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Encyclopedia > Opium Wars
Combat at Guangzhou during the Second Opium War
Combat at Guangzhou during the Second Opium War

The Opium Wars (simplified Chinese: 鸦片战争; traditional Chinese: 鴉片戰爭; pinyin: Yāpiàn Zhànzhēng), also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, lasted from 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 respectively,[1] the climax of a trade dispute between China and the United Kingdom. British smuggling of opium from British India into China and the Chinese government's efforts to enforce its drug laws erupted in conflict. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Guangzhou is the capital and the sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Combatants Qing China United Kingdom French Empire Commanders Unknown Michael Seymour James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros The Second Opium War or Arrow War was a war of the United Kingdom and France against the Qing Dynasty of China from 1856 to 1860. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... This article is about the drug. ... Anthem God Save The Queen/King British India, circa 1860 Capital Calcutta (1858-1912), New Delhi (1912-1947) Language(s) Hindi, Urdu, English and many others Government Monarchy Emperor of India  - 1877-1901 Victoria  - 1901-1910 Edward VII  - 1910-1936 George V  - January-December 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1947 George...


China's defeat in both wars forced the government to tolerate the opium trade. The United Kingdom coerced the government into signing Unequal Treaties, opening several ports to foreign trade and yielding Hong Kong to Britain. The British also gained extraterritorial rights. Several countries followed Britain and forced unequal terms of trade onto China. This humiliation at the hand of foreign powers contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Japanese name Kanji: Kana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Unequal Treaties, is a term used in reference to the type of treaties signed by several East Asian states, including Qing Dynasty China, late Tokugawa Japan, and late Joseon Korea, with Western powers and Imperial Japan, during the nineteenth and early twentieth... Combatants Qing Empire United Kingdom France (United Kingdom and France join the war later) Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Commanders Xianfeng Emperor Tongzhi Emperor Empress Dowager Cixi Charles George Gordon Frederick Townsend Ward Hong Xiuquan Yang Xiuqing Xiao Chaogui Feng Yunshan Wei Changhui Shi Dakai Li Xiucheng Strength 2,000,000-5... Combatants Eight-Nation Alliance (ordered by contribution): Empire of Japan Russian Empire British Empire French Third Republic United States German Empire Kingdom of Italy Austro-Hungarian Empire Righteous Harmony Society Qing Dynasty (China) Commanders Edward Seymour Alfred Graf von Waldersee Ci Xi Strength 20,000 initially 49,000 total 50... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Year 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

Contents

Background

Direct maritime trade between Europe and China started in the 16th century, after the Portuguese established the settlement of Goa in India, and shortly thereafter that of Macau in southern China. After Spanish acquisition of the Philippines, the pace of exchange between China and the West accelerated dramatically. Manila galleons brought in far more silver to China than the Silk Road. The Qing government attempted to limit contact with the outside world, only allowing trade through the port of Canton (now Guangzhou). Severe red-tape and licensed monopolies were set up to restrict the flow of trade, resulting in high retail prices for imported goods and limited demand. Spain began to sell opium, along with New World products such as tobacco and corn, to the Chinese in order to prevent a trade deficit. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... For other uses, see Goa (disambiguation). ... For other meanings of the word, see Manila (disambiguation). ... The Silk Road extending from Southern Europe through Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India till it reaches China. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Guangzhou is the capital and the sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the Peoples Republic of China. ... This article is about the drug. ... Balance of trade figures are the sum of the money gained by a given economy by selling exports, minus the cost of buying imports. ...


As a result of high demand for tea, silk, and porcelain in Britain and the low demand for British commodities in China, Britain had a large trade deficit with China and had to pay for these goods with silver. Britain began illegally exporting opium to China from British India in the 18th century to counter its deficit. The opium trade took off rapidly, and the flow of silver began to reverse.[citation needed] The Yongzheng Emperor prohibited the sale and smoking of opium in 1729 because of the large number of addicts, and only allowed a small amount of opium imports for medicinal purposes.[2] For other uses, see Tea (disambiguation). ... For other uses of this word, see Silk (disambiguation). ... “Fine China” redirects here. ... This article is about the drug. ... Anthem God Save The Queen/King British India, circa 1860 Capital Calcutta (1858-1912), New Delhi (1912-1947) Language(s) Hindi, Urdu, English and many others Government Monarchy Emperor of India  - 1877-1901 Victoria  - 1901-1910 Edward VII  - 1910-1936 George V  - January-December 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1947 George... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... The Yongzheng Emperor (born Yinzhen 胤禛 December 13, 1678 - October 8, 1735) was the fourth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, and the third Qing emperor to rule over China, from 1722 to 1735. ... Events July 30 - Baltimore, Maryland is founded. ...


