The Opium Wars
A brief introduction
Time: 1839–1842, 1856–1860 Location: China Result: Victory of the Western powers over China
The Central Kingdom -Qing
/>? At the end of the 1800s, China's four million square miles held 450 million people. ? In the seventeenth and eighteenth century people in all classes began to use opium recreationally. ? They refused, however, to allow intermarriage with the Chinese, for they realized that only their blood difference kept them from being assimilated and conquered.
? The foreigners were especially irritated by the high customs duties the Chinese forced them to pay. ? Despite the restriction, the opium trade continued to flourish.
? Many countries made huge profits from the growing number of Chinese addicts.
? The foreigners intent on dragging down the Chinese through the encouragement of opium addiction.
Problems faced by Qing dynasty.
? Opium smuggling upset the balance of trade and destroyed China's economy. ? The army became corrupt and the tax farmers defrauded the people. ? The generally weak emperors were unable to meet the challenges of the time.
The war followed.
? In the spring of 1839 Chinese authorities at Canton confiscated and burned the opium. ? In 1840, the Opium War broke out between Britain and China.
? In 1842 China agreed to the provisions of the Treaty of Nanking. ? Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain, and other ports, including Canton, were opened to British residence and trade. ? The French and Americans approached the Chinese and in 1844 gained the same trading rights as the British.
? China's modern humiliations began with the early nineteenth century, with the Opium Wars. ? After the Opium war, China went through a transformation stage, from traditional to modernization, from closed to open, and finished its historical transition in early the Republic of China. ? It preceded the prologue of modern history of China.
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