In what ways was the Western encroachment in the 19th century detrimental to China, and in what way might it be beneficial?
The encroachment of the West vastly affected China in very many ways. Good and bad. The affect of West’s influence on them helped alter China’s government, lifestyle, and their industrial development. The governments of America and some Europeans countries pushed a strong burden on Chinese government to change the ways that they treated foreigners.
Chinese attitude led them to feel like were the best. That they were the highest and only true civilization. In the early 19th century the Europeans, especially the British, who were the greatest trading power in the world at that time, became willing to deal with China’s strict rules and began to trade with them. Western trade was only allowed in the south-coast port of Guangzhou. Even though trade was allowed, the European merchants were not allowed to stay very long. The Europeans were not allowed to have direct contact with providence officials, they had to pass messages allow through the Chinese merchants. In 1834, the British East Indian trading company was stripped of monopoly trade in China.
The Europeans were obsessed with the goods of tea, silk, and porcelain they traded from China, but all the Chinese were willing to trade for was gold and silver. The trading of the gold and silver was beginning to be too costly, so the British began to trade incredible amounts of opium that they gathered from from India. Soon there after, the balance of payments had reversed. The Chinese were the ones trading the gold and silver, along with other goods for the opium. Opium is an addictive drug prepared from the opium poppy, used as a narcotic and in medicine as an analgesic. The Chinese were hooked! This caused a pandemic of drug abuse, and large economic chaos.
In 1830, the Chinese government tried extremely hard to end the importation of opium. They sent...