Reading35-1 (dragged) 17

Reading35-1 (dragged) 17 - 18 Reading 35-1 almost every...

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18 Reading 35-1 almost every province of China, all opium was imported (originally only about 3000 pounds a year), usually bought by Chinese merchants from the Portuguese. The British increased the trade to 3 million pounds or by 1000 times. An expanding demand and an unlimited supply of opium were substituted for a f nite supply of bullion. Trade could ask for no more. The mandarins of China were outraged at the debasement of their people. Opium, probably introduced into China as a painkiller by the Arabs in the 11th century A.D., was used only as a medicine until the 18th century. The Chinese government, still at that date not yet completely beyond hope of reform, made effort after effort between 1796 and 1830 to bring the trade to an end, but failed. There were too many addicts, too many pushers, too many “respectable” merchants making too much money. In 1838 the Emperor Tao-kwang sent a commissioner, Lin Tze-su, to Canton to stop the contraband trade in opium. He issued an order to the Chinese merchants to destroy their stocks and to the British to remove their drugs, but no one paid any attention. The merchants had heard it all before, and had ignored the same kind of orders with impunity in
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HIST 302 taught by Professor Jensic during the Summer '10 term at Purdue.

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