GASB58- Class 4.docx

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22 Apr 2012
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GASB58 Class 4 February 2, 2012
THE CLASH OF EMPIRES AND THE FIRST OPIUM WAR 1839-1842
CLASH OF CULTURES/CIVILIZATIONS?CLASH OF POLITICAL/ECONOMIC INTERESTS
1. Changes of the Western Image in China
- Early Jesuit missionaries, Leibniz, Voltaire vs. Montesquieu, Daniel Defoe, Adam Smith, Hegel
- but why changes?
2. Trade and Legal Disputes
- Western Colonialism and Commercial Expansion
-by 1750s, Britain was most powerful. Wanted to take lead and change the Canton System.
- Sino-Western Legal Disputes: Trade, Legal Sovereignty, and Imperia Prestige/Honor
- The Macartney Embassy (1793)
- failed to achieve its purposes
- The Amherst Embassy to China 1816
- failed to achieve its purposes
THE FIRST OPIUM WAR
- Economic, Political, and Cultural Factors
- Extra-territoriality was one of the causes of the war
- legal ability of a government to exercise authority beyond its normal boundaries. Ie. Foreigners sent back
to mother country to be tried and punished if guilty
- Debates on the opium question
- Commissioner Lin Zexu’s 林则徐 Anti-Opium Crusade
- Captain Charles Elliot’s Responses
- Outbreak of the Opium War
- The Treaty of Nanjing (Aug 29, 1842)
CONSEQUENCES OF THE OPIUM WAR
- Treaty of Nanjing
CIVILIZING MISSION
- Presumption that society and cultural growth is a straight line
- Teleologyonly one end for all human history. Moving towards one single goal
BRITISH WRITTEN BOOKS ABOUT CHINA
- To show cultural superiority of the British and French
- The Punishments of China (1801), by William Miller [imaginary misrepresentation of Chinese Culture and
society]
- The Peoples and Politics of the Far East (1895), by Henry Norman
- Pictures of Chinese Prisoners as Used in Western Postcards 1903
OPIUM DEBATE
British Arguments
- Free trade
- Opium doesn’t destroy economy: although opium is a drug, China can also grow their own strings and help
their economy
- Major trade between Britain, China, and India
- Huge demands for Chinese goods Chinese required them to pay with silver
- Huge incentive to change from silver to opium
- Suffering Trade deficitwanted to reverse it. Most effective way to make trade balance was opium. Empire
in East depended on the trade relationship with the Chinese
Chinese Arguments
- Destroyed local economy
- Forced to pay with silver (decreased in value)
- Opium caused silver drainage from China
- Silver demand higher, therefore price of silver increased
- only owned copper coins to silver. Had to convert copper to silver.
- Trade balance
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