The Opium Wars

19th Century Chinese History

By Dr Yangwen Zheng, published 12th August 2015

Trade Imbalance, Drugs and War

In this podcast Dr. Yangwen Zheng of the University of Manchester looks at the origins, theatre and consequences of the Opium Wars.

Dr Yangwen Zheng's essential textbook Ten Lessons in Modern Chinese History is now available. Written for university entry-level students and A-level teachers and students, it uses primary sources to tell the story of modern China from the First Opium War to the Xi Jinping era and fashions a new and practical way to study modern China. 

1. The origins of the First Opium War: Tea and Trade Imbalance.
2. China in the 18th Century: industrialisation, a growing middle class and new urban sensibilities.
3. Getting Opium into China: The East India Company and private traders.
4. Emperor Daoguang and the first war on drugs
5. War and retaliation.
6. Elliot, Pottinger and the Treaty of Nanking
7. Reparations, Hong Kong and the Second Opium War
8. Consequences of the War. Long term impact on Sino-Western relations.

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