• Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Opium Wars Connection to Indian Bengalis famine & Genocide by Britian

Discussion in 'Strategic & Foreign Affairs' started by HumanJinn, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Britian & USA & France

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  6. Ethiopia also Racist Imperialist Black Christian Supremacist Crusaders

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  1. HumanJinn

    HumanJinn FULL MEMBER

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    Opium Wars
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Opium Wars, also known as the Anglo-Chinese Wars, divided into the First Opium War from 1839 to 1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856 to 1860. These were the climax of disputes over trade and diplomatic relations between China under the Qing Dynasty and the British Empire

    Bengal famine of 1770
    Country
    Company Raj
    Location Bengal
    Period 1769-1773
    Total deaths 10 million
    Observations Policy failure
    Relief None provided
    Impact on demographics Population of Bengal declined by a third
    Consequences Poor legacy of British rule in modern India
    Preceded by
    Deccan Famine of 1630–32
    Succeeded by Chalisa famine
    The revenues of British East India Company dropped to £ 174,300 due to the famine. Tax collection was carried out violently to make up for Company loses

    Opium Wars

    [​IMG]

    Combat at Guangzhou (Canton) during the Second Opium War
    Date 1839–1842, 1856–1860
    Location China
    Result Victory of the Western powers over China, resulting in the Treaty of Nanjing and the Treaties of Tientsin
    Territorial
    changes Hong Kong Island and southern Kowloon ceded to the United Kingdom
    Belligerents
    [​IMG] British Empire
    [​IMG] French Empire (1856–1860)
    [​IMG] United States (1856 and 1859)
    [​IMG] Russian Empire (1856–1859)
    Qing Dynasty

    Opium has been known in China since the 7th century and for centuries it was used for medicinal purposes. It was not until the 17th century that the practice of mixing opium with tobacco for smoking was introduced into China by Europeans

    The import of opium into China stood at 200 chests (annual) in 1729, when the first anti-opium edict was promulgated. This edict was weakly enforced, and by the time Chinese authorities reissued the prohibition in starker terms in 1799, the figure had leaped; 4,500 chests were imported in the year 1800. The decade of the 1830s witnessed a rapid rise in opium trade, and by 1838 (just before the first Opium War) it climbed to 40,000 chests. The rise continued on after the Trepenisty of Nanking that concluded the war (See Growth of opium trade below)

    Background

    The famine occurred in the territory which was called Bengal, then ruled by the British East India Company. This territory included modern West Bengal, Bangladesh, and parts of Assam, Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand. It was earlier a province of the Mughal empire from the 16th century and was ruled by a nawab, or governor. In early 18th century, as the Mughal empire started collapsing, the nawab became effectively independent of the Mughal rule. Following the Maratha Expeditions in Bengal, they became a tributary of the Marathas in Pune

    In the 17th century the then-English East India Company had been given a grant of the town of Calcutta by the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja. At this time the Company was effectively another tributary power of the Mughal. During the following century, the company obtained sole trading rights for the province and went on to become the dominant power in Bengal. In 1757, at the Battle of Plassey, the British defeated the then-nawab Siraj Ud Daulah and plundered the Bengali treasury. In 1764 their military control was reaffirmed at Buxar. The subsequent treaty gained them the diwani, that is, taxation rights; the Company thereby became the de facto ruler of Bengal

    The opium trafficked into China had come from East India Company's operations in Bengal, British India, produced at its two factories in Patna and Benares. In the 1820s, opium from Malwa in the non-British controlled parts of India became available, and as prices fell due to competition, production was stepped up

    These commodities were carried by British merchants to the coast of China, where they sold for a good profit.

    The famine

    The regions in which the famine occurred included especially the modern Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal, but the famine also extended into Odisha and Jharkhand as well as modern Bangladesh. Among the worst affected areas were Birbhum and Murshidabad in Bengal, and Tirhut, Champaran and Bettiah in Bihar.

    A partial shortfall in crops, considered nothing out of the ordinary, occurred in 1768 and was followed in late 1769 by more severe conditions. By September 1769 there was a severe drought, and alarming reports were coming in of rural distress. These were, however, ignored by company officers.

