In the 19th century, opium was one of the most profitable products in Asia. In this regard, BritishIndia protectorate outlawed large-scale exports to China and gave monopoly rights to East India Company to sell opium in Asia and India. Opium trade brought significant profits to the firm, and the colonial government benefited from the tax. The Chinese became wary of the opium trade and the increasing British influence and its threats to the tea exports. By1830s, the recession in the Chinese economy drained silver from the country.  As a result, the effects of opium pushed the government to ban the trade. The British were unhappy with the Chinese decision and blamed the government for restricting free trade. Thus, the first opium was an infringement of China's sovereignty, which began because Britain wanted to protect unrestricted access Chinese market, defend British honor, exact revenge against the mistreatment of its subjects, protect its revenue sources, and counter Chinese arrogance.The Cantonese Trading System and Free TradeSince the early 18th century, Chinese foreign trade was widely restricted. The government relied on Canton merchants to conduct foreign trade on behalf of the government and pay a tax. The system stipulated all foreigners had were required to trade exclusively with the Hong merchants. Furthermore, the imperial court also used the Hong merchants to monitor the actions of foreign traders. With the banning of the opium trade, the Qing government restricted the presence of foreigners in China. The restrictions did not permit Westerners to travel with their spouses to China and not to arm themselves. The tedious nature of the Canton System was a challenge for the Westerners who were accustomed to the liberal trade system in Europe. Such problematic trade procedures increased tensions due to the "increasing demand for products like tea in the European markets, combined with the Chinese refusal to trade for anything other than silver bullion."  The Canton Press, in 1838, wrote an article explaining the extreme reluctance of theChinese to permit foreigners to trade freely. However, the Chinese blamed the East India Company, which had been increasingly become profitable after monopolizing the opium trade. Thus, the Cantonese trading system restricted foreign traders and prevented an increase in the opium trade. Several British requests for opium legalization in China were denied. Instead, the Chinese government destroyed all opium it had confiscated from foreign traders. The British accused China of obstructing free trade by destroying 3 million pounds of products. Lord Palmerston, the foreign secretary, blamed China for creating opium demand and that British people should not be responsible for preserving the moral of the Chinese people.  The United Kingdom had to go towards to demand an increase in trade between Europe and China.