11 October 2016The Opium War
From the years of 1839 to 1842 and 1856 to 1860 the Opium Wars started a fight for power between China, and the west. During this time period many events accrued which lead to the repair of the relationship between China and the west. Slowly with many treaties were signed and the opium trade came to a stop ending the wars. The Opium Wars was a time of conflict that gradually resolved over time.
Britain was a major power that played a part in the opium trade, both Britain and China fought about the abolishment of the trade of opium. But there were other concerns that caused the hostilities. Some other concerns that caused the hostilities were how the British wanted to open China’s ports because they rejected Lord George McCartney offers to have direct trade ties with Britain and emperor (Purdue). Additionally, both Britain and China abused their prisoners and used other barbarous behaviors (Purdue). Also, Chinese scholars were concerned and confused how to handle the situation of the new European influence that was seen in their country. This is because some of the Chinese scholars liked the European influences, while others wanted everything to stay the same (Purdue). One global circumstance that contributed to the conflict of the opium trade was how Britain was obtaining the opium. Since China demanded to be paid in silver, Britain needed to find a solution because they were afraid that their country would run out of silver. They decide to trade to China in a very conniving way. Britain came to a conclusion that they would trade Opium to India and receive silver as payment. Then Britain would give the silver they received from India to China to get the goods they needed. This was another factor that contributed to the Opium War.
Although, Britain did play a big part in the Opium War so did the United States. The United States signed The Treaty of Wangxia, which ended the Opium war and established five treaty ports for the western nations. The treaty also created a crossword for Chinese’s and Western culture (Article). This made trading between the countries much easier and something they have been working towards for many years. Both The United States and Britain both used China but it was for their own good. For example, as the volume of trade grew, however, the British demanded greater access to China’s markets. Tea exports from China grew from 92,000 pounds in 1700 to 2.7 million pounds in 1751 (Article). Both countries were doing what was best for them and what would benefit their country.
Furthermore, it is shown that a new relationship was formed between China and the rest of the world by opening treaty ports. Throughout this time period, there was conflict throughout China and the west. Eventually by signing a treaty the conflict was resolved and new treaty ports were opened. Creating an open trade system throughout the world. Even though the west took advantage of China, in the end, it all worked out for the better.