Growth of the opium trade

Opium destruction
Opium destruction

The British East India Company pursued a monopoly on production and export of opium in India after Britain conquered Bengal in the Battle of Plassey in 1757. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 400 × 239 pixelsFull resolution (400 × 239 pixel, file size: 17 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) 本檔案其他版本 no from zh wp (删除该图像的所有修订版本) (当前) 17:08 2006年11月9日 . . Iflwlou (Talk | 贡献 | 查封) . . 400×239 (17,176字节) ({ {subst:Information| |A= 虎門銷煙 |B= http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 400 × 239 pixelsFull resolution (400 × 239 pixel, file size: 17 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) 本檔案其他版本 no from zh wp (删除该图像的所有修订版本) (当前) 17:08 2006年11月9日 . . Iflwlou (Talk | 贡献 | 查封) . . 400×239 (17,176字节) ({ {subst:Information| |A= 虎門銷煙 |B= http://www. ... The British East India Company, sometimes referred to as John Company, was the first joint-stock company (the Dutch East India Company was the first to issue public stock). ... This article is about the economic term. ... For other uses, see Bengal (disambiguation). ... Combatants British East India Company Siraj Ud Daulah (Nawab of Bengal), La Compagnie des Indes Orientales Commanders Colonel Robert Clive (later Governor of Bengal and Baron of Plassey) Mir Jafar Ali Khan, defected (Commander-in-chief of the Nawab), M. Sinfray (French Secretary to the Council) Strength 2,200 European...


In 1773 the Governor-General of Bengal pursued the monopoly on the sale of opium in earnest and abolished the old opium syndicate at Patna. For the next 50 years opium would be key to the East India Company's hold on India. Importation of opium into China was against Chinese law (although China did produce a small quantity domestically). Thus, the British East India Company would buy tea in Canton on credit, carrying no opium, but would instead sell opium at the auctions in Calcutta. Eventually, the opium would be smuggled to China. In 1797 the company ended the role of local Bengal purchasing agents and instituted the direct sale of opium to the company by farmers. British exports of opium to China skyrocketed from an estimated 15 tons in 1730, to 75 tons in 1773, shipped in over two thousand "chests," each containing 140 pounds (64 kg) of opium. Patna is the capital of the state of Bihar, in north-eastern India. ... Guangzhou is the capital and the sub-provincial city of Guangdong Province in the southern part of the Peoples Republic of China. ... This article is on Calcutta/Kolkata, the city. ...


In 1799 the Chinese Empire again banned opium imports. The Empire issued the following decree in 1810: China is the worlds oldest continuous major civilization, with written records dating back about 3,500 years and with 5,000 years being commonly used by Chinese as the age of their civilization. ...

Opium has a harm. Opium is a poison, undermining our good customs and morality. Its use is prohibited by law. Now the commoner, Yang, dares to bring it into the Forbidden City. Indeed, he flouts the law!
However, recently the purchases, eaters, and consumers of opium have become numerous. Deceitful merchants buy and sell it to gain profit. The customs house at the Ch'ung-wen Gate was originally set up to supervise the collection of imports (it had no responsibility with regard to opium smuggling). If we confine our search for opium to the seaports, we fear the search will not be sufficiently thorough. We should also order the general commandant of the police and police- censors at the five gates to prohibit opium and to search for it at all gates. If they capture any violators, they should immediately punish them and should destroy the opium at once. As to Kwangtung and Fukien, the provinces from which opium comes, we order their viceroys, governors, and superintendents of the maritime customs to conduct a thorough search for opium, and cut off its supply. They should in no ways consider this order a dead letter and allow opium to be smuggled out![3]

