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Hong Kong has had a long and complex past and looks to have a waning and declining economy. Hong Kong has a peculiar political past. It was taken over by the British after the two Opium Wars and in 1997 it was handed over to the Chinese once again by the British government. British influence is still apparent in the daily life of the people whom are still living there. The economy of Hong Kong is booming and still expanding. The island port of Hong Kong has a unique past but has a pale future.
There were many causes for the Opium Wars. For example, most of the Chinese people were turning into opium addicts. This was causing a serious problem for the Chinese people. People were dying from opium left and right and the government was worried. As a result of the death of many Chinese people, the government outlawed the use of Opium. This meant that the British could no longer sell this addictive drug to the Chinese people to make a profit. Another cause of the Opium War was because the British could no longer sell opium for profit there. They would lose a great deal of money because they couldn't sell at home either. They also lost a lot of money since the commissioner took over their opium and publicly burned it. They vowed revenge on the insolent Chinese people since they won't be able to get paid for it from the Chinese government. In addition, the outflow of the Chinese silver was disrupting their money system. There was more silver going out of the nation, than the amount of money flowing into the nation. The nation was in trouble because they didn't have enough money. This was causing a serious problem so the Chinese outlawed the opium causing the Opium War.
The first Opium War caused a lot of trouble for the Chinese government. On October 4th, 1839, the British government got word of the Chinese prohibition of opium. They then decided to dispatch a war fleet to China. They wanted to have a port near China forever. The British Foreign Secretary H.J.J. Palmerston delivered a note to the Qing government, threatening to use force against China if it would not cede one or several islands along its seacoast to Britain forever as demanded and designated by the British Plenipotentiaries. In April of 1840, the British government decided to wage a full-fledged war with China. In June of the same year the British forces arrived and the Opium War officially started. This Opium War would last for more than two long, tiring years. The British army was overwhelming for the unprepared Chinese army. The British easily took over any of the ports and shocked and surprised the panic-stricken emperor. The emperor then sent out his men to go negotiate with the British who wanted access to more ports and the price of the amount of opium that they destroyed. After much fighting, the Chinese finally agreed to these and the Qing court signed the Teaty of Nanjing. his was the official end of the war.
The Treaty of Nanjing caused the end of the first Opium War. There were a lot of demands from the British that the Chinese had to accept, in fear that the British would take over their nation. For example, the Chinese agreed to open five more ports the to the British. The Chinese really wanted to limit the British influence but ended up havi
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Organizations mentioned in this term paper
Chinese Qing government, British army, Chinese government, British administration,
Locations included in this research paper
a prosperous island-port, Kowloon Peninsula, The second Opium War, People's Republic of China,
Drug referenced in this research paper
Keywords included in this research paper
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