An engaging, highly readable, character-driven account of the war that transformed China, and which continues to loom large over modern Chinese history. In October 1839, a Windsor cabinet meeting votes to begin the first Opium War against China. Bureaucratic fumbling, military missteps, and a healthy dose of political opportunism and collaboration followed. Rich in tragicomedy, The Opium War explores the disastrous British foreign-relations move that became a founding myth of modern Chinese nationalism, and depicts China’s heroic struggle against Western conspiracy. Julia Lovell examines the causes and consequences of the Opium War, interweaving tales of the opium pushers and dissidents. More importantly, she analyses how the Opium Wars shaped China's self-image and created an enduring model for its interactions with the West, plagued by delusion and prejudice.
Author: Julia Lovell
Publisher: The Overlook Press
In this tragic and powerful story, the two Opium Wars of 1839 1842 and 1856 1860 between Britain and China are recounted for the first time through the eyes of the Chinese as well as the Imperial West. Opium entered China during the Middle Ages when Arab traders brought it into China for medicinal purposes. As it took hold as a recreational drug, opium wrought havoc on Chinese society. By the early nineteenth century, 90 percent of the Emperor's court and the majority of the army were opium addicts. Britain was also a nation addicted-to tea, grown in China, and paid for with profits made from the opium trade. When China tried to ban the use of the drug and bar its Western smugglers from it gates, England decided to fight to keep open China's ports for its importation. England, the superpower of its time, managed to do so in two wars, resulting in a drug-induced devastation of the Chinese people that would last 150 years. In this page-turning, dramatic and colorful history, The Opium Wars responds to past, biased Western accounts by representing the neglected Chinese version of the story and showing how the wars stand as one of the monumental clashes between the cultures of East and West. "A fine popular account."-Publishers Weekly "Their account of the causes, military campaigns and tragic effects of these wars is absorbing, frequently macabre and deeply unsettling."-Booklist
The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another
Author: W. Travis Hanes III,Frank Sanello
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
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." Originally published by UNC Press in 1975, Peter Ward Fay's study was the first to treat extensively the opium trade from the point of production in India to the point of consumption in China and the first to give both Protestant and Catholic missionaries their due; it remains the most comprehensive account of the first Opium War through western eyes. In a new preface, Fay reflects on the relationship between the events described in the book and Hong Kong's more recent history.
Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the Early Part of the Nineteenth Century and the War by which They Forced Her Gates Ajar
Author: Peter Ward Fay
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
"On the outside, [the foreigners] seem intractable, but inside they are cowardly... Although there have been a few ups-and-downs, the situation as a whole is under control."In October 1839, a few months after Chinese Imperial Commissioner, Lin Zexu, dispatched these confident words to his emperor, a Cabinet meeting in Windsor voted to fight Britain's first Opium War (1839-42) with China. The conflict turned out to be rich in tragicomedy: in bureaucratic fumblings, military missteps, political opportunism and collaboration. Yet over the past hundred and seventy years, this strange tale of misunderstanding, incompetence and compromise has become the founding myth of modern Chinese nationalism: the start of China's heroic struggle against a Western conspiracy to destroy the country with opium and gunboat diplomacy.The Opium War is both the story of modern China – starting from the first conflict with the west – and an analysis of the county's contemporary self-image. It explores how China's national myths mould its interactions with the outside world, how public memory is spun to serve the present; and how delusion and prejudice on both sides have bedevilled its relationship with the modern West.
Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China
Author: Julia Lovell
Extensively revised and updated, this popular text conveys the drama of China's struggle to modernize against the backdrop of a proud and difficult history. Spanning the years from China's humiliating defeat in the Opium Wars to its triumphant hosting of the 2008 summer Olympics, the authors narrate the major developments of that journey: the breakdown of imperial China in the face of Japanese and Western encroachments; Sun-Yatsen and the founding of the Chinese republic; the early struggles between the ideologies and armies of Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong; China's bitter and costly war with Japan; the final shootout that sent Chiang to Taiwan and Mao to Beijing; the turbulent first decades of the People's Republic; and the dramatic shift to a globalizing economic strategy. This edition features all new analysis of issues facing China's leaders today, including environmental challenges, rural economic developments, corruption, the current economic climate, China's relations with its neighbors and the United States, the latest Tibet crisis, and the reelection of Hu Jintao. The authors have also incorporated some of the latest scholarship on Chinese historical events, making this the best and most up-to-date brief text on modern China currently available.
