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February 19, 2014
Imperialism in China and its END!
Imperialism in China
Certainly it is an interesting thing to study about imperialism in China. The Chinese regarded themselves as superior, and the only truly civilized in the world. The other Asian traders adopted the Chinese culture but not the European traders. Hence the trade with these foreign powers was restricted to the cities of Canton and Macao from 1757 by the Chinese Emperor. But the Europeans were irritated by the Chinese behavior.
To India, the British imported sufficient British goods from England for Indian goods. It avoided them paying in gold. But the Chinese restricted all trades to the specific ports under the supervision of government officials. The Chinese sold tea and coffee to the British but always wanted payment in gold. Over time, the British became worried that huge amounts of gold were ending up in China. So they found out a short cut.
First Opium War A.D 1839-A.D 1842
The British started to grow opium in India and sell it in China. They sold opium for Chinese goods, or even for gold. The Chinese thought that their peace was disturbed by the Europeans. On the other hand European traders were increasingly irritated by the high customs duties they had to pay and by the attempts to curb the growing import trade in opium. By 1800 its importation was forbidden by the imperial government. However, the opium trade continued to boom. The British, who had lions share in opium trade resorted to war in 1839. The warwas called First Opium War.
The Chinese were defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking in 1842. According to the treaty China gave up the island of Hong Kong permanently to England. It also opened five ports to the British Traders. The English were also given extra territorial jurisdiction in criminal cases.
Taiping Rebellion - A.D 1854
The Americans, the French and other foreign countries signed similar treaties with China. The Chinese rebelled against the native Manchu kings and the foreigners in 1854. The rebellion was known as Taiping Rebellion and it was also suppressed.
Second Opium war A.D 1857- A.D 1860
The foreigners demanded more ports for trade. The Chinese government rejected the demand. The British and French bombarded and captured Canton in 1857. It was called as the Second Opium War. The Chinese were defeated and agreed to signtheTreaty at Peking in 1860. The Chinese gave up the port of Kowloon to Great Britain and opened more ports.
After Second Opium war, there prevailed peace and tranquility in China for some time. When China was defeated by Japan in the First Sino - Japanese war in 1894, China had to give the Island of Formosa to Japan.
The Chinese got angry with the Manchu ruler. But the Empress Dowager, known as old Buddha decided to divert the public anger against her. She made the Chinese youths turn their anger towards the foreign powers which led to the outbreak of Boxer Rebellion. The Boxers attacked the British, French, German, Japanese and U.S settlements and all the Christians in 1899.
The End of Imperialism
The combined army of the foreign powers defeated the Boxers and marched to Peking, the capital of China. Empress Dowager fled the capital. The U.S.A and England formulated the Open Door Policy or “Me too policy”. The Chinese territories were partitioned among the foreign powers for trade rights. Thus China became an international colony. The lessons learnt in the Boxer rebellion paved the way for the Revolution of 1911 and the establishment of a Republic of China under Dr. Sun Yat Sen.