The First Opium War

Essay by serendipitee75College, UndergraduateA+, November 2008

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In the 19th century the British were the top dogs in smuggling opium. They got the opium from extracting the juice from poppy seeds.The fields were controlled by Britain. Their market was China. The Chinese tried to stop the trade and this led to the Opium War of 1839-1842. The Chinese economy was poor. The emperors had lost control. The Mandarin classes were dishonest as was their army. The East India Company needed the Chinese market for the money it made and because they could gather taxes if their Indian opium growers were profitable. The answer to raising taxes was in ginger and opium.

| In the spring of 1839 the Chinese authorities at Canton seized the opium and set fire to it. I bet that was a party in it's own at that moment. It took time for the news to reach London. In 1840 British forces moved towards Tientsin.

In January 1841 they took Hong Kong and kept it until the Japanese pursuit of it during the Second World War. The official Qing navy's report claimed that the navy attempted to protect the British merchant ship and also reported a great victory for that day. Reports that they were protecting their 29 ships in Chuenpeh between the Qing batteries. The Chinese would reject any contacts with British and there would be an attack with fire boats. All ships were ordered to leave Chuenpeh and head for Tung Lo Wan, about 20 miles from Macau, but the merchants liked to hide in Hong Kong. In reality, they were outnumbered by the Royal Navy ships and many Chinese ships were crying you sunk my battleship.

| In 1840 the Portuguese governor was asked to let British ships load and unload their goods at Macau and they would pay rent...