Final Opium Wars.docx - Running head OPIUM WARS 1 Opium...

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Running head: OPIUM WARS 1 Opium Wars Nina Strayer HIS 104: World Civilizations 2 Linda Shay August 12, 2019
OPIUM WARS 2 Opium Wars The first opium war was between Britain and China in 1839 – 1842. The Europeans were trading silver for China’s beloved tea and porcelain. The British became concerned about their trade when they realized they were running short on silver. The British had to come up with another solution for trade instead of silver if they wanted to continue getting China’s Tea. They found another source from the poppy plants (Opium). Opium was a drug/medicine, and it was a hot commodity in China. The trade industry between China and Britain was not always easy. China was not open to outsiders or the idea of unrestricted trade. The First Opium War was influenced by the Chinese trade system and the British trading opium, resulting in the Treaty of Nanjing leaving consequences that impacted the second Opium War. Trading with China came with many restrictions for foreigners. These limitations limited the trade between China and Britain. Britain wanted to trade with more of China’s ports but was only limited to one Canton. The Canton trade system caused tension between the two countries. Britain believed in unrestricted trade. One of the restrictions by the Chinese was that the British could not talk to the Qing diplomats; they had to go through other people (Perdue, 2011, p.2), which made communication hard between the two countries. As the trade between China and Britain grew, so did the tensions between the two. The British blamed the restrictions for not allowing them to balance their exports with their imports of opium and tea and porcelain. George Macartney from Britain went to address the issues with the Chinese emperor, and he had brought the emperor gifts. The emperor was not impressed and rejected Britain’s request. The failed attempt only raised tensions, and the British knew the only way to open more ports for the need of balancing exports and imports between the two was to do it by force (Perdue, 2011, p.3).

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