Euro-centric worldview, cira 19th century
Clash of East and West inevitable
Globalization of trade, 16th-18th c
-- Portugal, Sp, Br, Neth
-- Spice and souls. Certain spices that could only be found in Asia. Spices acted as a form of food
preservation. Increase Christian converts.
-- Imperialism a prestigious deed. Until end of WWII imperialism looked upon positively. After
1945 looked at as exploitation.
-- Wealth and power to empire to as a whole and to individuals.
-- Civilizing mission. Civilizing those who lived beyond Eur. By 18th c. More Europeans arriving
in Asia. China seen as having lot of commodities and goods Eurs wanted.
By 18th c, China looked upon favourably and was quite powerful at the time
Westerners' restricted presence in China
-- Canton trade system 1757. Canton was the only port open to foreigners for trade
- Seasonal trade. Eurs only allowed to trade during summer months due to Monsoon winds.
Winds from the south took them into Canton.
- Access through cohong. Chinese created a group of approved cCHinese merchant to trade with
Eurs. Collectively known as Cohong. Eurs had to rely on them if they had problems in China or
request help from Chinese Govt or send petition to Chinese govt. They forwarded petitions to
superiors or to Chinese govt. COmplicated bureaucratic system. Bribery and corruption were all
part of the process. As a merchant, this was part of costs, business in China became expensive.
- Subject to Chinese laws even as foreigners.
-- Trade part of tribute system
Industrial Revoution late 1th-19th c
-- mass production: materials, markets... imperialism consequence of search for markets to offset
-- asia's potentials
-- Great Britain as world power
Macartney Mission, 1793-94
British: trade mission--> treaty to open China trade
wanted access to more of China's ports instead of just Canton
Chinese: tribute mission--> Emperor Qianlong's edict to George III
Emperor was not pleased with Macartney' request. He refused to Kowtow to the Emperor.
Emperor and Chinese did not see British as equals. Mission was unsuccessful in improving
British trade in Asia
-- 90% of trade in Asia conducted by British East India Company (BEIC) est 1600, 10% by private traders-- "country traders".
British bought a lot of tea from CHina, China was only place that could supply such large and
consistent supplies of tea.
-- 1700-25: 0.4 mil lb / year
-- 1800: 23.3 mil
-- 1808: 26 mil
Tea tax became important source of revenue: 16% of British government revenue
18th-19th c, dysentry was big problem in Britain, came from drinking polluted water. They
thought tea consumed cured dysentry. Became popular and begat "afternoon tea" tradition.
Problem with transaction. Paid for tea in silver.
Silver into China
1781-90: 16.4 million taels /year
1800-1810: 26 million taels/ year
Not a favourable balance of trade for the British. Problem was that Chinese not interested in
British goods. 90% of Chinese were impoverished peasants who could not afford manufactured
European dissatisfaction in China
-- retrictions, only Canton as port
-- corruption, bribes became part of doing business, expensive
-- absence of diplomacy, no diplomats or ambassadors in China, not allowed to remain in China
-- br trade deficit
-- Was used to make Laudanum in Europe, 15th-16th centuries
-- Aphrodisiac in China, 15th c
-- BEIC monopoly on Indian opium (poppies), 18th c
-- Triangular trade, mid 19th c ...Linked India Britain and China. (Diagram,google)
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/year
In 19th c, Chinese empire and society had passed its peak. In decline. 1500-1800, Chinese population increased 4 times. Arable land did not increase along with population. Poverty and
famine was major issue. Educated elite became disillusioned. Soldiers also impoverished.
Commoners impoverished. Societal problems led to higher addiction to Opium. Because
monopoly over Opium was over, it was much more affordable.
Impact on China
-- Social problem
- educated elite addicted to drugs, soldiers addicted, farmers addicted and sold land and
daughters to fuel addiction.
-- Fiscal problem: massive silver outflow
- 1826: even
- 1831-33: (-10) /year
Price of silver goes up because the amount of silver in cirulation was low.
Unique currency system. Silver one form of currency, also copper coins used by commoners.
Taxes and major transactions made with silver, wages