Opium is dangerous, and it will ruin people’s life once people get addicted to it. Smoking opium made most of the Chinese ranking from elites to peasants suffered in mid 19th century. Since opium was not cheap, there were many men spent all their savings to buy opium when they got addicted to it. Opium is a drug which is not easy for the addicts to rehabilitate; therefore, once one person got addicted to opium, the one would find all ways to get money to buy opium. China also gave punishments to the opium addicts because the opium was like a “devil” which went deeply into the addicts’ hearts to make them weak.
Second, Britain had a surplus of Opium, a drug grown in India, and it needed vast numbers of people to purchase it. China traded peacefully although reluctantly with Britain, until the government noticed the negative effects of the drug on its people. The opium trade was then outlawed promptly by the Chinese government. The substance, however, was still smuggled into the country. The Chinese government confronted the British regarding the smuggling and this sparked the Opium War (1899-1902).
The British were flourishing from the new Chinese market for opium, where the Chinese were beginning to turn into addicts of a drug that was slowly poisoning their way of life. The people no longer were concerned about their advancement and safety of their family but about how and when they would be able to get more opium. The Chinese government was not pleased about this and decided to take a stand that would, in the long run, only damage the very people they were trying to protect. This stand came to be known as the First Opium War (1839-1842). By the end of the First Opium War China had begun to lose its sense of identity through the use of treaties and encroachment of foreign countries, starting with the British and their Treaty of Nanking.
The Qing Dynasty of China before the Opium Wars were isolationist and not fond of foreign trade and import. The Opium Wars were two conflicts between China and Britain with disputes over trade and diplomatic relations. The Opium Wars were centered around the British smuggling of opium, a highly addictive drug into China after it was prohibited. The Chinese lost both wars and were forced to sign “unequal” treaties which favored the British. The Opium Wars had many effects on China, but there were more negative effects on China than positive.
Before the trade of Opium started, Britain was trading silver for silk and tea; although, after a while England had no more silver to give to China. In order to stay close with the main empire and be seen as an equivalent trading partner, England traded Opium which was grown in the Indian subcontinent and then shipped to China. The trade of Opium escalated the violent confrontation between China and Britain, which resulted in short term as well as long lasting effects. After receiving the drug for a while, China’s government and society started to revolve around the effects following the addiction. The drug’s effects hit most of China, including the government and all of society.
The results of the Opium Wars can be considered unfair for China, not only did they have to open ports but they also had to pay for reparations. In general terms, the Sino-British relation started to go badly in 1834 when the British East India Company lost its monopoly over Chinese trade which it used to have. Canton was a really important Chinese port and represented high profits for the British East India Company before the Chinese government decided to close it for foreigners. Some people believe that the loss of this monopoly was the main reason and root that lead to the First Opium War in 1839. Around the 1800s, Britain imports of Tea in average accounted for twenty four million pounds annually (Scott, 23).
The Emperor of China was thought to be the elder brother to all other surrounding kings and emperors. China rarely had any contact with the West until the West turned to China for spices. This type of arrogance embodied by the Chinese proved to eventually hurt them as a society, both internally and externally. In t... ... middle of paper ... ...s”, this began a new stage of imperialism in China. The Opium War not only embarrassed China, but as a consequence, it also had a lot of dramatic social and economic effects as well.
The First Anglo-Chinese War as an Opium War The Chinese customarily calls the Anglo-Chinese War 1839-1842 the Opium War because from their point of view, the opium trade was the main cause of the war. From the British standpoint, the motive for the war was not opium prohibition but rather the repeated insults and humiliation; the British had received from the Chinese government. They claimed that the conflict between China and Britain had been brewing for many decades. Even without opium, it would still have been erupted as a result of their differing conceptions of international relations, trade and jurisdiction. According to their view, the opium prohibition was merely its precipitating, immediate cause, but not the importance of opium in contributing to the war.
The British would smuggle the opium into China causing them to become addicted to opium to make a large profit of tea off of the Chinese. Qing banned the import of Opium, but it was ineffective. The British used the opium to develop an empire on trade. The Chinese saw the western people to be barbarians. They had many inventions that made them superior to the west.
Opium Wars in China The Opium Wars were a series of three wars between the Chinese and the British; primarily fought in regard to the illegal trade of opium in China during the 19th century. They manifested the conflicting natures of both nations and demonstrated China’s misconceptions of its own superiority. The Opium Wars resulted in the humiliating defeat of the Chinese to a country they considered to be “barbarians”. There were many problems with the system of trade in China; even before opium trading began. China, believing herself to be the most civilized and advanced country, did not feel the need to satisfy Britain, a “barbarian” country’s request for freer trade and were concerned the British wanted land.