The First Anglo-Chinese War as an Opium War Essay

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The First Anglo-Chinese War as an Opium War

The Chinese customarily calls the Anglo-Chinese War 1839-1842 the Opium War because from their point of view, the opium trade was the main cause of the war. From the British standpoint, the motive for the war was not opium prohibition but rather the repeated insults and humiliation; the British had received from the Chinese government. They claimed that the conflict between China and Britain had been brewing for many decades. Even without opium, it would still have been erupted as a result of their differing conceptions of international relations, trade and jurisdiction. According to their view, the opium prohibition was merely its precipitating,
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The addicts also included government officials, yamen clerks, gentry, merchants, women, servants, soldiers and even monks, nuns and priests. The addicts acquired the drug for its deprivation would cause restlessness chills, etc. Of course, this would demoralize the government in future. And furthermore, it would harm the health of the addicts. Besides, the opium dealers often maintained relations with the underworld – secret societies and brigands as well as government officials. Many of the government officials associated with the triad society in drug smuggling. Too after, when they charged with suppressing the drug traffic, they connived with the smugglers and turned over “free samples” of opium to the government as intercepted contraband. They lacked the sense of moral responsibility in public administration.

Economically, the trade balance was in China’s favor until the mid-1820 when it settled into equilibrium. After 1826, the balance began to slip the other way: millions of taels flowed out of China. The only factor, which could cause such a phenomenal inversion in a trade balance, was opium. The economic repercussion of opium smoking was most serious. A common laborer spent most of his wages on the drugs if he was an addict. Depending on opium caused stagnation in the demand for other commodities with a

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