First and Second Opium Wars 1856-1860

Chinese resentment of the West, runs deep historically, and the Opium Wars were significant in the cause of this problem. The Chinese had turned inwards, sought to minimise any contact with ‘foreigners.’

Trade was the motive and the Europeans pressing China to trade with them, Britain was pressing for the trading of Opium to replace trade lost by the British East India Company.

Intriguingly this back-fires for Europe, as the last emperor turns to internal affairs and focus, creating unrest rebellion and eventually leads to the nationalist revolution in China(1911), bringing to an end abruptly 3 and a half millenia of imperial rule.

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