The decree had little effect because the Qing government in Beijing in the north could not stop merchants from smuggling opium into China from the south. This, along with the addictive properties of the drug, the desire for more profit by the British East India Company which had been granted a monopoly on trade with China by the British government, and the fact that Britain wanted silver (see gold standard) furthered the opium trade. By the 1820s China imported 900 tons of opium from Bengal annually. For other uses, see Forbidden City (disambiguation). ... Guangdong (Simplified Chinese: 广东; Traditional Chinese: 廣東; pinyin: Guǎngdōng; Wade-Giles: Kuang-tung; Kwangtung in older transliteration; Cantonese: gwong2 dung1), is a province on the south coast of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Fujian (Chinese: 福建; pinyin: Fújiàn; Wade-Giles: Fu-chien; Postal System Pinyin: Fukien, Foukien; local transliteration Hokkien from Min Nan Hok-kiàn) is one of the provinces on the southeast coast of China. ... Flag (1890-1912) Anthem Gong Jinou (1911) Qing China at its greatest extent. ... Addiction is an uncontrollable compulsion to repeat a behavior regardless of its negative consequences. ... The British East India Company, sometimes referred to as John Company, was the first joint-stock company (the Dutch East India Company was the first to issue public stock). ... For other uses, see Gold standard (disambiguation). ... Nationalistic independence helped reshape the world during this decade: Greece gains independence from the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1827). ...


Napier Affair to the First Opium War (1834–1843)

Lin Zexu's "memorial" (摺奏) written directly to Queen Victoria
Lin Zexu's "memorial" (摺奏) written directly to Queen Victoria
Main article: First Opium War

In 1834 to accommodate the revocation of the East India Company's monopoly, the British sent Lord William John Napier to Macao. He tried to circumvent the restrictive Canton Trade laws which forbade direct contact with Chinese officials by attempting to send a letter directly to the Viceroy of Canton but the Viceroy never accepted the letter and closed trade starting on September 2 of that year. Lord Napier had to return to Macau (where he died a few days later) and, unable to force the matter, the British agreed to resume trade under the old restrictions. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Lin Zexu Lin Zexu (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (August 30, 1785 - November 22, 1850) was a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing dynasty. ... Look up Petition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Queen Victoria redirects here. ... Combatants Qing China British East India Company Commanders Daoguang Emperor Charles Elliot, Anthony Blaxland Stransham The First Opium War or the First Anglo-Chinese War was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Empire in China from 1839 to 1842 with the aim of forcing China to import British... William John Napier, 9th Lord Napier (1786 - October 11, 1834) was a Royal Navy officer, politician and diplomat. ... National motto: none Official language Chinese and Portuguese Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah Area - Total - % water Not ranked 27. ... Under the Canton System, from 1760 until the Opium Wars, foreign warehouses or factories were restricted in China by the Qianlong Emperor to a special district in Canton. ... is the 245th day of the year (246th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Within the Chinese mandarinate there was an ongoing debate over legalizing the opium trade itself. However, this idea was repeatedly rejected and instead, in 1838 the government sentenced native drug traffickers to death. Around this time, the British were selling roughly 1,400 tons per year to China. In March 1839 the Emperor appointed a new strict Confucianist commissioner, Lin Zexu, to control the opium trade at the port of Canton. His first course of action was to enforce the imperial demand that there be a permanent halt to drug shipments into China. When the British refused to end the trade, Lin imposed a trade embargo on the British. On March 27, 1839 Charles Elliot, British Superintendent of Trade, demanded that all British subjects turn over their opium to him, to be confiscated by Commissioner Lin Zexu, amounting to nearly a year's supply of the drug. In a departure from his brief, he promised that the crown would compensate them for the lost opium. While this amounted to a tacit acknowledgment that the British government did not disapprove of the trade, it also forced a huge liability on the exchequer. Unable to allocate funds for an illegal drug but pressed for compensation by the merchants, this liability is cited as one reason for the decision to force a war [4]. After the opium was surrendered, trade was restarted on the strict condition that no more drugs would be smuggled into China. Lin demanded that British merchants had to sign a bond promising not to deal in opium under penalty of death.[5] The British officially opposed signing of the bond, but some British merchants that did not deal in opium were willing to sign. Lin then disposed of the opium by dissolving it with water, salt and lime and dumping it into the ocean. Lin Zexu Lin Zexu (Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) (August 30, 1785 - November 22, 1850) was a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing dynasty. ... is the 86th day of the year (87th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1839 (MDCCCXXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


In 1839 Lin took the extraordinary step of presenting a "memorial" (摺奏) directly to Queen Victoria questioning the moral reasoning of the royal government. Citing the strict prohibition of the opium trade within England, Ireland, and Scotland, Lin questioned how Britain could then profit from the drug in China. He also wrote, "Your Majesty has not before been thus officially notified, and you may plead ignorance of the severity of our laws, but I now give my assurance that we mean to cut this harmful drug forever." Contrary to the accepted Chinese bureaucratic etiquette, through which such missives directly engaged the Emperor, Lin's memorial was never accorded a response.[6] Look up Petition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Queen Victoria redirects here. ...


