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 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.
According to their view, the opium prohibition was merely its precipitating, immediate cause, but not the importance of opium in contributing to the war. It was opium that strained the Sino-British relationship, deepened their quarrels and finally acted as a spark that led to war. Of course, besides opium, there were other underlying causes too; the cultural conflict claimed by the British, may also be one of these causes. ====================================================================== Opium trade was important to both Chinese and the British. For the Chinese, since opium smoking for pleasure was known, there was a growing demand for this drug.
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... ... middle of paper ... ...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.
One of the most oppressive controls the British had over the Chinese had to do with the Opium trade. The Chinese emperor was aggravated with the continual British importation of opium into china which was ravaging the Chinese country. Many Chinese were becoming addicted to Opium. The tension between the British and Chinese came to a clash in the Opium War 1839-1842. After the war the treaty of Nanjing was imposed on the Chinese to pay for Britain’s war expenses and provided Britain with Hong Kong.
Initially, people took the substance to fulfill medical needs, but over the years society began to smoke opium casually (Gibson, Anne). It spread around the world through trade as Britain utilized the drug to initiate the Opium Wars. Consequently, the First Opium War portrayed Britain using brutal force to manipulate a weaker country into their control despite China’s economic needs. After the first war, a twenty-year gap caused tensions to bubble up again and the second war began, which continued the problems of the first war (Goldfinger, Shandra). Horrific battles destroyed China, yielding adversities to haunt both countries perpetually.
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).
Opium is a drug that has been used for medicinal purposes since the Neolithic Age, nearly four thousand years ago (Cowell). Today, some of the components of opium are used in heroin, a more powerful drug than opium that calms the body but harms later on. As seen in The Good Earth, opium is dangerous, as it killed Wang Lung’s uncle quickly and effectively, even though the uncle enjoyed the opium very much. Opium is still used as a painkiller, but if consumed in excess, it will eventually kill. History will explain the political impact of the Opium Wars on China by discussing its past and its facts, the Opium Wars themselves, and the causes and effects of the Opium Wars.
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.
“Coffee, Tea, or Opium?” In “Coffee, Tea, or Opium,” the authors main point is that even at this point in history some rulers felt that drug importation throughout other countries was immoral for their economic and social status. China’s commissioner for foreign trade, Lin Zexu wanted to stop the illegal importation of opium into his country. Lin saw that the opium trade was damaging the publics health and was bleeding China of its wealth. The emperor of Manchu had given Lin extensive power and ordered him to control the demand of China’s people for opium and force the barbarian merchants to cut off the supply. Throughout this article Wilson shows that as the years past the opium use in China grew substantially: “During the trading season of 1816-17, about forty-six hundred 150-pound chests of opium entered China.