The British were realizing economic growth as never before which fueled the

The british were realizing economic growth as never

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The British were realizing economic growth as never before, which fueled the industrial revolution, and pushed the rest of the world into the twentieth century. A short list of 19thcentury English inventors and scientists, in most cases funded by a government which was supplying 12 million Chinese their daily dose, and their contributions to the world almost seems justification enough to say that the British fight against Chinese forces in the opium wars was valid. However, while the British were fighting the opium wars to save valuable trade connections and increase their wealth, Chinese crusaders like Lin Zexu were fighting for the future of their society. Although the economic impact of the opium trade my have been the impetus that the Chinese government needed to begin rallying against the insipid trade, they were also fighting for the souls of 12 million of their fellow citizens who had chased the dragon and now dwelt in penitential loneliness. Like the Canjun Operas of the Tang dynasty, the opium wars had an overture, arias, and an inevitable denouement. What ended the first opium war, and arguably what began the second opium war was the Treaty of Nanjing. As was the case at the drafting of the Treaty of Versailles following the First World War, the victors who created the treaty sought retribution and to severely punish their beaten foes. China was forced to pay the British an indemnity, including thestipulation in Article IV which is aimed directly at punishing China for the actions of Lin Zexu which reads: “The Emperor of China agrees to pay the sum of Six Millions of Dollars as the value of Opium which was delivered up at Canton in the month of March 1839” (His & Fairbank, 1944, p.48). Further, the Chinese government was forced to cede the territory of Hong Kong, and agree to establish a “fair and reasonable” tariff. British merchants, who had previously
IMPERIAL PHANTASMAGORIA – A BRIEF LOOK AT THE OPIUM WARS5been allowed to trade only at Guangzhou (Canton), were now permitted to trade at five “treaty ports” and with whomever they pleased. To call the treaty of Nanjing an equitable treaty is laughable. Webster’s defines a treaty as: “A formal agreement between two or more states in reference to peace, alliance, commerce, or other international relations” (“Treaty”, n.d.). If we take this definition in hand, then the undeniable truth is that the treaty of Nanjing made certain

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