While these cultural differences were certainly of

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While these cultural differences were certainly of significance, cultural disputes are common throughout history. These differences can cause disagreement but the yearning for economic strength is what has the sufficient amount of leverage to incite war. The economic earnings of the British also lead to losses on the account of the Chinese, furthering the tensions. According to Tanner, “farmers were pushed to the limits of their endurance” as tax evasion increased, causing government revenue to greatly regress (75). The amount of silver that is flowing out of Guangzhou makes it noticeable enough to be measured easily by Qing officials. These officials resent the Western merchants because of this and attribute the opium trade for the massive decline of silver in the economy. While the Qing officials condemn the trade of opium even more because of this, their efforts are defeated by smuggling and disregard for the law by Western merchants and Chinese civilians alike. As much as the British economy gains from the opium trade, the Chinese economy is being hurt by the trade, which is another example of the impact that the economy had on the cause of the Opium War. The trade of opium was certainly threatening to Chinese culture but the trade hurt the economy the most. The economic push from both sides has an affect so strong on the two opposing sides that it leads to war.
Those who disagree with this stance may make the claim that the loss of silver can not be the core of the cause of the opium war due to the fact that there were other reasons for the decline of silver and the opium trade did not account for most of it. The half of the silver that is a loss due to the opium trade can be ignored and there is still an economic issue in China. Just as the economic factors that are a small part of what ignites the Opium War, this inflation of copper cash and the scarcity of silver only brushes the surface of the factors that contributed to the Chinese economic problems.

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