China Before the West<br />China’s first dynasty began before 1600 BC (but this is when there are first written records). They had a long history of being technologically advanced and self – sufficient.<br />China had a long history of dynasties. The rulers could read and write long before Europe was even organized into countries. China was very self – sufficient and didn’t need to trade with anyone to get by.<br />
China Maximizes It’s Resources<br />China’s economy was based on agriculture.<br />In the 11th century China had acquired a type of quick growing rice from Southeast Asia.<br />In the 17th and 18th century Spanish and Portuguese traders brought maize (a type of corn), sweet potatoes, and peanuts that they found in America. These crops enabled China to feed their 300 million people.<br />China also had extensive mining and manufacturing. They produced salt, tin, silver and iron. The mines provided works for many.<br />China also produced high quality cottons and porcelain.<br />
Meet the West<br />In the 18th century China had a very strong dynasty and their country was secure and stable. They were very proud of their culture and how no desire to meet outsiders.<br />However, the Qing emperor agreed to meet an ambassador from England. <br />The ambassador brought all sorts of advanced inventions from the west: clocks, globes, musical instruments, and a hot air balloon.<br />China was not impressed. They already had more advanced versions of these things and didn’t want/need them or the westerners.<br />
Trade on China’s Terms<br />Since China was self – sufficient they had little interest in trading with the West.<br />China only allowed westerners to trade at one port, Guangzhou. At this port China very carefully monitored trade and it was in their favor. They earned much more from their exports than they spent on importing goods.<br />
Tempting China<br />Europeans wanted to find something to tempt the Chinese, so they’d import a lot of it.<br />They did find something to tempt China, opium, a habit forming narcotic made from the poppy plant.<br />Opium had been used in China by doctors in a controlled manner.<br />
British Provoke War<br />The British began smuggling opium into China for non – medical use.<br />It took a while, but eventually over 12 million Chinese were addicted to opium.<br />The growing supply of opium caused many problems in China.<br />In 1839 the Qing emperor became very angry by this overwhelming problem and wrote a letter to Queen Victoria of Britain asking her to stop the opium smuggling.<br />Britain refused to stop trading opium and this led to a war.<br />
The Opium War<br />When Britain refused to stop trading opium China was left with no choice but to go to war.<br />The Opium War happened in 1839. It occurred mostly at sea. Britain had a very strong navy (remember from Napoleon) and they easily defeated the outdated Chinese ships.<br />
Treaty of Nanjing<br />In 1842, after their humiliating defeat, China signed the Treaty of Nanjing.<br />The treaty gave Britain the island Hong Kong. <br />Treaty of Nanjing paved the way for another treaty which gave the U.S. and other foreign nations extraterritorial rights which made an exemption from Chinese laws at four other ports besides Guangzhou.<br />This gave foreigners much more access to China and the bustling opium trade continued.<br />
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