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Study guide for Test #2 (events 7 and 8)

Course Code
Nhung Tuyet Tran
Study Guide

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Exam Study Sheets (Term 2)
Event 7: Opium War 1839-1842
Context and Summary
China at the end of the 18th Century
China under the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1799)
oTerritorial expansion
Western expansion
Size of Qing empire has almost doubled
oAdministrative changes
Withdrawal from active participation in the court that the emperor formerly participated in (direct
reports rather than rely solely on advisors)
oCultural achievements
Makes an effort to support Ming and Manchus
Orders a compilation of the most famous works of art, history, philosophy; fills many, many
volumes with this
Uses this excuse to enter libraries of Chinese scholars to judge them accordingly; owners of
certain books perceived as unfavourable to the Qing dynasty could be persecuted
oIndigenous rebellions
The White Lotus Rebellion
Shan dong province: Geographically vulnerable; grand canal flows through the province,
major transportation routeeasy to be self-sufficient; canal facilitates the spread of
information to the other provinces
Religious uprising
oLed by Wang Lun; white lotus represents a goddess
oStirs up population against Qing rule as illegitimate
China and Britain
Cohong System of trade
oBritish only permitted to trade at Canton with the Cohong/Hong merchants
oWere not permitted to interact directly with the Chinese emperor
Britain viewed China as stagnant, closed, despotic

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China viewed British as
EIC monopoly ends in 1834
oTrade with China now open to everyone who wants to trade with it
oIncrease in trade of opium going into China
oMeans the Chinese govt is not longer just dealing with the EIC
Lin’s views of Britain and opium: (according to Waley’s text)
oFelt it was immoral for Queen Victoria to allow opium (“foreign smoke”) to be consumed outside of her
country while it was being exported to take advantage of the Chinese
oBelieved opium was made from burning dead bodies and blood
oa certain class of evil foreigner”
oWarned the Queen that at any moment China could change their fate, and that they were being given
oLin’s Solutions (Waley)
Thought of charging the British 2x or 5x more on tea and rhubarb, felt they couldn’t survive
without it
(he was accused of hypocrisy for only targeting outside opium)
Commands Queen Victoria to stop this trade from happening
Why Elliot must hand over opium: dread of Heaven, foreigners must take same penalties as
Chinese in China, common-sense that Canton is the best port in the world, danger of resentment
of the masses
Similarities and Differences b/w Commissioner Lin and Charles Elliot (according to Waley’s text)
oBoth civil servants
oBoth had policies imposed on them from above
oBoth failed to do what was expected of them
Elliot failed to demand more from the Chinese; opium was not legalized
Lin failed because the British were too technologically advanced
oBoth made mistakes:
Lin felt that a death penalty would be enough to stop the spread of opium
Lin felt their court had the right to order British to stop
Lin attempted to blind his emperor

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Felt detectives and naval patrols would be enough
Elliot was deceived by Qishan
Would not hand over murderer of Chinese commoner Lin Wei-hsi
oWorsened relations
Only managed to gain 6 million dollars and Hong Kong, a few ports opened
Failed to realize that only a threat to Peking would gain him real results
o1816: Amherst embassy
British embassy sent to China
Demands increased ports for Britain to trade with, diplomatic resident in China, extended trading
rights for the British at the expense of other European nations
Spread of Opium
Parallels to the spread of sugar
oEarly use by rich and powerful as a medicine, then progressed into a good for the proletariat to consume
oUsed as a treat, then became a addiction
oUsed by elites to benefit by selling it to the population
oDisplay of status
Eventually mixed with tobacco, tendency to eat turned into tendency to smoke
Mass consumption in the 19th century
oDomestic cultivation prospered
oSocial symbol of hospitality
oAppeal to soldiers
Lin’s Measures
Orders smokers to hand over opium and smoking paraphernalia
Targets educational institutions
Measures in schools
Demands lists of all students who are opium users
Groups assigned, leader is responsible for all those in his group
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