How and Why Did China Lose Its Position as a World Leader During the 19th Century

Topics: First Opium War, Opium, China Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: September 24, 2007
Before the 1800s, China was a super power before the time the Europeans came to their country. They comprehended further more about the world than the Europeans did, and had already started trading there. China had the largest known market in the world at the time, selling all sorts of exquisite products. This meant that China was home to one of the major economies on the planet. But it was even the smallest of things that made them a world leader. Priceless inventions like the saddle had not been invented, so now the rider could fight "standing" up, and getting that crucial advantage. Among others, the Chinese furthermore developed printing. This crucial device allowed the possibility to make countless copies of one document, instead of re-writing each text. The Chinese were also great sailors among their behemoths called "Junks". These huge ships were able to transport just about everything. The hull was filled with water allowing it to also transport fish. The sailors were also able to navigate by measuring their current velocity and using various instruments allowed them to know where they were going. These were among some of the invaluable gadgets that changed and helped develop the western world. In a way, China was more advanced than Europe; no wonder they thought that they were the center of the world.

After conquering continents, the Europeans now had masses of fine gold, jewelry, exceptional craftsmanship, newest weapons, other valuable items and opium. Nonetheless, Britain wanted trade with the Kingdom of China. China's economy was bigger than Britain, and the trade was in their favor, so the Brits wanted to tip the balance to them. The Emperor wanted no official trade with England. Nonetheless, there was still unofficial trading of opium for silk and fine porcelain. Sadly because of the greedy trading with Britain, and the obtaining of opium, millions of people were addicted to this drug. This was a problem and a potential...
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