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Opium War

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by

Brett Brower

on 16 May 2014

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Transcript of Opium War

Opium is a narcotic made from the processed sap of the opium poppy. It was used as a drug since the Neolithic period (about 10,200 B.C.), but it wasn't until the sixteenth century that the people of South Asia and Persia began using opium as a recreational drug.
Opium Poppy
How did Opium get to China?
The opium trade expanded greatly in 1750 as a result of the British East India Company’s conquest of Bengal. This gave the British control over one of the major opium-producing areas of the continent. Great Britain was then easily able to export the opium from Bengal to China. From there, the Chinese people invented their own method of smoking opium.
The effects of the Opium War changed China and made Britain agree to a number of treaties. The Treaty of Nanking was passed ending the war. Also treaties were passed causing more ports to be opened in China allowing unrestricted foreign trade with a fixed tariff. As more opium came into China, the addiction of the people grew. Opium became legal in China. This was an embarrassing situation for China, so rebellions spurred all over the country. The 1910's brought a end to dynastic China.
Opium side effects include but are not limited to:

- Malnutrition
- Respiratory complications
- Low blood pressure
- Mental and physical health problems
- Severe constipation
- Contracted pupils
- Moodiness
- Menstrual irregularities
- Lung, liver, kidney and brain damage
- Loss of weight
- Reduction of sex hormone levels
- Frequent infections
- Pregnancy complications including stillbirth
- Death
- Not to mention opium is very addictive
What happens after you use opium?
One reason the Opium war arose was due to China trying to suppress the Opium trade. The Chinese wanted to stop their people from using opium due to its ill effects and extreme addiction rate. Chinese officials wished to end the spread of opium, To do this, they confiscated supplies of opium from British traders and even held them hostage. Tensions between Great Britain and China grew as more attempts to control Opium in china were made.
The treaty was signed on August 29 1842
to mark the end of the Opium War. The treaty was made between the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Qing Dynasty of China (The Qing Dynasty of China was forced to sign the treaty at gunpoint). It was the first of what the Chinese called "The Unequal Treaties" because Britain had no commitments to return. The Opium War also represented the start of China's "Century of humiliation" due to China's humiliating defeat.
The war began when a British ship, The Royal Saxon, attempted to go through a Chinese blockade and trade with China. The Royal British Navy fired warning shots across the bow of the ship and the Chinese Imperial Navy attempted to protect the merchant ship escalating the tension into an armed conflict.
Terms of the Treaty
- 5 ports were opened for trade, and Britain could use these ports to trade with anyone they wished.

- China gave up Hong Kong to the British, Britain then used it as a harbor to unload goods.

- China had to pay Britain 6 million silver dollars for the Opium that Lin Zexu confiscated.
Full transcript