The British government and merchants offered no response to Lin's memorial, instead accusing Lin of destroying their private property. The British responded by sending a large British Indian army, which arrived in June of 1840.[7] A group of native Indian Muslim soldiers posing for volley firing orders. ...


British military superiority was clearly evident during the armed conflict. British warships wreaked havoc on coastal towns. Recent innovations of steam power combined with sail and the use of Iron in ship building made ships like the Nemesis not only indestructible but highly mobile, and could support a gun platform with very heavy guns. In addition, the British troops, armed with modern muskets and cannons, greatly outpowered the Qing forces. After the British took Canton, they sailed up the Yangtze and took the tax barges, a devastating blow to the Empire as it slashed the revenue of the imperial court in Beijing to just a small fraction. Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ... For other uses, see Cannon (disambiguation). ... The Yangtze River or Chang Jiang (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), or Drichu in Tibetan (Tibetan: འབ; Wylie: bri chu) is the longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world, after the Nile in Africa, and the Amazon in South America. ... “Taxes” redirects here. ... Peking redirects here. ...


In 1842 the Qing authorities sued for peace, which concluded with the Treaty of Nanjing negotiated in August of that year and ratified in 1843. In the treaty, China was forced to pay an indemnity to Britain and agreed to open five ports to Britain, and ceded Hong Kong to Queen Victoria. In the supplementary Treaty of the Bogue, the Qing empire also granted Britain most favored nation treatment and gave British subjects extraterritorial privileges in the treaty ports. In 1844, the United States and France also concluded similar treaties with China, the Treaty of Wanghia and Treaty of Whampoa respectively. Signing of the Treaty of Nanjing The Treaty of Nanking (Chinese: 南京條約, Nánjīng Tiáoyuē) is the treaty which marked the end of the First Opium War between the United Kingdom and Empire of China. ... The Treaty of the Bogue is an additional agreement between the United Kingdom and China that came one year after the earlier Treaty of Nanjing settlement. ... The Sino-American Treaty of Wanghia (Traditional Chinese: 中美望廈條約; Simplified Chinese: 中美望厦条约; Pinyin: ) is the first diplomatic agreement between China and the United States in history, signed on July 3, 1844. ... The Treaty of Whampoa (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) was a commercial treaty between France and China, which was signed by Théodore de Lagrené and Qiying on October 24, 1844. ...


Second Opium War (1856-1860)

Main article: Second Opium War

The Second Opium War, or Arrow War, broke out following an incident in which Chinese officials boarded a vessel near the port of Whampoa, the Arrow, in October 1856. Arrow was owned by a Chinese privateer. The Chinese owner registered the vessel with the British authorities in Hong Kong with the purpose of making privateering easier. He received a one year permit from the Hong Kong authorities, but it had already expired when inspected by the Chinese official who boarded the vessel. The crew of the Arrow were accused of piracy and smuggling, and were arrested. In response, the British consulate in Guangzhou insisted that Arrow was a British vessel. The British accused the Chinese officials of tearing down and insulting the British flag during inspection. The Second Opium War was started when British forces attacked Guangzhou in 1856. Combatants Qing China United Kingdom French Empire Commanders Unknown Michael Seymour James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros The Second Opium War or Arrow War was a war of the United Kingdom and France against the Qing Dynasty of China from 1856 to 1860. ...


French forces joined the British intervention after a French missionary Auguste Chapdelaine was killed by a local mandarin in China. Other nations became involved diplomatically although they didn't provide military personnel. Father Auguste Chapdelaine (Chinese name: Ma Lai) (February 6, 1814 - February 29, 1856) was a French Christian missionary of the Paris Society of Foreign Missions. ...


