Essay about Opium War

Submitted By emshuff
Words: 347
Pages: 2

Opium War The British import of silver into china increased by 500 percent during the 1760’s and 1780’s because the demand for Chinese silk and tea. The demand for silk and tea was so great in Britain that the supply of silver was not sufficient. The British economy was beginning to spiral because of this trade. Britain searched for a marketable product that would get an income of silver; that product was opium, but the more educated people of china did not appreciate this trade. Opium is a highly addictive drug, and was sometime used medically for pain reliever. Britain mixed opium with tobacco to sell it for people to smoke for pleasure. They began to smuggle this product for silver, which was working marvelously for the British economy. This trade did not please the Qing emperor, Lin Zexu, at all because between 1800 and 1838 five to ten million Chinese were addicted to 0pium and China was losing its silver. Lin Zexu declared that all marketing of opium was forbidden, but the British did not abide by this law. As a result, Zexu had officials raid the western settlement where destroyed millions of dollars of opium. Once the British got word of this they declared war. The Chinese did not have a chance at all, considering they did not have quality weapons or war materials. Britain overtook the Chinese army and almost destroyed Nanjing, but the Chinese were forced to sign the treaty of Nanjing. This stated that Britain got possession of Hong Kong, made five British trade