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Opium War
Opium Poppy
Opium is made by the dried latex found in opium poppies. It can also be used for medical purposes as well as for a drug.

The Opium War was fought between England and China in 1842. The reason for it was that England was bringing opium, a very dangerous and addicting drug, into China for trading. Everything went smoothly for England, that is, until the drug was outlawed by the Chinese Emperor, who has seen three of his own sons die because of it. England on the other hand was not about to give up all the riches this new trade was bringing them, so they kept on trading opium illegally.

Enraged by this the Emperor ordered 2,500,000 pounds of opium to be seized from the British traders and ruined with lime and sea water and then dumped into the ocean. Forced to take refuge in the barren island of Hong Kong, the British traders had to wait there for almost a year till a British fleet of fifteen battleships and five armed steamships arrived.

The Chinese war junks were no match for the British steamships who were said to be able to “fly across the water, without wind or tide, with the current or against it”. In shame the Emperor had to sign a treaty that gave the British traders $1,000,000 to pay for the opium they lost, extended the trading of opium to five other coastal towns (including Shanghai), and gave the island of Hong Kong to Britain for 100 years.

After this event the characters in the Chinese documents that represented England were one space above the text same as the ones for China, and the characters for Queen Victoria were also raised two spaces which was a great honour considering that the Emperor’s characters were written in the same way.

As a result of the Opium War, China, which was a very proud and isolated nation, was opened to the world. People from any country, state, or nation could come to live, trade, or be missionaries there.

 

 

Eва, 12 г.


Категории: История