Imperialism in China - Essay Example

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The country was faced with changing dynamics in terms of trade and economics. Also, the political landscape changed significantly over this period.
The first Opium War occurred…
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Imperialism in China
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Imperialism in China China underwent various transformations in the 19th century that shaped it to the present China. The country was faced with changing dynamics in terms of trade and economics. Also, the political landscape changed significantly over this period.
The first Opium War occurred during the period of 1839-1842. The war arose from China’s attempt to suppress the opium trade that was run by British merchants. The government impounded a large haul of opium in Guangzhou and destroyed it. Great Britain was agitated by this action and it responded by sending gun boats to attack Chinese cities that were on the coast line. The Chinese army was ill equipped to stand the modern weapons that Britain used (Keay, 47).
The defeat of China in the first Opium war forced it to sign the Treaty of Nanjing in 1942. The treaty was unfair to the Chinese as it gave foreigners a lot of leverage in terms of trade. Hong Kong was given to Britain on a ninety nine year lease. The treaty also allowed for several ports to be opened for foreign trade and China was required to pay a fine of twenty one million dollars for the opium that was destroyed.
The second opium war also known as the Arrow War pitied the Chinese Qing Dynasty against the British Empire and the Second French Empire in 1856 t0 1860. The issues of this war were similar to those of the first opium war. Due to growing imperialism, the British demanded to renegotiate the Treaty of Nanjing but China refused. This precipitated the war in which China was defeated.
Further, the Western powers created Spheres of Influence in China so as to foster their economic interests. After the defeat of China in both the first and the second Opium Wars, the formulation of unequal treaties led to the creation of the six spheres of influence. The British, French, Germans, Russians and the Japanese benefited in the partitioning of China into spheres to suit their own economic interests (Kay, 149).
The Taiping Rebellion that lasted from 1851 to 1864 was led by Hong Xiuquan who was a village teacher. The rebellion was as a result of dissatisfaction with the leadership of the ruling Dynasty. The Qing administration was faced by numerous challenges including natural calamities and economic turmoil of unprecedented nature. The rebels were determined to overthrow the dynasty aided by the fact that the Chinese imperial forces were weak and demoralized. Eventually, the rebellion was suppressed by an army commanded by Zeng Guofan.
The Open Door Policy was a proposal by United States of America to allow all trading nations access to Chinese market. This policy was proposed in 1898 and ratified a year later. Although no trading nation formally accepted the policy, it was nevertheless implemented in the following years.
The Boxer Rebellion began in 1899 and it was an uprising against foreign influence in China. Foreign countries had great control in religion, economic and political matters. The Chinese nationalists were not happy with this and the rebellion was meant to eliminate all forms of Western influence (Keay, 261). The Boxer Rebellion ended in 1901 after the signing of the Boxer Protocol.
Sun Yat Sen was a revolutionary Chinese who played a significant role in the birth of modern China. He was part of the abortive Guangzhou uprising in 1895. He lived in exile for most of the period after the uprising but he was influential in the struggle to overthrow the Dynasty. The Qing Dynasty was eventually overthrown by Chinese Revolution in 1911.
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Keay, John. China: A history New York: Harper Collins, 2009. Print Read More
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