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How did the Opium War affect China?The opium war of 1839.
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To me, the main impact of this war was that it acted as a wedge to open China up. As China was forced to open up more and more to the West (and eventually Japan) it lost its sovereignty and its whole society was undermined.
The actual immediate impacts of the war were not that great. Some opium came into China. Some ports were opened up and some missionaries were allowed in. But in the long run, this was just the start. From there, the British and other countries started to demand more and more access until they practically destroyed the soveriegn power of the Chinese government.
Posted by pohnpei397 on February 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM (Answer #1)
By the 19th century, a new type of barbarian, the Europeans, threatened China. Initial confrontations arose over the British plan to export opium from India to China in order to improve the European balance of trade. The Qing government recognized the threat to both its economy and its society posed by unlimited importation of opium. In the 1830s, the Qing emperor appointed Lin Zexu, a renowned bureaucrat, to stamp out the opium trade. Lin blockaded Canton and confiscated European opium supplies. British merchants demanded that their government intervene to protect investments. In 1839, the British routed the Chinese junks in the first stages of the Opium War. When the British sent a military force ashore, the Qing emperor sued for peace. By the 1890s, 90 Chinese ports were open to European, Japanese, and American merchants. Britain, France, Germany, and Russia actually leased certain ports and their hinterlands. Trade passed increasingly into the hands of the non-Chinese, and the Qing court was forced to accept European diplomats.
Posted by epollock on February 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM (Answer #2)
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