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Imperialism: The Opium Wars

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Xavier Mootoo

on 8 April 2013

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Transcript of Imperialism: The Opium Wars

The Opium Wars
Imperialism Summary Britain -The Opium Wars (War in China)
-Were the result of conflict between British
trading companies and law enforcement of China
-The First Opium War 1839-1842
-The Second Opium War 1856-1860
-A prominent example of Imperialism from Britain

Opium -Opium had been used in China since the 7th century but only for medical care
-In the 17th and 18th centuries there was a rise in the trade of opium
-Rose from 200 chests of opium imported annually in 1729 to 40,000 chests in 1838
-Between that time laws were set in attempt to ban or reduce the use of opium but it was not heavily enforced
-The main supplier of Opium was the British East India Company
-Britain had a large deficit in trade with China
-They wanted to buy silk, porcelain and tea from China
-But they did not have a variety to offer, China only wanted silver
-British sold large amounts of Opium from India to acquire silver
China -As trade increased with Britain more citizens became addicted to Opium
-The result in trading Britain was that more money was going out then coming in
-The Chinese economy started to cripple and the Emperor took action banning Opium and using the death penalty as punishment
-This is what sparked the conflict and war between Britain and China
The First Opium War -Took place from 1839-1842
-The enforcement from the Emperor seized and burned 20,000 chests of Opium (55kg)
-The relations between British and Chinese grew tense as there was little to no trade between each other
-The British government sent a warning the China demanding compensation for Opium
-China refused at first but were outmatched by the military and naval force of Britain Treaty of Nanking -First of the series of "unequal treaties"
-The treaty offered only compensation from China to Britain and nothing in return
-The conditions were:
-6 Million silver dollars for confiscated Opium
-3 Million for debts to Hong Kong merchants
-12 Million for the Cost of War
-And that Hong Kong would be given to Britain
-The costs were so enormous that five percent of the amount exceeded China's budget
-The British refused to retreat the military and their naval ships until all of the money was repaid
-This demonstrates the Imperialistic attitude of Britain
The Second Opium War -Between 1842-1856 relations seemed more or less calm between Britain and China even though China was not satisfied
-A crew of smugglers and pirates were arrest by the Chinese authorities
-The ship was under British control and said that it was protected under the Treaty of Nanking
-The crew members were arrested anyways as the Chinese insulted and laughed at the British flag
-The Captain of the ship told British authorities about what had happened and they were very offended by the insult to the flag
-The British authorities said it was in need of demonstrating their military strength since they were not being taken seriously
Treaty of Tentsin -This was the second treaty in the series of "unequal treaties"
The conditions of the treaty were:
-British, France, Russia and the U.S. would have the right to establish diplomatic trade in Peking
-Ten more Chinese ports would be open for trade
-Any foreign ship was allowed through the Yangtze river
-The right to travel to parts in China which were previously closed off
-And owed 8 million dollars each to Britain and France
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