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The Opium War, 1840-1842: Barbarians in the…

The Opium War, 1840-1842: Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the Early…

by Peter Ward Fay

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Fascinating look at notorious nineteenth century episode wherein Great Britain invaded China in order to protect the interests of the opium drug cartel, and in the process inadvertently picked up for the British Empire what was then a neglected and insignificant island and what is now the global megacity of Hong Kong. "You can't make this stuff up." ( )
  yooperprof | Dec 15, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0807847143, Paperback)

Until the 1830s, China was scarcely known to the outside world. When Europeans began to arrive in number in that decade, demanding of the Ching dynasty's rulers access to raw materials and to China's huge domestic markets alike, the Chinese resisted, but, in the end, unsuccessfully. England in particular sought a market for the opium, a crown monopoly produced in India, and it waged a brief war to press its claim--a war that won it that market, the ownership of Hong Kong, and entry into cities like Shanghai and Guangdong. The war also contributed to the eventual collapse of Ching rule. Really a footnote in history, the Opium War, then, had major consequences that color Sino-Western relations even today. Peter Ward Fay tells the story in this well-written, vigorous narrative. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:30 -0400)

This book tells the fascinating story of the war between England and China that delivered Hong Kong to the English, forced the imperial Chinese government to add four ports to Canton as places in which foreigners could live and trade, and rendered irreversible the process that for almost a century thereafter distinguished western relations with this quarter of the globe - the process that is loosely termed the "opening of China." In a new preface, Fay reflects on the relationship between the events described in the book and Hong Kong's more recent history.… (more)

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