Opium War: Was Britain completely in the wrong?

Essay by juice_e_lucieJunior High, 9th gradeA+, April 2005

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The British were wrong by taking the option of trading opium because by trading opium, they would be jeopardising the wellbeing of an entire country. But they only did it because the Chinese were refusing to trade, so therefore it is only partially Britains fault.

The "Opium War" also known as the Anglo-Chinese war began in 1839. It started as a conflict over trading between Britain and China. China was refusing to trade because they didn't need anything. Eventually the British were able to trade opium on the black market. China did nearly everything to stop the opium being traded but nothing could stop it. This eventually caused the war. Was Britain Completely in the wrong? No. Although they were the ones that started the opium trade, China is still partially to blame. The following points will be argued for the fact that both sides contributed and neither were completely wrong:

· The introduction of trading opium by Britain

· The stupidity of the Chinese stimulating the British and judging them to be bad at war.

· And The greedy treaty made by the British

But firstly, the refusal for trade and the cruel regulations that China put upon the British traders. There was a demand for Chinese tea, silk and porcelain in the west, though there was practically nothing that the west could offer to trade with China, because of the simple reason that they didn't want anything and were refusing to trade for things they didn't need. The Chinese didn't realise how hard they were making the situation. A British man, Lord William John Nappier was sent to China to try and extend British trading interests. He was told that he could only address himself to the Hong Merchants and that he could only live in Guangzhou...