigh many unjust treaties. Hong Kong was given to Britain the and sale of opium continued. Other European countries were also given special trading privileges under other unequal treaties. China was carved up into economic domains of influence. Whole sections of Chinese cities were occupied by foreigners who were not required follow Chinese
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