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Imperialism In Asia (98% on the test)

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Louisiana State University
HIST 1007

Imperialism in Asia 18301900SummaryEuropes scramble for Africa did not leave South and East Asia at peace Beginning in the seventeenth century Great Britain formed and maintained an economic relationship with India By the end of the eighteenth century British rule of India was firmly planted and London came to view India as the jewel of its empire This view guided its foreign policy For decades Britain used its military victories and naval superiority to ensure uninterrupted routes to India and beyond hence its island holdings in the Mediterranean along the west African coast at the southern tip of Africa and most importantly the Suez Canal By the end of the eighteenth century IndoBritish economic ties were so entrenched in a neomercantile system that India provided a stepping stone for British trade with China Britain traded English wool and Indian cotton for Chinese tea and textiles however as Chinese demand slackened Britain sought other means of attracting trade with ChinaBy the 1830s Britain realized it could make up the trade deficit with China by selling Indian opium into the Chinese market making opium Britains most profitable and important crop in world markets Eventually opium poured into China faster than tea poured into British hands soon Chinese merchants already addicted themselves and buying for an addicted population paid British opium traders in pure silverConcerned with the sharp rise in opium addiction and the associated social costs and rise in criminal acts the Chinese government led by the aging Manchu dynasty took action against the British In 1839 the Chinese destroyed British opium in the port city of Canton sparking the Opium Wars of 1839 1842 Easily dominating the backward Chinese forces the British expeditionary force blockaded Chinese ports occupied Shanghai and took complete control of Canton The 1842 Treaty of Nanking granted Britain extensive trading and commercial rights in China marking the first in a series of unequal treaties between China and European imperial powers By the end of the century after five wars between China and various European powers France Britain Germany Japan and Russia held territorial and commercial advantages in their respective spheres of influence These spheres of influence comprised territories ports shipping lines rivers et cetera in which one nation held exclusive rights to profits and investment In 1899 the United States freshly anointed as an inernational force by its crushing victory over Spain in the 1898SpanishAmerican War objected to the prevalence of spheres of influence The US advocated and pushed through a new Open Door Policy an effectively imperial policy that demanded that all nations be given equal and complete rights to Chinese markets
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