From the Opium Wars to the Olympics
Author: June Grasso,Jay P. Corrin,Michael Kort
Category: Business & Economics
British Knowledge of China in the Making of the Opium War
Author: Song-Chuan Chen
Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
The Opium War of 1839-43, the first military conflict to take place between China and the West, is a subject of enduring interest. Mao Haijian, one of the most distinguished and well-known historians working in China, presents the culmination of more than ten years of research in a revisionist reading of the conflict and its main Chinese protagonists. Mao examines the Qing participants in terms of the moral standards and intellectual norms of their own time, demonstrating that actions which have struck later observers as ridiculous can be understood as reasonable within these individuals' own context. This English-language translation of Mao's work offers a comprehensive response to the question of why the Qing Empire was so badly defeated by the British in the first Opium War - an answer that is distinctive and original within both Chinese and Western historiography, and supported by a wealth of hitherto unknown detail.
Author: Mao Haijian
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
THE INMAN DIARIES a chamber opera by Thomas Oboe Lee based on the life and writings of Arthur Crew Inman and on the play Visitations by Lorenzo DeStefano INTERMEZZO NEW ENGLAND CHAMBER OPERA SERIES September 14-16, 2007 Tower Auditorium Theatre Massachusetts College of Art 621 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 617-899-4261 for further information produced with the cooperation of Harvard University Press Only a few of us seek immortality, and fewer still by writing. But Arthur Inman challenged the odds. He calculated that if he kept a diary and spared no thoughts or actions, was entirely honest and open, and did not care about damage or harm to himself or others, he would succeed in gaining attention beyond the grave that he could not attain in life. The diary became a many-layered and strikingly animated work of a gifted writer, by turns charming, repellent, shocking, cruel, and comical. But the diary is also an uninhibited history of his times, of his eccentricities and fantasies, of his bizarre marriage arrangements and sexual adventures. Inman's explorations of his own troubled nature made him excessively curious about the secret lives of others. Like some ghostly doctor-priest, he chronicled their outpourings of head and heart as vividly as he did his own. The diary reads like a nonfiction novel as it moves inexorably toward disaster. This is an abridged version of the celebrated two-volume work published by Harvard as The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession.
The Inman Diary
Author: Arthur Crew Inman,Daniel Aaron
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Based upon selected anecdotal stories written by British observers, this text reconstructs the events of the illegal opium trade in Canton in the 1830s and the war between Britain and China that followed. The volume is illustrated with b&w maps, prints, and photographs. Irish-born Collis (1889-1975)
Being an Account of the Opium Imbroglio at Canton in the 1830's and the Anglo-Chinese War that Followed
Author: Maurice Collis
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
The events of the war are recounted from the Chinese viewpoint by means of contemporary diaries and other documents
Author: Arthur Waley
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Literary Collections
The Opium Wars between China and the British Empire, and by extension the East India Trade Company, are often told from the English-speaking Western perspective. E.H. Parker presents a history of the conflict told from the Chinese point of view.?
Author: Edward Harper Parker,Yuan Wei
readings in the history of China from the Opium War to the present
Author: J. Mason Gentzler
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
At the heart of this vibrant saga is a vast ship, the Ibis. Its destiny is a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean; its purpose, to fight China's vicious nineteenth-century Opium Wars. As for the crew, they are a motley array of sailors and stowaways, coolies and convicts. In a time of colonial upheaval, fate has thrown together a diverse cast of Indians and Westerners, from a bankrupt raja to a widowed tribeswoman, from a mulatto American freedman to a freespirited French orphan. As their old family ties are washed away, they, like their historical counterparts, come to view themselves as jahaj-bhais, or ship-brothers. An unlikely dynasty is born, which will span continents, races, and generations. The vast sweep of this historical adventure spans the lush poppy fields of the Ganges, the rolling high seas, the exotic backstreets of Canton. But it is the panorama of characters, whose diaspora encapsulates the vexed colonial history of the East itself, that makes Sea of Poppies so breathtakingly alive—a masterpiece from one of the world's finest novelists.
