Economic Causes Of The Opium War

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China has for a long time considered itself to be self-sufficient and possessing the necessary items for success. Ultimately, this meant limited trade with the outside world. Thus, when Britain discovered the opportunity to gain access to large scale trade with China, they largely took advantage of it. Eventually, this trade became unbeneficial for China yet the British were unwilling to end such profitable interactions. This led to the Opium War. Some of the primary causes included the establishment of opium as one of the most profitable trade items, the belief that the British were being immoral by selling opium to China, and the belief that China 's actions to support prohibition were unjust, but the social disputes were the most …show more content…
Document A displays a table of British Imports and Exports in Canton from April 1, 1835 to March 31, 1836. It is important to note that it is a list of imports and exports in Canton because this is in China and you see that vast quantities of opium are being brought in. It is one of the highest profits for the British and could not be easily replaced by another item. Document F mentions the fact that the Chinese will pay six million dollars as ransom and for sale of opium for only one month. This is an extreme amount for only one month of sale and it is very costly to the Chinese government to have to reimburse the British for lost …show more content…
To show this, Document B describes the effects opium has had on the general population of China. Those who smoke opium have become lazy and have no goals nor intentions. Another problem they have is trying to decide how to handle the trade with the British. Cutting off all nations would be wrong because only the British are selling Opium but allowing opium into China is only hurting them. The British are in the wrong to put China in such a situation and are not providing a fair alternative. The author of this document is Chinese so he will have encountered the negative effects first hand and seen that China 's economy and society are both being eroded by opium abuse. To complement this idea, Document C is an excerpt of a letter that puts forth complaints of the Chinese. They complain that the British have banned the sale of opium in England yet don 't prohibit the sale of it to China. The British have clearly recognized the consequences of opium abuse but have no concern over the effects on other countries if they are

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