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Running head: China: The Opium Wars and Taiping Rebellion1China: The Opium Wars and Taiping RebellionDerek A. WatsonTrident University
CHINA: THE OPIUM WARS AND TAIPING REBELLION 2AbstractThe 19thcentury was a violent time in the vast nation of China. With many conflicts, the two that stand out the most are China’s involvement in the Opium Wars, and the happenings of the Taiping Rebellion. The Opium Wars were two armed conflicts between Western countries and the Qing Dynasty. The first conflict being between China and Britain between 1839-1842, and the second being China against both Britain and France from 1856-1860. Both times China lost, losing territories to the Western countries. These wars would be the beginning of the end for the Qing Dynasty. The Taiping Rebellion is another major event in Chinese History during the 19thcentury. The Editors of the Encyclopedia of Britannica state (2015) “The Taiping Rebellionwasa radical political and religious upheaval that was probably the most important event inChinain the 19th century”. This rebellion spanned over 14 years and is attributed to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. Both the Taiping Rebellion and Opium Wars were influenced by foreigners, seeking claim to China or Chinese territories. The Chinese were never ones to take kindly to outside influence. At the end of each conflict, China lost and their government saw many changes. The violence of the 19thcentury would shape China into its earlier form of the country it is today. Keywords: Opium Wars, Taiping Rebellion
CHINA: THE OPIUM WARS AND TAIPING REBELLION 3China: The Opium Wars and Taiping RebellionThe Opium WarsThe Opium Wars were a series of two separate conflicts taking place in 19thcentury China. The first Opium War took place between 1839-1842 with Britain taking on China over the disruption in Britain’s Opium trade in China. The second Opium War was fought between Britain and France fighting China. This was also known as the “Arrow War” or Anglo French War and was fought over trading rights in China. This war generated what was known as unequal treaties in China. An unequal treaty is, in the words of Szczepanski (2015), “when stronger powers impose humiliating, one sided treaties on weaker nations in East Asia.” The nations in Eastern Asia were forced to allow citizens of the victorious western nations special rights. This took away from the sovereignty of the conquered state.