China During Imperialism BY: Christian Warner

During imperialism the imperialist powers, anticipating the fall of the Qing, scrambled to renegotiate their treaties, carving out spheres of influence along the coast. A political cartoon from the 1890s. Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan carve up China "like a melon." These Spheres of Influence, trading with different part of the world with the different spheres. The Chinese people in the British Sphere could not afford the goods. In order to compensate they traded opiate. Which made any good affordable as long as they could get their drugs.

The sphere would be controlled and ruled by whatever country had received it. Most of the time the Chinese people could not afford the goods that are brought in through the foreign country. So they traded their goods, usually drugs called opiate. The Chinese could not fight back the forces because of the multiple fronts and technology they would have to face, they were extremely unmatched. So they unwillingly gave up their land and was divided as so.

The Chinese were also introduced to Christianity, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, became an influential advisor to the first Qing emperor. Others travelled around China, preaching and converting Chinese to Christianity, a process that aggravated imperial rulers and occasionally prompted bans on Christian activity. They also couldn't afford the goods that were sent into the country by the people who took control of their sphere. So they traded with opiate.Opium is an addictive narcotic, extracted from the poppy flower and usually taken through smoking. Opium was used in China as early as the 15th century – however opium smoking was largely restricted to the privileged classes. British ships began landing supplies of opium in China in the late 1700s and early 1800s, mainly around the mouth of the Pearl River in Guangdong. Opium became more available and more affordable to all levels of Chinese society, even the working classes. Once the hobby of emperors and rich men, opium smoking soon flourished. Chinese towns and cities had numerous ‘opium dens’, where thousands of men lingered and spent their days in a drug-induced stupor. The Qing government understood the social and economic dangers posed by opium. Beijing attempted to ban its use and importation several times, but these restrictions were difficult to enforce and the British generally ignored them.

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