DBQ: Opium in China Essay examples

1745 Words Aug 5th, 2014 7 Pages
DBQ: Opium in China

While most of the Western Hemisphere was undergoing drastic advancements, such as former colonies gaining their independence and transforming into more modernized nations, a lot of mishaps were occurring in the Eastern Hemisphere—China, specifically—a nation that was notorious for its isolation from foreign influences. European nations began to greedily eye China’s abundance of desirable resources, such as tea, porcelain, and silk. However, China had very little need or desire for European goods. In an attempt to resolve the trade imbalance Britain began importing opium into China, which would prove to be disastrous for the Chinese population. The dispute over the importation of the drug eventually led to the
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He acknowledges that the Queen was surely too kind-hearted to impose that sort of treatment on another country, especially seeing as how she made each ship that went to Canto carry a document that said, “you shall not be permitted to carry contraband goods”. Thus, the Queen did not openly allow the trade of opium to continue, but failed to enforce the law. He implores her to make sure that the laws of the central dynasty were not violated again (Document 2). The perspective being shown is from a Chinese man who does not use opium, for he sees it as only causing harm. Lin Zexu was the imperial commissioner who was originally assigned to stop the opium trade in Canton. He was fiercely opposed to the exchange of opium and his actions were considered to be a major catalyst for the start of the Opium War. The emperor wrote to Zexu, “You have caused this war by your excessive zeal” (Document 6). By 1839, war was imminent. The opium trade had caused the reversal of the silver deficit, now putting an economic strain on China, while Britain’s economy flourished from the profit they were making off the drug. Because it was being illegally imported, all of the money was going directly to Britain instead of to the Chinese government in the form of taxes. This caused a severe economic decline in China as unemployment rose, agriculture declined, and funding for public improvements diminished. During a public meeting in Canton, an agreement
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