What was the role of opium in the Opium War?

What was the role of opium in the Opium War?

While there are several examples of opium being used as a tool of state power, arguably the two most well-known are the importance of opium in trade relations and the usage of opium as a source of money for the state. Britain battled China (in the Second Opium War) between 1856 and 1860 over the right to trade with China. The British government refused to grant China access to British markets unless it stopped importing American opium. When China refused to stop importing opium, Britain banned all Chinese imports. This action by Britain caused great hardship for both Americans and Europeans who depended on Chinese products. They saw this as a bullying tactic by Britain to get its way in trading agreements and so began to boycott British goods. This is when Britain turned to India for alternative sources of supply which is when the idea of an Indian Opium Court came about.

In addition to this, China was also using its own currency, the silver yuan, to buy foreign products including opium. This made Britain feel like it was not being treated equally with other countries who were allowed to trade with China. So in order to even things out, Britain created a new paper currency called the British pound sterling. This new currency became popular because of its use as a medium of exchange - people wanted to hold onto it because they could use it to buy goods from Britain or anyone else that had adopted the pound.

Britain's usage of opium was actually part of a larger movement toward social reform in the country at the time.

What drug were Britain and China fighting over?

Tea and opium The Opium War (or First China War) had its origins in a commercial dispute between the British and the Chinese Qing Dynasty. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the trade in Chinese items such as tea, silks, and porcelain had become enormously profitable for British merchants. But at the same time, the Chinese government was becoming increasingly aware of the economic damage being done by foreign traders operating without restriction inside its territory. In 1816, the Chinese emperor issued an edict banning all imports into his country except those from Great Britain, France, and their allies.

As part of its own policy of opening up its markets to foreign trade, the Chinese government allowed some trade representatives from Western countries to set up offices in Beijing and Shanghai. But the British were not interested in trading with China but rather used its military power to ensure that it could continue importing Chinese goods. The first sign of this threat came in 1839 when the British seized a fleet of Chinese ships they claimed were smuggling opium into Hong Kong. The incident led to the outbreak of war between China and Britain the following year.

The conflict that would come to be known as the Opium War ended in 1842 with a series of agreements by which Britain granted China a limited exemption from the opium ban in return for access to Chinese market. These agreements were renewed every five years until 1862 when Britain and China finally signed a treaty that officially ended the war.

What advantages did the British have during the First Opium War?

The British were able to win the First Opium War with fewer than 5,000 men and twenty naval vessels, allowing them to rewrite trade regulations that were clearly unjust to the Chinese. The British also had the ability to pay off the Russian government, which the Qing dynasty could not do.

The British had better weapons, especially their long guns, which were more effective against the Chinese fortifications. They also had better training for their soldiers. When fighting the Chinese, the British avoided direct combat with the enemy army; instead, they used hit-and-run tactics. This made them difficult for the Chinese to defeat because the Chinese military relied on massing many troops into one area of the battlefield to use their great numbers to overcome their opponents' superior weaponry. By using these tactics, the British were able to defeat the Chinese forces in almost every battle they fought.

In addition, the British had access to valuable information about the Chinese military system that they were unable to obtain from other sources. For example, they learned about the weakness of the West Lake Defenses by watching the Chinese attempt to defend themselves against foreign invaders. Then, when attacking the defenseless western part of the city, the British was able to use this knowledge to their advantage.

What did Great Britain do in the Opium Wars?

The two Opium Wars were the beginning of Western Europe's forcible infiltration into China. The United Kingdom had been purchasing more tea from China, but China had few things that the United Kingdom was interested in purchasing in exchange. In 1793, the Chinese government banned the import of foreign products, including tea. The British ambassador to China at this time, Earl Macartney, took his fleet up the Yangtze River and presented Emperor Qianlong with a ceremonial gong and other gifts as demonstrations of Britain's strength. However, the Chinese emperor refused to accept the gifts and sent them back to Britain.

In 1839, the British merchant ship "The Nemesis" was attacked by Chinese pirates near Guangzhou. The captain managed to return to port, but the rest of the crew were killed. This sparked the first Opium War. Britain declared its intention to stop the trade in opium, which was being smuggled into China through British-controlled ports. China rejected the claim, and war broke out between the two countries. It lasted for three years and ended in a defeat for China. The British occupied much of southern China and forced the Chinese government to open up trade again. This agreement is known as the Second Treaty of Nanjing.

The Opium War proved to be a major setback for China.

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Emma Willis

Emma Willis is a brilliant mind with a passion for learning. She loves to study history, especially the more obscure parts of the world's history. She also enjoys reading books on psychology and how people are influenced by their environment.

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