The opium wars and the cession of hong kong
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The Opium wars and the cession of Hong Kong . Elisa Chhuon , Charlotte Dousset , Emily Heng, Hyunjun Jang. Foreign trade in Guang Zhou.

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The Opium wars and the cession of Hong Kong

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The opium wars and the cession of hong kong

The Opium wars and the cession of Hong Kong

Elisa Chhuon, Charlotte Dousset, Emily Heng, HyunjunJang


Foreign trade in guang zhou

Foreigntrade in Guang Zhou

  • Due to the strict regulations the Chinesehad put uponforeignmerchants, British traders were not satisfied. The United Kingdomtherefore sent emissaries to China in 1793 and 1816 in order to enhancetradingopportunities, but in vain.

Between the Ming and the Qing dynasties, foreign trade was banned all over China. In 1685, the government lifted the ban on merchantry and custom offices settled in Guangzhou and other counties. However, as the Chinese suspected a plot from the foreigners, they only inaugurated one port: Guang Zhou.


Opium in china

Opium in China

So to balance out their expenses and gains the British decided to smuggle opium from India to China. Opium was banned in China in the 15th Century.

The reason why the British were so keen on importing opium to China is because they had acquired an addiction to tea, however the Chinese would only accept silver as payment. The amount the British spent on tea was immense and the profit they gained from selling to the Chinese was insignificant.


Destruction of opium at humen

Destruction of Opium atHumen

Commissioner Lin Zexu

Seeingthat the Chinesewereaddicted to opium, the Emperor Lin ZeXudestroyed 20,283 chests of opium. This destruction lasted 23 daysfrom 3rd of June 1839. The British Governmentconsideredthisact as unacceptable and warwasdeclared.


The first opium war

The First Opium war

The Britishattacked China on June 1840. Theyswiftlyoccupiedseveralcounties and movedtowards the capital, Beijing. On the other hand, the Chinesegovernmentdischarged Lin Zexu and sent Qishan in order to negotiatepeace. Although the missionariesfromboth parties agreedupon a treaty, this one wasrejected by the governments. The wardidn’t end before Guangzhou collapsed in the hands of the British.


The treaty of nanking

The Treaty of Nanking

The Treaty of Nankingwassigned on August 29th 1842, marking the end of the war. The Chineseconsideredit as an unequaltreatybecausetheir country had to pay an indemnity and cede Hong Kong to theirennemywithoutanything in return.


The second opium war

The Second Opium War

Since the Chinesedidn’tfullyrespected the treaty, Britainmodified territorial designs of China. This actled the Chinese to retaliate by assinating a French missionary in October 1856, thus the second opium wardebuted, but this time the French wereinvolved.

In 1858, Guangzhou was once againoccupied by the enemies. As the situation got out of control, the Qing governmentwasobliged to sign the Treaty of Tientsin. Twoyearslater, the capital wasconquered. The Chinesewerecompelled to acceptanotherunequaltreaty: Convention of Peking.


The second opium war1

The Second Opium War

In 1858, Guangzhou was once againoccupied by the enemies. As the situation got out of control, the Qing governmentwasobliged to sign the Treaty of Tientsin. Twoyearslater, the capital wasconquered. The Chinesewerecompelled to acceptanotherunequaltreaty: Convention of Peking.


The cession of hong kong

The Cession of Hong Kong

Hong Kong fellintothe hands of the British afterthe First Opium war.

Then, Hong Kong flourished as a trading port and developedto whatit has becometoday.

Due to the additional 99 years of rulefrom the Convention of Peking, Hong Kong wasonlyreturned in 1997.


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