also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860. These were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire. In response, the British government sent expeditionary forces from India, which ravaged the Chinese coast and dictated the terms of settlement. The Treaty of Nanking not only opened the way for further opium trade, but ceded territory including Hong Kong, unilaterally fixed Chinese tariffs at a low rate, granted extraterritorial rights to foreigners in China (which were not offered to Chinese abroad), a most favored nation clause, and diplomatic representation. When the court still refused to accept foreign ambassadors and obstructed the trade clauses of the treaties, disputes over the treatment of British merchants in Chinese ports and on the seas led to the Second Opium War and the Treaty of Tientsin.
The Taiping Rebellion
was a massive civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty. It was led by Hong Xiuquan, who announced that he had received visions in which he learned that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. At least 20 million people died, mainly civilians, in one of the deadliest military conflicts in history.
"Second Opium War"
(1856-1860) refers to one of the British strategic objectives: legalising the opium trade, expanding coolie trade, opening all of China to British merchants, and exempting foreign imports from internal transit duties. The "Arrow War" refers to the name of a vessel which became the starting point of the conflict. The importance of the opium factor in the war is in debate among historians. France joined the British action against China, prompted by the execution of a French missionary, Father Auguste Chapdelaine ("Father...