    By early 1770 there was starvation, and by mid-1770 deaths from starvation were occurring on a large scale. Later in 1770 good rainfall resulted in a good harvest and the famine abated. However, other shortfalls occurred in the following years, raising the total death toll. About ten million people, approximately one-third of the population of the affected area, are estimated to have died in the famine.

    As a result of the famine large areas were depopulated and returned to jungle for decades to come, as the survivors migrated en masse in a search for food. Many cultivated lands were abandoned—much of Birbhum, for instance, returned to jungle and was virtually impassable for decades afterwards. From 1772 on, bands of bandits and Thugs became an established feature of Bengal, and were only brought under control by punitive actions in the 1780s

    East India Company responsibilities

    The famine occurred largely due to the British East India Company's policies in Bengal

    As a trading body, the first remit of the company was to maximise its profits and with taxation rights, the profits to be obtained from Bengal came from land tax as well as trade tariffs. As lands came under company control, the land tax was typically raised fivefold what it had been – from 10% to up to 50% of the value of the agricultural produce. In the first years of the rule of the British East India Company, the total land tax income was doubled and most of this revenue flowed out of the country. As the famine approached its height in April 1770, the Company announced that the land tax for the following year was to be increased by a further 10%.

    Sushil Chaudhury writes that the destruction of food crops in Bengal to make way for opium poppy cultivation for export reduced food availability and contributed to the famine. The company is also criticised for ordering the farmers to plant indigo instead of rice, as well as forbidding the "hoarding" of rice. This prevented traders and dealers from laying in reserves that in other times would have tided the population over lean periods

    By the time of the famine, monopolies in grain trading had been established by the company and its agents. The company had no plan for dealing with the grain shortage, and actions were only taken insofar as they affected the mercantile and trading classes. Land revenue decreased by 14% during the affected year, but recovered rapidly. According to Mc Lane, the first governor-general of British India, Warren Hastings, acknowledged "violent" tax collecting after 1771: revenues earned by the Company were higher in 1771 than in 1768. Globally, the profit of the company increased from fifteen million rupees in 1765 to thirty million in 1777.[citation needed] Nevertheless, the company continued to suffer financially, and influenced Parliament to pass the Tea Act in 1773 to lift import duties on tea shipped to the American colonies, which contributed to the American War of Independence in April 1775.[citation needed]

    With the drain of silver and the growing number of people addicted to the drug, the Daoguang Emperor demanded action. Officials at the court who advocated legalizing the trade so the government could tax it were defeated by those who advocated suppression. In 1838, the Emperor sent Lin Zexu to Guangzhou, where he quickly arrested Chinese opium dealers and summarily demanded that foreign firms turn over their stocks. When they refused, Lin stopped trade altogether and placed the foreign residents under virtual siege, eventually forcing the merchants to surrender their opium to be destroyed

    In response, the British government sent expeditionary forces from India, which ravaged the Chinese coast and dictated the terms of settlement. The Treaty of Nanking not only opened the way for further opium trade, but ceded territory including Hong Kong, unilaterally fixed Chinese tariffs at a low rate, granted extraterritorial rights to foreigners in China (which were not offered to Chinese abroad), a most favored nation clause, and diplomatic representation. When the court still refused to accept foreign ambassadors and obstructed the trade clauses of the treaties, disputes over the treatment of British merchants in Chinese ports and on the seas led to the Second Opium War and the Treaty of Tientsin

    These treaties, soon followed by similar arrangements with the United States and France, later became known as the Unequal Treaties, and the Opium Wars represented the start of China's "Century of humiliation"

    European trade with Asia

    Direct maritime trade between Europe and China began with the Portuguese in the 16th century, which leased an outpost at Macau starting from 1557; other European nations soon followed. European traders, such as the Portuguese, inserted themselves into the existing Asian maritime trade network, competing with Arab, Chinese, Indian, and Japanese traders in intra-regional trade. Mercantilist governments in Europe objected to the perpetual drain of silver to pay for Asian commodities, and so European traders often sought to generate profits from intra-regional Asian trade to pay for their purchases to be sent back home

