Essay about The Opium War

Essay about The Opium War

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China has 5000 years of history which experienced wars, collapses, failures and successes. The Opium War in the year 1839 and 1856 marked the changing point of China’s trade policy with foreigners, especially with British in opium and tea. China changed from getting tributes to being forced to sign the Nanjing Treaty and Tianjing Treaty with British and French. Due to China’s over confidence and unwelcome attitude toward foreigners and opium, it caused the British to declare the Opium War to China which made Chinese suffer for many years, but at the same time it also forced China to open its doors to the foreigners.
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. “Death was now the penalty for every variety of opium offense. Even the smoker had only eighteen months in which to give up the habit. (To help him Lin opened a sanitarium just outside the city wall.)” (172). In order to keep its power, China needed to make people quite the smoking habit.
Chinese’s attitude towards the foreigners is one reason which caused the Opium War. The middle kingdom China did not realize their over-confidence made them step into a dangerous trap. There was a demand for Chinese tea fro...


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...milies suffered, but also showed Qing Dynasty’s decline point in the history. However, at the same time, in long term consequence, its open door policy allowed more foreign products to enter China which has influence on science and technology. Opium War changed China from world power to a state being colonized by foreigners. It is just like changing from being a tiger in the forest to become a rabbit. It was no longer like before that China could get tributes from other countries; instead, China had to open foreign trade ports, ceded Hong Kong, paid a big amount of money to British, and allowed them to practice extraterritoriality. It was due to Chinese’s over confidence. They should learn from it because the opium war taught them that if a person is always close himself or herself up and think he or she is the strongest one, he or she can never learn to develop.

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