Thursday, July 25, 2019

Describe the Opium Wars in China that lead to the Treaty of Nanking Essay

Describe the Opium Wars in China that lead to the Treaty of Nanking. What were the most important factors that lead to the takeover by the West - Essay Example om China, but the monopolies existing among traders in China and unfair tariffs made it difficult for the East India Company to continue trading in silver and it finally resorted to trading opium for tea from China. Opium became very popular in China because during that time, there were difficulties in the economy and people in China were looking for a means of escape. The addictive drug opium provided just such an escape. Opium was prohibited but it was cheap and easy to acquire and the number of addicts kept increasing, at a substantial cost to society. People were trading silver and copper for opium, thus creating further losses to the economy. In the year 1838, Lin Tse-Hsu became the appointee of the Tao-Kuang emperor. Opium addicts were threatened, the drug dealing activities of foreigners were hindered by confiscating stores and demanding that they sign bonds guaranteeing their good conduct and other drug dealers were rounded up. However, all of these efforts did not prove to be a significant deterrent to opium trafficking, as a result of which Lin finally resorted to seizing 20,00 chests of British opium and burning it. This action was the direct cause of the Opium War, since Britain immediately declared war on China in retaliation for this gesture. The Opium War lasted for three years from 1839 to 1842. England was at a distinct advantage due to its superior naval and armed forces and it was able to defeat easily China in 1842. The Treaty of Nanking was formulated after this victory of the British and forced China to agree to several concessions. Firstly, Hong Kong was to be handed over to the British. Secondly, the ports of Foochow, Canton, Amoy, Ningopo and Shanghai were to be opened to foreign businessmen and missionaries. Thirdly, China had to pay 21 million silver dollars to the British. Fourthly, trade tariffs were to be moderated and transit inland fees were to be reduced. Fifthly, foreign officers were to be granted equal status as the Chinese

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