British And Chinese Trade Of Opium Into China Caused The Corruption And Eventual Downfall Of The Qing Dynasty

Decent Essays

The aim of this investigation is to find the extent to which the British and Chinese trade of opium into China caused the corruption and eventual downfall of the Qing dynasty. The main body of this investigation focuses on the corruption and failure of the Chinese government in controlling British incursions, which caused its citizens to rebel and thus began the downfall of the Qing Dynasty. The introductions of opium to China and the effects it had on China will be assessed in accordance to origin, value, purpose, and limitation. The British and Chinese trade in relation to opium and its role of corruption in the Qing Dynasty will be analyzed also.

Section B. Summary of Evidence
Word Count: 650
The Qing dynasty was the last …show more content…

Before the opium trade, Britain had always had a disadvantage in the British and Chinese trade.
The East India Company hired and farmed opium out to “country farmers”, Chinese citizens who farmed Britain opium, because the ban restricted the trade. The country traders sold the opium to smugglers along the Chinese coast. In China, the company used the gold and silver it received from the country farmers to purchase goods that could be sold profitably in England. A network of opium distribution had formed throughout China, often with the connivance of corrupt officials. Levels of opium addiction grew so high that it began to affect the imperial troops and the official classes, in the early 1830’s7,8. The majority of Chinese officials responsible to enforce the prohibition of the opium network were addicted to the drug themselves. In 1835, it was assumed that close to 90 percent of the government staffed positions were filled with opium users. The drugs gave potential to allow officials to meet taxation quotas, so many officials approved of the cultivation while the central government remained ignorant. Because of this, most local magistrates did not frown on the drugs cultivation and allowed the black market of opium to become the economy. Since the central government remained blind to the actions in the countryside, the throne was unaware of the gravity of the peoples’ addiction.7
The First Opium War began

Get Access