Anti Opium Movement, Opium War And Their Causes

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Haoyang Fan
MMW 14 Summer 2015
July 23, 2015
TA: Joel Palhegyi
Final Paper
Anti-Opium Movement, Opium War and Their Causes The main theme of 19th century was the imperialism expansion of western capitalistic industrial nations throughout the whole world. During this process, the conflicts between occidental imperialism powers and oriental countries never stopped. The First Opium War, well known as the Opium War, was the war that happened during September, 1839 to Autumn, 1842, between China and Britain. The war was initiated by the conflicts between China and Britain on the fact that some British merchants, who worked for the East India Company, smuggled opium to China and ignored Chinese laws. The mania of opium smoking shocked the Chinese government and triggered the anti-opium movement. Lin Zexu, a Chinese official known as Commissioner Lin, burned out the confiscated opium at Humen. During the war, China suffered great loss and ended up with a disastrous fiasco. The result was extremely humiliating to China and profoundly changed the fate of China: China was compelled to sign a series of unequal treaties, cede Hong Kong and compensate huge war indemnity. When I viewed this miserable history of China, a question was created in my mind. Considering the great power gap between the declining China and the rising Britain, what factors led the Chinese government to launch the anti-opium movement at the expense of triggering the Opium War? My answer is quite explicit: the

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