Essay on The Cause of the Opium War

880 Words 4 Pages
The China today – powerful and ever-growing wasn’t always like this. One major event in history around the mid 1800s that we all have seemed to have forgotten was the Opium Wars. What really caused the opium war was when China wanted to halt all trades about opium with the British. The geography of China was something like a fence. This isolation made the people of China feel like their country was prestigious and secluded from the rest of the world. With deserts and the Himalayas running along most of the border, it was extremely difficult to cross over one of the most dangerous mountain ranges in the world and a few other scorching deserts with the little transport they had during that time. The only way merchants could come into the …show more content…
Around that time, there was a British company called the East India Trading Co. (HEIC) that ruled over most of India, meaning that the opium was under their guidance. Since this was the only thing Britain had that interested China they wanted to mass produce opium to trade with China. With so much opium in China, many, many people got addicted; the government officials felt that it was shattering their country and decided to make opium illegal. Thus, making trades stop. This made Britain angry, who wouldn’t? Their #1 merchandise couldn’t be sold anymore and China decided to dump all the thousands of chest of opium in a river, making them lose lots of money in the process. However, opium still made its way back into China. The British found a way to get opium in China indirectly by auctioning chests filled with opium to smaller merchants - who smuggled the opium in China - and when the merchants bought them the British would turn their backs and act like they didn’t know what was in there in the first place. When the government officials in Beijing found out about the opium being smuggled in, they issued a letter to Canton where opium was being imported to stop all of this. This letter said “Opium is a poison undermining our good customs and morality, making our people addicted…” and it goes on to saying how they know people were helping the smuggling and the consequences if you try to smuggle some in would be the

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