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The Cause of the Opium War

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The China today – powerful and ever-growing wasn’t always like this. One major event in history around the mid 1800s that we all have seemed to have forgotten was the Opium Wars. What really caused the opium war was when China wanted to halt all trades about opium with the British.

The geography of China was something like a fence. This isolation made the people of China feel like their country was prestigious and secluded from the rest of the world. With deserts and the Himalayas running along most of the border, it was extremely difficult to cross over one of the most dangerous mountain ranges in the world and a few other scorching deserts with the little transport they had during that time. The only way merchants could come into the country was the southeastern coast of China where most of the prosper cities resided. What led China to become conceited was because they had an abundant of goods that most of the world wanted. In 1760-1830s, China was famous for its porcelain (rich Europeans loved it), silk, and of course, tea. Since this Eastern Powerhouse’s goods were so popular, therefore, there were only a few things that interested them to trade with. It seemed as if tea was a drug for the Europeans because for them it was just so addicting, to the point they would do anything just to get more and more. The only things that were worthy for trading with the Chinese were gingko (type of plant), shark fin, a soft type of wood (used for incense) and silver. As the demand for tea rose, Britain gradually ran out of silver to trade with, and was desperate to find what China wanted. Then, the British resorted to trading opium. China was very picky of their opium. There was a certain kind of make they wanted, it was a compact ball wr...

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...ns such as these: pay $6 million for all the lost opium to Britain, pay $3 million to merchants, free all British prisoners, make island of Hong Kong as a Britain colony, British would remove all soldiers and troops from ports, open five new trading ports, and opium still had to be traded. That was one really bitter downfall for China. They basically had to pay for their own war for a total of $21 million and opium was still traded not even stopped. I think by Britain making those conditions was an act of karma for China’s part. Once the five new trading ports opened, China was confined to learn how to trade with the rest of the world. That was how China became what it was today, rich, powerful, and large. Basically, it was a slap in the face for the British.

The start of this war was when China wanted to end all trades with the British that contained any opium.