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ASIA 2170 Lecture Notes - Lin Zexu, First Opium War, Biblioteca Europea Di Informazione E Cultura

3 pages38 viewsFall 2012

Asian Studies
Course Code
ASIA 2170

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The First Opium War
-also known as the First Anglo-Chinese War
time period: 1839-1842
British East India Company and the Qing Dynasty of China
-BEIC declared war to force China to allow free trade, particularly in Opium
19th Century
-trades from China was profitable for the Chinese and Europeans merchants
-due to the Qing Dynasty’s trade restrictions
(international trade was only allowed to take place in Canton(Guangzhou)
(conducted by imperially sanctioned monopolies)
-became unprofitable to trade in low-value manufactured consumer products that an
Average Chinese could buy from the British (like the Indians did)
-the Sino-British trade became dominate by high-value luxury items: tea (from China to Britain) and
Silver (from Britain to China)
Britain as the Gold Standard since 18th Century
-had to purchase silver from continental Europeans to supply silver to them
-costly process
-looked for other ways to reverse the flow of silver out of the country and into China
-discovered Opium
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