Opium Wars Essay

Opium Wars Essay

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Opium Wars and They Changed China
In the early eighteen hundreds, Britain and other European countries demanded more and more Chinese commodities, especially tea and silk. However, only the port in Canton was opened to foreign countries, and Chinese would not take any other form of payments besides silver. The desire to make China into a free market that foreigners have more access to and the increasing, though illegal, European opium import to China eventually created tension between the European countries, especially Britain, and the Chinese government (Allingham Par. 1-2). The two battles fought and won by European powers were known as the Opium Wars. China’s politics, economy, and intellects were both positively and negatively impacted by allowing more religious freedom but having less control over its own politics, increasing foreign trade but destroying domestic industries, and having increasing nationalistic feelings while adapting Western values.
European powers exerted more control over Chinese land, laws, and foreign policies because of the Opium Wars. After the First Opium War, China was forced to sign the unequal Treaty of Nanking in 1842. The terms stated that besides the port in Canton, four additional ports in Amoy, Foochow, Shanghai, and Ningbo were to be opened to foreign trade. Then, in 1860, Nanjing, Danshui, Niuzhuang, and Hankou ports were opened to oversea vessels after the Second Opium War (Allingham par. 6). Before the Europeans used military force to defeat China, China’s determination in not opening any additional ports and increasing trade with western countries were very firm. Furthermore, Hong Kong and Kowloon became British colonies. The Chinese government were also forced to accept extraterritori...


... middle of paper ...


... ironic way, more open to western ideas. Whether the Opium Wars harmed China or made it better in the long run is still to be debated, but the fact that it made huge impacts in China is irrefutable

References
Allingham, Philip V. "England and China: The Opium Wars, 1839-60." The Victorian Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. .
Goldfinger, Shandra. "Lasting Effects of Opium Wars." Mount Holyoke College. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. .
Mishra, Pankaj. From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. Print.
Tiedemann, R. "Opium Wars (1839-42)." Editorial. China Now Dec. 1989: 21. Society of Anglo- Chinese Understanding. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. .

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