The Treaty of Tianjin was created in July 1858, but was not ratified by China until two years later; this would prove to be a very important document in China's early modern history, as it was one of the primary unequal treaties. The Treaties of Tientsin (天津條約) were signed in Tianjin in June 1858, ending the first part of the Second Opium War (1856-1860). ... Japanese name Kanji: Kana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Unequal Treaties, is a term used in reference to the type of treaties signed by several East Asian states, including Qing Dynasty China, late Tokugawa Japan, and late Joseon Korea, with Western powers and Imperial Japan, during the nineteenth and early twentieth...


Hostilities broke out once more in 1859, after China refused the establishment of a British embassy in Beijing, which had been promised by the Treaty of Tientsin. Fighting erupted in Hong Kong, and in Beijing, where the British set fire to the Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace after considerable looting took place. The Summer Palace in Beijing. ... The Imperial Gardens as they once stood The Old Summer Palace, known in China as the Gardens of Perfect Clarity (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), and originally called the Imperial Gardens (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), was a complex of palaces and gardens 8 km (5 miles) northwest of the...


China ratified the Treaty of Tientsin at the Convention of Peking in 1860, ending the war, legalizing the import of opium, and granting a number of privileges to British and other Western subjects in China. The Convention of Peking (October 18, 1860), also known as the First Convention of Peking, was a treaty between the Qing Government of China and the British Empire, and between China and France, and China and Russia. ...


See also

Imperialism in Asia traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe and Asia in spices. ... The History of China is told in traditional historical records that refer as far back as the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors about 5,000 years ago, supplemented by archaeological records dating to the 16th century BC. China is one of the worlds oldest continuous civilizations. ... This article is about the drug. ... Japanese name Kanji: Kana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Unequal Treaties, is a term used in reference to the type of treaties signed by several East Asian states, including Qing Dynasty China, late Tokugawa Japan, and late Joseon Korea, with Western powers and Imperial Japan, during the nineteenth and early twentieth...

Further reading

  • Jack Beeching, The Chinese Opium Wars (1975), ISBN 0-15-617094-9
  • Maurice Collis, Foreign Mud, An account of the Opium War (1946), ISBN 0-571-19301-3
  • Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, editors, Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). Collection of well-informed articles.
  • Carl A. Trocki, Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade, 1750-1950 (London: Routledge, 1999).
  • Yangwen Zheng, The Social Life of Opium in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). Outstanding comprehensive social history.
  • Brian Inglis, The Opium War (Coronet, 1976), ISBN 0-340-23468-7
  • Diana L. Ahmad, The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-century American West (University of Nevada Press, 2007). Drugs and Racism in the Old West.

Maurice Stewart Collis (January 10, 1889 Dublin - January 12, 1973) was an administrator in Burma (Myanmar) when it was part of the British Empire, and afterwards a writer on Southeast Asia, China and other historical subjects. ...

References

  1. ^ Hanes, William Travis; Frank Sanello (2002). Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another, 3. 
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, 130. 
  3. ^ Fu, Lo-shu (1966). A Documentary Chronicle of Sino-Western relations, Volume 1, 380. 
  4. ^ Foreign Mud: : The opium imbroglio at Canton in the 1830s and the Anglo-Chinese War," by Maurice Collis, W. W. Norton, New York, 1946
  5. ^ Coleman, Anthony (1999). Millennium. Transworld Publishers, 243-244. 
  6. ^ Modern History Sourcebook:Commissioner Lin:Letter to Queen Victoria, 1839
  7. ^ Spence, Jonathan D.. The Search for Modern China 2nd ed., 153-155. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Opium Wars - MSN Encarta (1136 words)
The wars are so named because they centered on the trade of opium, a powerful narcotic that British merchants were smuggling into China in vast quantities.
The importation and cultivation of opium were outlawed in China in 1796, reflecting the inroads that Indian opium had made there, but the ban was ineffective.
The breakup of the EEIC monopoly was the immediate cause of the First Opium War, both because it led to a huge increase in opium traffic and because, without the EEIC to serve as a buffer, the British government now found itself obliged to intervene more frequently in China.
Opium Wars - MSN Encarta (564 words)
The Second Opium War was in many ways an inevitable sequel to the first.
The opium trade, the catalyst for the whole dispute, was legalized.
The wars, and the unequal treaties forced on the Chinese by the West, compromised China’s sovereignty and weakened the country’s political institutions during a crucial period in its history.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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