China Responds to Pressure from the West Age of Imperialism
Opium in China • China believed Europeans were only casually interested in trade. They new very little of the smuggling of opium into China. China slowly gained knowledge of Britain’s colonies in India growing and exporting opium and the base at Singapore where opium reached East Asia. British merchants benefitted from trade as well as Chinese businessmen from distributing the drug and addiction spread throughout China.
Causes of Opium War • Britain saw the ban on opium a limitation on trade, a threat to their economy, and most importantly a cause for war. • British forces arrived in China in late 1839. China sent an official to Canton to negotiate with Britain. When negotiations between the Chinese official and Britain were not arranged war broke out.
Britain supreme naval forces could transport supplies and troops by sea rifles were quicker, safer, more accurate had a mew gunboat able to travel up Yangzi River China few soldiers no naval forces had to engage in land confrontation to defend themselves matchlock guns Britain vs. China
Treaty of Nanking • In 1842 British reached the city of Nanjing and the Qing decided to negotiate. The Treaty of Nanking was signed which: • Increased trading ports from 5 to 9 • Hong Kong became a British colony • Law tariff on British imports was set (only 5%) • British residents gained extraterritoriality • China paid Britain 21 ounces in silver • Established a “most-favored-nation” status any privilege extended to another country Britain received the same. This prevented colonization of China because giving land to one country was giving land to all. • In 1860 opium became legal.
Imperialism in China • By 1900 there were 90 port cities in China. The treaty system and extraterritorial rights led to small colonization. • From 1858 to 1864 Russia took over parts of northern China, Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan • In 1865 Britain took over Indian borders and supported Tibetan independence • Late 1800’s France supported an end of Vietnam’s vassalage to Qing • On coastal cities Europeans and Americans retained factories and offices. They lived comfortably in houses, entertained themselves at bars and restaurants and gambling and prostitution emerged. • Growing foreign numbers and privileges caused discontent to the poverty stricken, militarized Chinese society