Early history[ edit ] Historical accounts suggest that opium first arrived in China during the Tang dynasty — as part of the merchandise of Arab traders. It is mainly used to treat masculinity, strengthen sperm, and regain vigour.
In February the British government decided to launch a military expedition, and Elliot and his cousin, George later Sir George Elliot, were appointed joint plenipotentiaries to China though the latter, in poor health, resigned in November. The British government decided in early to send an expeditionary force to China, which arrived at Hong Kong in June.
The British fleet proceeded up the Pearl River estuary to Canton, and, after months of negotiations there, attacked and occupied the city in May Subsequent British campaigns over the next year were likewise successful against the inferior Qing forces, despite a determined counterattack by Chinese troops in the spring of The British held against that offensive, however, and captured Nanjing Nanking in late Augustwhich put an end to the fighting.
Peace negotiations proceeded quickly, resulting in the Treaty of Nanjingsigned on August By its provisions, China was required to pay Britain a large indemnity, cede Hong Kong Island to the British, and increase the number of treaty ports where the British could trade and reside from one Canton to five.
The British Supplementary Treaty of the Bogue Humensigned October 8,gave British citizens extraterritoriality the right to be tried by British courts and most-favoured-nation status Britain was granted any rights in China that might be granted to other foreign countries.
Other Western countries quickly demanded and were given similar privileges. The second Opium War In the mids, while the Qing government was embroiled in trying to quell the Taiping Rebellion —64the British, seeking to extend their trading rights in China, found an excuse to renew hostilities. In early October some Chinese officials boarded the British-registered ship Arrow while it was docked in Canton, arrested several Chinese crew members who were later releasedand allegedly lowered the British flag.
Later that month a British warship sailed up the Pearl River estuary and began bombarding Canton, and there were skirmishes between British and Chinese troops. Trading ceased as a stalemate ensued. In December Chinese in Canton burned foreign factories trading warehouses there, and tensions escalated.
The French decided to join the British military expedition, using as their excuse the murder of a French missionary in the interior of China in early After delays in assembling the forces in China British troops that were en route were first diverted to India to help quell the Indian Mutinythe allies began military operations in late In May allied troops in British warships reached Tianjin Tientsin and forced the Chinese into negotiations.
The treaties of Tianjinsigned in Juneprovided residence in Beijing for foreign envoys, the opening of several new ports to Western trade and residence, the right of foreign travel in the interior of China, and freedom of movement for Christian missionaries.
In further negotiations in Shanghai later in the year, the importation of opium was legalized. The British withdrew from Tianjin in the summer ofbut they returned to the area in June en route to Beijing with French and British diplomats to ratify the treaties.
The Chinese refused to let them pass by the Dagu forts at the mouth of the Hai River and proposed an alternate route to Beijing. The British-led forces decided against taking the other route and instead tried to push forward past Dagu.
They were driven back with heavy casualties. The Chinese subsequently refused to ratify the treaties, and the allies resumed hostilities. Later that month the Chinese signed the Beijing Conventionin which they agreed to observe the treaties of Tianjin and also ceded to the British the southern portion of the Kowloon Peninsula adjacent to Hong Kong.Effects The Second Opium War was also won by Great Britain, changing every aspect of China's policies and ideals.
The defeat of the Chinese unraveled China's isolationism, opening the country to free trade with Western countries. The First Opium War () Between and , opium imports into China increased more than one thousand percent, from 3, to 40, chests (Lovell 36).
By the mid 19th century, Opium use permeated Chinese culture, even infecting generals and imperial guards.
On the eve of the first Opium War, the British were shipping some 40, chests to China annually. By this date, it was estimated that there were probably around ten million opium smokers in China, two million of them addicts. Causes: Well Britain was selling Opium to the Chinese as a major export in exchange for Chinese goods.
It was so addicting that over 10 million people were addicted to it in China alone. The. The Opium War opened China up to foreign trade for the first time, but also threatened the stability of the Manchu government and made China a center for illegal activity.
The conflict actually had two phases, from to and again from to , pitting the Qing rule in China against the British Empire. What were the causes and effects of the Opium Wars in China?
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Why did the British smuggle opium into China (causing the Opium War) ? What economic effects did the opium war have on China?