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Essay Proposal Title: Opium and Exploitation of the Chinese. Thesis: The Opium trade was a means of weakening the Chinese economical and physically, in order to increase trade and exploit the Chinese marketplace. This paper will look deeper into the effects of Opium on China. First this paper will explore how China’s economy changed from being primarily based on exports for silver to almost collapsing because the silver was being used to buy Opium that the British set at extremely high prices. This will look at Britain’s trade triangle and their ability to manipulate both China and India as a means for economic expansion and opening trade in the East. Due to Britain’s high demand for tea and their lack of trade exports to China began to bleed dry Britain’s treasury of silver and gold. With the sales from Opium to the British, India was able to use this income to buy textiles from Britain.1 The Opium that was bought for a cheap price in India was then shipped to China where the prices were heavily inflated causing the people of China to begin to bleed their treasury dry. The opium caused a spike in users in China as this highly addictive drug began to be imported on masse in order to supply the demand of the addicted users. 2 The British dominated the seas with their naval power keeping the trade routes open and in a way were able to force-feed the Chinese Opium. The British navy constantly interfered inthe interactions of Chinese officials and the smugglers allowing for the Opium to 1 Glenn Melancon, “Honour in Opium? The British Declaration of War on China, 1839-1840.”The International History Review, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 855-874.2David Bello, “The Venomous Course of Southwestern Opium: Qing Prohibition in Yunnan, Sichuan, and Guizhou in the Early Nineteenth Century. “The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Nov., 2003), pp. 1109-1142
continue entering China through ports, more specifically Canton.3 Instead of being able tostop it the Chinese were no match for the British navy and did not want to go to war with Britain, thus avoiding disastrous consequences for China. 4The second part of this paper will discuss the Opium wars and the treaties that were implemented to open trade between China and the West. With increasing demand in