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Opium War

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I need help that answers the following questions:

Why did the British smuggle opium into China?

How did China react?

What was the end result?

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 16, 2018, 10:33 pm ad1c9bdddf

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Although this topic is so vast, I offer some ideas and resources to help you to create your own paper. Once you write a draft, please send as a new posting for our editing and feedback. Please note that we are unable to "write" papers for clients. We can merely offer guidance and notes.

Introduction: Please add a hook to lure your readers and to introduce the topic. Since you are looking at East and West, you might make a play on words here. You also need to articulate your thesis clearly in this introduction in order to effectively structure the paper and state your paper's "game plan" as I call it.

As you then make a strong transition into your first main point, it is pertinent to trace the historical development of why the British smuggled opium into China.

As you then write a few paragraphs using research about the British motivation for presence and opium trade in China, please feel free to infuse some of my ideas and links to help you:

Please note that the British motivation for opium smuggling was politically and economically based. To illustrate, research attests that by the 1830s, "Britain realized it could make up the trade deficit with China by selling Indian opium into the Chinese market, making opium Britain's most profitable and important crop in world markets" (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/1871-1914/section7.rhtml). As a result, you can find more research and discuss the economic hopes and ramification from the British perspective here.

As you look at the outcome, you can talk about how the "opium poured into China faster than tea poured into British hands; soon, Chinese merchants, already addicted themselves and buying for an addicted population, paid British opium traders in pure silver" (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/european/1871-1914/section7.rhtml).

As you further research and write about the obvious economic implications about why the British smuggled and dealt the opium, I also think that imperialism and political motivation played an eminent role within the topic. As you look at the background in the early 1800s, you can also cite how "the British treasury was being depleted due to its dependence upon imported tea from China"

When ...

Solution Summary

Britain's role in China is overviewed.

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Opium War Consequences

Although the advances by Europeans in science and industry made them dangerous rivals to the empire, the Chinese continued to treat Europeans as just another type of barbarian. Confrontation occurred over the importation of opium from India into China. The British lacked commodities, apart from silver, to exchange for Chinese goods. Indian-grown opium reversed the trade balance in their favor, but the Chinese saw the trade as a threat to their social order. Silver left the country, and opium addiction became rampant. Government efforts to check the problem failed until the 1830s when an important official, Lin Zexu, came to end the trade at Canton and nearby. When he blockaded European trading areas and destroyed opium, the merchants demanded and received military intervention. The British invaded in 1839; the Chinese were defeated on sea and land and sued for peace. Another conflict ended similarly in the 1850s. The settlement after the first war awarded Hong Kong to the British and opened other ports to European trade and residence. By the 1890s, 90 ports were open and foreigners had gained long-term leases over ports and surrounding territory. Opium continued to pour into China. By mid-century, British officials managed China's foreign trade and customs system, and the court had to accept European ambassadors.

How did China's losses in the Opium Wars affect the rising dominance of European powers in East Asia?

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