Commissioner Lin's Destruction Of The Opium War

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Who could have foreseen that one person’s well-meaning act to save his nation could have caused rebellions and wars that would change our world so greatly? Commissioner Lin’s destruction of the British opium stash precipitated several power exchanges through wars, revolutions, and reform through adaptation and assimilation. As the Chinese fell after the Opium War, the Westerners rose to greatness by way of expanded territories, inflated economies, and strengthened armies. As dynasties were reduced to disjointed republics, Eastern Asian nations lost the unequivocal influence they had over their lands and Westerners assumed their political power in society.

In order to examine the extent of political change, it is important to first explain
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Like a child being denied the candy they desire, the British couldn’t resist the lure of the next big cash crop. China had it and they wanted it. After being cut off from the product that would help balance their disproportionate demand for tea with another Chinese item of equal value, the stringent trade restrictions, and living in poor conditions while conducting business, the British sought control of Opium as they were “more dependent than ever on opium revenue” (Perdue, “The First Opium War”). The acquiescence to defeat to the British allowed a fierce intrusion into China’s ports and land. The addition of the reparations paid for the wars, battles, rebellions and their aftermaths sent China into debt. Access to and controlling the newest and most addictive substance greatly inflated Britain’s economy, thereby making them the strongest economic power on a global scale. The Unequal Treaties that resulted from China’s loss and the loss of the customs revenue derived from their taxed trade dealt another crucial blow to the strength of China’s political …show more content…
All of their attempts to reassert themselves were met with defeat as their authority were constantly undermined. Whether in conflict with the Westerners or neighboring Japan, China kept falling further and it proved to be a great humiliation. The country that perceived themselves as superior to all outsiders and invincible in battle was shown just how incapable they were. According to Confucian beliefs, these series of losses were disgraceful. Everything that made China a powerhouse was ripped away and the emasculating effects were felt countrywide. This humiliation completely degraded China’s strong image and shifted the power of perceived strength to the British as well as other western nations to

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