History response 10 - Assignment Example

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Opium trade between China and Britain, although illegal, was quite a lucrative business and many people benefited a lot from the business especially the British who were the main exporters (Gibson). Although opium was formerly used in china for the manufacture of drugs, it was…
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The Opium War Opium trade between China and Britain, although illegal, was quite a lucrative business and many people benefited a lot from the business especially the British who were the main exporters (Gibson). Although opium was formerly used in china for the manufacture of drugs, it was declared illegal after the Chinese started using it as a depressant. The Chinese government declared opium trade illegal in addition to imposing strict laws on those caught breaking the law. The new laws made the Chinese businesspersons to halt the trade for fear of the strict penalties on those caught defaulting the enacted laws on opium trade. The sudden halt of opium trade greatly affected the British since they were the main exporters and therefore the new rules meant that they would no longer conduct any opium trade with the Chinese citizens who were their main clients (Gibson). It is because of this that the Britons took up their weapons and headed for china in one of the most controversial war that has ever happened, “the opium war” (Gibson). The war resulted to massive loss of lives all in the name of free trade between China and Britain.
Trade between China and Britain resulted large acquisition of wealth, this is because whereas the British obtained their wealth from the selling of opium to the Chinese, Conversely, the Chinese also benefited a lot from the trade since they also took this position to sell their tea to the Britons who were their major clients as well (Gibson). The British were real lovers of the Chinese tea to the extent that by the 18th century they would import about six million pounds of tea on an annual basis. The opium that was being exported to China was mostly used in the manufacture of drugs but the reason why the Chinese government suddenly decided to declare the trade illegal was the fact that the drug was being mixed with tobacco then smoked for more pleasure which later resulted to drug abuse and opium addiction(Gibson). Although the opium war caused massive loss of lives, but finally it resulted to development of a much greater China- Britain relations both in terms of trade and economic boost. Trade between the two nations received a boost after the construction of five ports in a move to promote foreign trade (Gibson).
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Gibson, Anne. The opium wars: When Britain made war on China. 3 December 2012. Web. 15 April 2014. Read More
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