From Empire to Multiculturalism

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From Empire to Multiculturalism
Britain and China
I Introduction
"That on his empire [...] the sun never sets."
- James Joyce, Ulysses As one of the most powerful empires on earth, the British Empire was able to establish colonies all over the globe. From the Caribbean islands, Africa, India and the Far East to Australia, New Zealand and the North America, the "Union Jack" flag [1] was flapping in the wind. In the Far East area, [2] getting India and China is the main goal of the British colonists. After India successfully became part of the British Empire, China naturally became the next target. II British colonial history in China

From 1842 until 1997, the British Colonialism existed in China for 156 years. This started with the Sino-British Opium War, which includes the First and the Second Opium War. 1. The first Opium War

The first Opium War took place from 1839 to 1842. [3] It is the first time the Chinese Empire (Qing Dynasty) encountered with a western European country in the battlefield. It is the beginning of the modern Chinese history [4] and China began to transform gradually from an independent feudal state into a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country. The Opium War is also the first chapter in the Chinese History textbook used in middle school and high school all over the nation. 1. Background of the First Opium War

In the late 1830s, the British Empire has grown into a worldwide superpower. During the First Industrial Revolution, [5] the British were eager to find overseas markets and to expand their international trade. On the other hand, even though China (Qing Dynasty) was still a powerful empire, there was little sign of Capitalism and no sign of Industrial Revolution. The Chinese emperor declared that "China is the center of the world and has everything we could ever need."[6] A Closed-door policy was practiced for a long time and foreign trade was only allowed in Guangzhou city. Therefore it was almost impossible for the British to conduct trade in China. By the late 1830s, the British East India Company has smuggled a large number of Indian opium to China in order to reduce the trade deficit. In 1839, the governor of Canton, Lin Zexu banned the opium trade and destroyed most of the British opium stock in Canton. This incident was interpreted as the infringement of private property right by the British, therefore led to outbreak of the war. 2. Process of the First Opium War

From 1840 to 1841, the British Royal Navy and Army attacked various places along the Chinese coastline. The Qing government adopted a negative attitude with defending the British troops. From Guangzhou, Zhejiang to Tianjin, there were a large number of casualties in Chinese army and civilians. It is noteworthy that in Sanyuanli, Guangdong, people were spontaneously organized to fight against the British, which was big difference from the Qing government. In August 1841, the British Navy attacked the mouth of Yangtze River and were threatening Nanjing city. The Qing government was forced to negotiate with the British Government. 3. Result and historical influence of the First Opium War In 1842, due to the incompetence and corruption, Qing government lost the war and was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing. This treaty led to the Cession of Hong Kong Island to the British. Five Chinese ports were opened for foreign trade, and 21 million dollars were paid as indemnity of the war. This treaty is regard as the very first unequal treaty in Chinese modern history. The Chinese national sovereignty was damaged, and China began to become the commodity markets and raw materials supply areas in the world Capitalism system. 2. The Second Opium War

From 1856 to 1860, the Second Opium War was fought in China, between the Anglo-French Expedition Army and the Qing government. 1. Background of the Second Opium...
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