HIST 252 - China Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties - China Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties Wednesday 1:00 PM 2nd Third of Semester Asian Intelligence

HIST 252 - China Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties - China...

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China Opium Wars and Unequal Treaties Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:00 PM 2nd Third of Semester: Asian Intelligence, Ideological, and Structural Responses to Problems in 19th and early 20th C. Today: China: Opium War(s) + Unequal Treaties Friday: Taiping Rebellion Imbalance of Trade, Br. + China During the 16th and 17th C. there was a general prosperity which increased the prosperity such that the massive population was late a problem (during the 19th C. food shortages, for example) The Qing became increasingly corrupt after 1800; age and corruption seems to be an inevitable correlation in empires Triangular trade occurred between India, China, and Britain o In India, the Chinese attempted to sell: Iron nails, woolens, knives, scissors, watches, venetian glass The problem is that the markets for these things becomes quickly saturated (that is, you only need one pair of scissors) o The market in China was similar: Scissors, knives, watches, clocks, music boxes, kerosene o What did Britain want most from China and India? Tea and pepper respectively During the ??C the East India Trading Company began trading tea through the canton system , named after the port which Europeans were allowed to trade in India, Canton o How well did this work? o What was the Canton system? The Europeans were restricted to a limited part of the city of Canton; there families could not come with them, all there warehouses and goods had to be located there They had to buy their goods through a guild called the Hong The Hong bought a license from the government which allowed them to sell to foreigners It was a very controlled system Even though the Chinese bought from the Europeans, they did not need any of the items they bought, and they felt themselves fairly sufficient and fairly superior to Europeans and everyone else The East India Trading Co. had to pay cash for their tea, their currency was generated from local and regional trade in India, called carrying trade (taking goods from port to port) The most important part of this trade was taking India cotton to China In contrast to the self-sufficiency of China, the Britain hunger for tea in Britain was insatiable One act required a full year's supply of Chinese tea to be kept for the entire country, just in case!

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