Ib Internal Assessment - the Causes of the Opium War Essay

2355 Words Jun 26th, 2008 10 Pages
A: Plan of Investigation

What are the causes of the Opium War which occurred in 1839-1842?

When the Chinese decided to ban the opium trade, wars broke out due to conflicts between China and Britain. The aim of this investigation is to analyze the causes of the first Opium War, as it will cover the circumstances of China through that period, and the condition of China with Britain during the war. The analysis will specify what triggered the Opium War and briefly on the impact behind this important historical event. The research will cover basic and essential points of the War, using various resources and documentations that are creditable, as well as historical documentations written by Chinese officials during the war. Primary
…show more content…
The Emperor —Tao-Kwang, who had succeeded to the throne in 1820—was a victim of this result, as his three eldest sons all died of opium addiction . Due to the resulting currency drain, decay, and diminishment of the military forces’ fighting capacity, the Chinese government had to ban the opium trade quickly and completely.

The Opium Ban in 1838

When the emperor Tao-Kwang finally agreed in 1838 that the opium trade must be stopped, he sent an official named Lin Zexu (1785-1850) to Canton with the special mandate to solve the opium problem . Commissioner Lin launched his anti-drug campaign in Canton, and on March 10, 1839, Lin proclaimed that the opium trade would no longer be tolerated in Canton, and he began arresting known opium dealers in the local schools and naval barracks. “Let no one think,” Lin proclaimed, “that this is only a temporary effort on behalf of the Emperor. We will persist until the job is finished.” In Lin’s dealing with British opium traders, he used reasons, as he even sent a letter to Queen Victoria (although it’s impossible to know whether the Queen even read it or not). When this didn’t work, Lin blockaded the residence compound of the foreign opium traders. He led the local magistrate and destroyed more than 20,000 cases of opium collected from British merchants and another 1,500 cases from American merchants, in front of everyone at the

Related Documents