The Opium War

3604 Words15 Pages
| Analyse the role of opium in the first Opium War 1840-1842 | | | | | | Rudhi Kinnoo | 11/12/2008 | | Name | Madhvi Sunkur | ID | 0914988 | Course | History and Geography (year 3) | Module | Modern Asia | Theme | 1st Opium War | Title | Analyse the role of opium in the 1st Opium War 1840-1842 | | The First Opium War which lasted from 1839 to 1842 was the conflict between Britain and China. A second Opium War will arise in 1856 between the same rivals and will last for four years. Both military conflicts will be won by the British. The wars got their name from the smuggling of huge quantities of opium into China. The Chinese could not let the traffic of opium ruining their country while British was gaining much from the opium trade and this is broadly the framework of the First Opium War. My aim in this assignment will be to show the relevance of the opium in the First Opium War but let us first see how the war outbreak in 1839. The war was the immediate consequence of the destruction of huge quantities of opium by the Chinese. Indeed, in 1839, the Chinese officials were fed up of the traffic of opium by the British. From 1821 to 1834, several attempts will be made to put an end to that insane trade as the Chinese Emperor will reaffirmed its ban on opium imports and apply death penalty on Chinese drug traffickers but none of its measures will be successful and in 1839, the Emperor will sent an imperial commissioner, Lin Sexu whose mission will be to stop opium trade at the port of Canton. Opium was illegal in China but the most astonishing fact was that it was also prohibited in Britain. We may say that this was immoral from the British since they were selling a narcotic to China which was prohibited in their native country. We will see later why the British were trading this
Open Document