One of the darker aspects of history, and in all history specifically, is the fact that key powers are willing to engage in almost any and every process as a means of furthering economic and political power. When there arises a situation in which a dominant/Imperial power has the potential to exercise both a political and economic level of power and dominance over another, it is almost invariably the case that this exercise of will is leveraged…
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Firstly, with regards to why the British sought to smuggle opium into China, the answer to this question is undeniably quite simple. Ultimately, the British sought to smuggle opium into China to make the country weak, to provide the British Empire, and by extension its economy, a level of domination over China, and by extension by which China, its government, and people, would be reliant upon the British to fulfill any further levels of trade that might exist between the Chinese and the outside world. Ultimately, the reader can note that a highly unethical situation arose from this which encouraged key levels of Imperial exploitation over the Chinese government and its people (Xin, 2010). Whereas there have been many cases in history of organized crime and the means by which it was substances of one form or another have been trafficked, the opium trade between the British Empire and China is perhaps the perfect example of economic warfare as the importation and reliance on opium was utilized as a leverage point by which the British Empire could gain a further degree of economic power and control over the peoples of a region that much of Europe had been anxious to control for the better part of several hundred years. Realizing that the current dynamic of ever-increasing opium addiction and the means by which the economic resources of China were being undermined by the British Empire, the imp are demanded action. Firstly, the Emperor sought to arrest Chinese opium dealers and then extended this power outside of national Chinese boundaries demanding that foreign firms turn over any and all stop of opium that existed with the nation. As might be expected, these foreign merchants summarily refused to turn over their stock as they made a valuable trade and livelihood through the sale of this drug. In such a way, a key level of disagreement contest arose between the foreign merchants of opium and the Imperial power of China. As such, it was the belief of the British that it was their responsibility to protect key trade interests that provided a high level of profitability for their global economy and a level of control over the region of China as a whole (Feige & Miron, 2008). Within such a manner, the first of two opium wars were kicked off in which the trade interests of the British Empire and the societal concerns of the Chinese Empire, with regards to opium addiction, came head-to-head in armed conflict. The result of these opium wars was a complete humiliation for the Chinese Emperor and the peoples of China. This was so much the case that Chinese historians, both then and now, refer to the result of these opium wars as “the century of humiliation”. This is mostly due to the fact that the overwhelming military superiority and coordination of the British forces pressured the existing Qing Dynasty to capitulate to almost any and all demands that the British placed upon it. Due to the fact that the Chinese were unable to mount a successful military defense of their homeland during either of these two opium wars, the British were able to exact a high price for insurrection, as they saw it, to British imperial power. Ultimately, the effects of the opium wars can be understood within two distinct contexts. Firstly, the
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