British Imperialism in China and Africa

British Imperialism in China and Africa

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British Imperialism in China and Africa


The treatment of the Chinese by the British, during the take over of their country, was just like that of the Africans. The British took over the land and the government, took advantage of the people and exploited them for their resources. The English accomplished these things differently in each situation, but each time, the results were the same.

One of the most important aspects of imperialism is the take over of government. The English accomplished this in several ways. Some of the “Unfair Treaties” forced the Chinese to allow the English ships into their ports and to allow them to have a major role in the trade market. The English wanted tea, porcelain, and silk from china. The Chinese however didn’t want to gods the English offered in return. The English began trading opium in return for the goods. Although it was illegal, many of the money hungry merchants excepted the opium in return for the things that were valuable to the English. Because of this, the first Anglo-Chinese war erupted. China underestimated the power of England and was defeated. At the end of the war, they were forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing (1842). The treaty was one of the first treaties known as the “Unfair Treaties.” Under this treaty, china gave up the island of Hong Kong, abolished the licensed monopoly system of trade, granted English nationals exemption from Chinese laws, and agreed to give England whatever trading concessions that were granted to other countries then and later.

     The English also gained power of the Chinese through the Taiping Rebellion. When the revolutionaries began acting out against the Chinese government, the English came to defend the government. Their reasoning behind it was that it was easier to get control of china if the Qing administration was in charge. The rebels were defeated and the English succeeded in fulfilling their intentions.     During the imperialism of Africa, many of the same things occurred. The English took control of the African countries in different ways, but they still got control. With the Africans, the English just went to war with the countries or tribes. They would either defeat them or force them to give up partial or all control of the government. Either way, the English gained control and power because of their strength politically and militarily.

     Another aspect of imperialism is the take over of land.

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In the case of the English and the Chinese, the English took advantage of the results of many wars. By 1914, England had captured approximately on third of china.

     One way they gained land was in the Opium War. China’s answer to the drug trafficking was to burn the opium. In 1839, the government burned $6 million worth of English opium that was in canton. England’s response was to use their navy and advanced war technology to defeat the Chinese and capture canton.

     In Africa, the English took land by attacking the native people and forcing them to give up. It was harder to do this to the Chinese, because of the manpower that they had. In the end, England captured the land that they wanted using the force of the strong, advanced military and navy that they took pride in.

     The imperialism of china also allowed the English to use the people and resources of the country. The opium war was caused by the English trading opium, an illegal drug, to the Chinese in return for goods such as tea, porcelain, and silk. Because the opium was so well accepted by the wealth-seeking merchants, there was a good market. The English used the people because they knew that the Chinese would become addicted to the drug, creating a never-ending market.

     In Africa, the people and resources were exploited, but in different ways. The Africans were forced to harvest goods by the English. They didn’t receive nearly anything for their labor and were unable to support themselves. Whether or not the addiction to opium was good, the Chinese still received something for their efforts.

     As you can see, the Imperialism of china and Africa were different and the same. The English used different tactics but got the same results. They used politics, treaties, and war in the battle against china, where they basically just used war to defeat the Africans. War alone worked with the Africans because of the different culture and warfare backgrounds. The English had to use different tactics with the Chinese but accomplished the same goals in the long run.

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