1) Also was called the First Anglo-Chinese War
2) Fought between the British and the Qing Dynasty of China from 1839 to 1842
3) With the aim of forcing China to allow free trade, particularly in opium
4) It was the end of China’s isolation and the beginning of modern Chinese history
1) The British finished its industry reformation and they needed enormous market and raw and processed materials
2) International trade was only allowed to take place in Canton (Guangzhou)
3) The British discovered opium to reverse the flow of silver out of the country
4) Opium did harm to Chinese, so the Qing government attempted to end the opium trade
5) Overall 20,000 chests each holding about 120 pounds were handed over and destroyed by Lin Zexu in Humen in May 1839
3. Process of War
1) The British retaliated with a punitive expedition
4) Fighting began on 3 November 1839. In June 1840, an expeditionary force of 15 barracks ships, 4 steam-powered gunboats and 25 smaller boats with 4000 marines reached Guangdong from Singapore
5) 1841, the British captured the Bogue forts which guarded the mouth of the Pearl River
6) By January 1841, British forces commanded the high ground around Canton and defeated the Chinese at Ningbo and at the military post of Chinghai
7) By the middle of 1842, the British had defeated the Chinese at the mouth of their other great riverine trade route, the Yangtze, and were occupying Shanghai
8) The war finally ended in August 1842, with the signing of China’s first Unequal Treaty, the Treaty of Nanjing
1) Signed the first of the unequal treaties: Treaty of Nanjing
2) Granted an indemnity to Britain, opening of five Treaty Ports, ending the monopoly of trading in the Canton System
3) Allowed the British to resume the drug trafficking within China
4) The cession of Hong Kong to the British
5) Paved the way for the opening of the lucrative Chinese market and Chinese society to missionary endeavors
6) This war also almost certainly contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864)
u Mao Haijian: The Collapse of the Empire: Restudy on the Opium War, Beijing: Joint Publishing, 1995.
u The First Opium War, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Opium_War, 04/20/2009.
u Hosea Ballou Morse, The International Relations of the Chinese Empire, translated by Zhang Huiwen, etc., Shanghai: Shanghai Bookshop, 2000.
Poon, Leon. “Emergence Of Modern China”. University of Maryland. Available from , on 04/20/09.
“Opiates”. University of Missouri. , on 04/20/09.
“First Opium War”, from Wikipedia, , on 04/20/09.
by Ma Guang