Opium Wars Essay

705 words - 3 pages

OPIUM WARS It was around the mid-19th century, China believed that it was self-sufficient, needing nothing from the outside. When other countries were to buy Chinese goods without being able to sell anything to China, it caused a large trade deficit. It was this problem that led to the opium wars.Opium had been introduced to China in the 7th century. But in the 18th century opium addiction had become such a big problem for my country that the government tried to prohibit trade in it, but the prohition failed. When the British discovered the value of the opium trade in 1773, they were determined to benefit.My people paid the British for the opium, and the British used the money to pay for the goods they bought from us.I was around 17 years old when British traders smuggled opium into the country. Most of the opium trade was concentrated in the southern part of China, around my town in Canton because the government had restricted the entry of the foreigners into the country. I would be walking in the streets and have 2 to 3 drug dealers try selling me opium but I refused. I was watching my country fall apart before my eyes. But in 1839 our government decided to rid itself of the opium trade.They confiscated all the opium in the warehouses around Canton which made the British angry.A few days later when I was coming home from the food store, I saw 5 English sailors kill one of my villagers. I quickly ran and told everbody. When authorities heard about this they told the British to hand over the 5 sailors, but they refused. This led to hostilities. So around February of 1840 the British sent an expedition against us. The British military forces were more powerful and advanced, so they defeated us quickly. The results of this caused our government to sign the Treaty of Nanjing on August 29, 1842. This treaty forced us to pay for all the destroyed opium, and gave full control of Hong Kong to the British for 150 years.We rebeled in the Taiping Rebellion. Many Chinese including...

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