HIS385H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Triangular Trade, Laudanum, Hong Kong

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4 Feb 2016
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Opium
Laudanum in Europe, 15th-16th centuries
Aphrodisiac in China, 15th century
BEIC monopoly on Indian opium, 18th century
Triangular trade, mid-19th century
→ Britain, China n India
China paid tea n silver to pay for the opium.
British introduced opium to Chinese people and told them how well it feel. → goal: offset the cost of tea
buying in China.
india was a major producer of opium
Trade debate in Britain, 1830s
Monopoly vs. free trade
1834: BEIC lost China trade monopoly
national trade→ superintendent of Trade
Opium trade volume:
1800-20: 4500 p.a.
1820-30: 10,000 p.a.
1838-39: 40,000 p.a.
There is only one company supplied opium to China, so the opium is still very expensive→ monopoly
Impact on China
-Social problem
-Fiscal problem; massive silver outflow
→ 1826: even
→ 1831-33: (-10m) p.a.
→ potential political problem
Opium debate in China
Ban vs.tax: set the opium illegal or legalized it and the govt set high tax on opium to earn more
income.
Chinese opium ban vs. British free trade
Sino-British negotiations → opium War, 1839-42.
-China ask British govt to promise that never bring opium to China→ being rejected.
In order to end the opium war:
Treaty of Nanjing: 1842- the 1st unequal treaty signed for China
-21 million taels indemnity
-Canton system abolished
-treaty ports: more ports will be open for treaty
-Residency rights in treaty ports
-Extraterritoriality
-Hong Kong island ceded: Britain lended the Hong Kong island from Chinese govt.
Further disagreements, 1840s-50s
-inland taxes
-access to Chinese interior
-embassies in Peking (Beijing)
British figured out 80%-90% of people live in interior part of China
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