Opium War as a double-edged swordStudent’s NameCourse NameDate1
Background of Opium warsOpium wars took place in 19thcentury in China, and these wars were fought between Western Countries and the Qing dynasty. The first opium war took place between Britain and China from 1839-1842. And the second opium war fought against China by France and Britain. In both these wars, the western powers got victory and they obtained territorial, commercial and legal privileges in China. The first opium war began as a result of the suppression of china on theopium trade. The British were illegally exporting opium from India to China, and there was a significant increase in the trade in 18thcentury. There were great economic and social disruptionsbecause of a widespread addiction1.By considering the situation, the Chinese government took steps and it confiscated more than 1400 tons of drug, warehoused by British merchants. It resulted in an antagonism which increased when a Chinese villager killed by British sailors, and he British government refused to turn the accused men, to be tried in the Chinese courts. Months later, a blockade of Pearl River was destroyed by the British warships. A treaty of Nanjing was also signed for peace negotiations. The provisions of the treaty stated that Chins should pay indemnity to British by ceding Hong Kong Island and also increase treaty ports through which the British were able to trade easily. Shanghai was one of the additional ports and the foreigners were given new access by transforming China into one of the commercial ports.The second opium war began as a result of the efforts of British for increasing their trading rights in China, whereas the Qing government was also trying to quell the Taiping 1Tan, Chung. China and the Brave New World: A Study of the Origins of the Opium War (1840-1842).1978. Carolina Academic Press2
Rebellion. Arrow, a British registered ship was boarded by Chinese officials, and they lowered the British flag allegedly, while arresting few of the Chinese crew members. Also, in December, the foreign factories were burn by Chinese and this action escalated the tension in the country. The French joined the British military, by stating an excuse that one of the French missionary was murdered in 1856 in China2.The military operations were started by the British allies in 1857, because of the delay in assembling of Chinese forces. The governor of the Canton was deposed, after the British allies captured the city and a more compliant official was installed in the city. The China was forced by British troops, in 1858 to enter into a negotiation, which resulted in the treaty of Tianjin. This treaty, when signed opened new ports for western trade and also foreign envoys were being provided with residence, Christian missionaries were provided freedom to move in the country and foreign travelers got a right to travel in the interior China. The negotiation also legalized import of opium in Shanghai.