Author: Amitav Ghosh
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
As China reclaims its position as a world power, Imperial Twilight looks back to tell the story of the country's last age of ascendance and how it came to an end in the nineteenth-century Opium War. "This thoroughly researched and delightful work is essential for anyone interested in Chinese or British imperial history." --Library Journal (Starred Review) When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. But internal problems of corruption, popular unrest, and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty--which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it. In this dramatic, epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by Western traders and missionaries to "open" China--traveling mostly in secret beyond Canton, the single port where they were allowed--even as China's imperial rulers were struggling to manage their country's decline and Confucian scholars grappled with how to use foreign trade to China's advantage. The book paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable--and mostly peaceful--meeting of civilizations at Canton over the long term that was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British, Chinese, and American individuals, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age
Author: Stephen R. Platt
The first Opium War (1840-42) was a defining moment in Anglo-Chinese relations, and since the 1840s the histories of its origins have tended to have been straightforward narratives, which suggest that the British Cabinet turned to its military to protect opium sales and to force open the China trade. Whilst the monetary aspects of the war cannot be ignored, this book argues that economic interests should not overshadow another important aspect of British foreign policy - honour and shame. The Palmerston's government recognised that failure to act with honour generated public outrage in the form of petitions to parliament and loss of votes, and as a result was at pains to take such considerations into account when making policy. Accordingly, British Cabinet officials worried less about the danger to economic interests than the threat to their honour and the possible loss of power in Parliament. The decision to wage a drug war, however, made the government vulnerable to charges of immorality, creating the need to justify the war by claiming it was acting to protect British national honour.
Balancing Drugs, Violence and National Honour, 1833–1840
Author: Glenn Melancon
"'On the outside, [the foreigners] seem intractable, but inside they are cowardly... Although there have been a few ups-and-downs, the situation as a whole is under control.' In October 1839, a few months after the Chinese Imperial Commissioner, Lin Zexu, dispatched these confident words to his emperor, a Cabinet meeting in Windsor voted to fight Britain's first Opium War (1839-42) with China. The conflict turned out to be rich in tragicomedy: in bureaucratic fumblings, military missteps, political opportunism and collaboration. Yet over the past hundred and seventy years, this strange tale of misunderstanding, incompetence and compromise has become the founding myth of modern Chinese nationalism: the start of China's heroic struggle against a Western conspiracy to destroy the country with opium and gunboat diplomacy. Beginning with the dramas of the war itself, Julia Lovell explores its background, causes and consequences... The Opium War is both the story of modern China--starting from this first conflict with the West--and an analysis of the country's contemporary self-image. It explores how China's national myths mould its interactions with the outside world, how public memory is spun to serve the present, and how delusion and prejudice on both sides have bedevilled its relationship with the modern West."--book jacket.
Author: Julia Lovell
Publisher: MacMillan Hardback Omes
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, 2018 'Excellent' Guardian 'A masterpiece' New York Times 'Superbly engaging' Daily Telegraph 'Masterly' Wall Street Journal 'Captivating' The Times When Britain launched its first war on China in 1839, pushed into hostilities by profiteering drug merchants and free-trade interests, it sealed the fate of what had long been seen as the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Corruption, popular unrest and dwindling finances had weakened China far more than was commonly understood, and the war would help set in motion the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty - which, in turn, would lead to the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. As one of the most potent turning points in the country's modern history, the Opium War has since come to stand for everything that today's China seeks to put behind it. By telling this epic story, award-winning historian Stephen Platt sheds new light on the early attempts by British traders and missionaries to 'open' China and paints an enduring portrait of an immensely profitable - and mostly peaceful - meeting of civilizations, which was destined to be shattered by one of the most shockingly unjust wars in the annals of imperial history. Brimming with a fascinating cast of British and Chinese characters, this riveting narrative of relations between China and the West has important implications for today's uncertain and ever-changing political climate.
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, 2018
Author: Stephen R. Platt
Publisher: Atlantic Books