HIS101case study 3 - Trident University How did Chinas losses in the Opium Wars affect the rising dominance of European powers in East Asia HIS101

HIS101case study 3 - Trident University How did Chinas...

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Trident UniversityHow did China’s losses in the Opium Wars affect the rising dominance of European powers inEast Asia?HIS101- Modern World HistoryDr. Robert Kirkland24 March 2014
For this Modern World History Module 3 case study assignment I will be discussing how China’slosses in the Opium Wars affected the rising dominance of European powers in East Asia?After the long and prosperous rules of Kangxi and Qianlong in the 17th and 18th centuries, problems of the Qing Dynasty began to mount during the early 19th century. It suffered from many old land-based ailments, such as long borders to defend and the challenge of keeping transportation and communication routes operating, but they also faced other serious issues. The Manchu, rulers of the Qing dynasty, were originally a northern group that conquered the Han Chinese under Ming rule. Han Chinese, as they did under Mongol rule, pushed for restoration of rule to the natives. The dynasty also began to experience significant revolts from minorities, and the government, under an increasingly corrupt line of rulers, was not able to deal with them properly. As the Chinese dynastic cycle was clearly going into decline, Europeans sensed the problems, and began to push for trading rights that China had been reluctant to grant in earlier times.1For many years, Britain had been frustrated in its dealings with China and had striven unsuccessfully for decades to negotiate more favorable trading terms with them. The Chinese government, based on their interactions with the European trading companies for nearly 200 years, had an exceedingly low opinion of westerners and would not consent to make treaties withtheir ambassadors, much less open their ports to their wares, or encourage trade in any way. Britain had already tried every conceivable diplomatic effort to increase trading opportunities, 1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2103). The First Opium War:
but all exertions were fruitless. The Chinese government simply wanted nothing to do with foreigners or their products. 2In 1759 Emperor Qianlong had restricted European commercial presence to Guangzhou, a port in the southeastern part of China. There the trade was very much supervised by Chinese under the cohong system, with specially licensed Chinese firms operating under government set prices. Trade with Europeans was also restricted by the fact that Europeans had very little that the Chinese wanted to buy, even though the reverse was far from true. So the British East India Company, using Turkish and Persian expertise grew opium in India and shipped it to China. As a result, trade boomed, especially once the Chinese developed addictions to the drug. The weak Qing government failed to act, even after some Chinese officials began to support the trade by accepting bribes. In 1838, with about 40,000 chests of opium coming into Guangzhou that year, the government finally tried to stop it.

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