    After the Spanish acquisition of the Philippines, the exchange of goods between China and western Europe accelerated dramatically. From 1565, the annual Manila Galleon brought in enormous amounts of silver to the Asian trade network, and in particular China, from Spanish silver mines in South America. As demand increased in Europe, the profits European traders generated within the Asian trade network, used to purchase Asian goods, were gradually replaced by the direct export of bullion from Europe in exchange for the produce of Asia

    Qing attitudes toward trade

    The Qing, and its predecessor the Ming, shared an ambivalent attitude towards overseas trade, and maritime activity in general. From 1661 to 1669, in an effort to cut off Ming loyalists, the Qing issued an edict to evacuate all populations living near the coast of Southern China. Though it was later repealed, the edict seriously disrupted coastal areas and drove many Chinese overseas

    Qing attitudes were also further aggravated by traditional Confucian disdain (even hostility) towards merchants and traders. Qing officials believed that trade incited unrest and disorder, promoted piracy, and threatened to compromise information on China's defences. The Qing instituted a set of rigid and incomplete regulations regarding trade at Chinese ports, setting up four maritime customs offices (in Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu) and a sweeping 20 percent tariff on all foreign goods. These policies only succeeded in establishing a system of kickbacks and purchased monopolies that enriched the officials who administered coastal regions

    Although foreign merchants and traders dealt with low level Qing bureaucrats and agents at specified ports and entry points, official contact between China and foreign governments was organized around the tributary system. The tributary system affirmed the Emperor as the son of Heaven with a mandate to rule on Earth; as such, foreign rulers were required to present tribute and acknowledge the superiority of the imperial court. In return, the Emperor bestowed gifts and titles upon foreign emissaries and allowed them to trade for short periods of time during their stay within China.

    Foreign rulers agreed to these terms for several reasons, namely that the gifts given by the Emperor were of greater value than the tribute received (as a demonstration of imperial munificence) and that the trade to be conducted while in China was extremely lucrative and exempt from customs duties. The political realities of the system varied from century to century, but by the Qing period, with European traders pushing to gain more access to China, Qing authorities denied requests for trade privileges from European embassies and assigned them "tributary" status with missions limited at the will of the imperial court. This arrangement became increasingly unacceptable to European nations, in particular the British

    British trade and the Canton System

    British ships began to appear infrequently around the coasts of China from 1635; without establishing formal relations through the tributary system, British merchants were allowed to trade at the ports of Zhoushan and Xiamen in addition to Guangzhou (Canton). Trade further benefited after the Qing relaxed maritime trade restrictions in the 1680s, after Taiwan came under Qing control in 1683, and even rhetoric regarding the "tributary status" of Europeans was muted. Guangzhou (Canton) was the port of preference for most foreign trade; ships did try to call at other ports but they did not match the benefits of Guangzhou's geographic position at the mouth of the Pearl river trade network and Guangzhou's long experience in balancing the demands of Beijing with those of Chinese and foreign merchants. From 1700–1842, Guangzhou came to dominate maritime trade with China, and this period became known as the "Canton System"

    Official British trade was conducted through the auspices of the British East India Company, which held a royal charter for trade with the Far East. The EIC gradually came to dominate Sino-European trade from its position in India

    Low Chinese demand for European goods, and high European demand for Chinese goods, including tea, silk, and porcelain, forced European merchants to purchase these goods with silver, the only commodity the Chinese would accept. In modern economic terms the Chinese were demanding hard currency or specie (gold or silver coinage) as the medium of exchange for the international trade in their goods. From the mid-17th century around 28 million kilograms of silver were received by China, principally from European powers, in exchange for Chinese goods

    Britain's problem was further complicated by the fact that it had been using the gold standard from the mid-18th century and therefore had to purchase silver from other European countries, incurring an additional transaction cost. British and other Europeans tried to reduce the trade deficit by importing tea from India and other places, and the Germans managed to reverse engineer the making of porcelain, but the deficit remained

    In the 18th century, despite ardent protest from the Qing government, British traders began importing opium from India. The introduction of opium into China was caused by Britain's need to send something back to China in return for their highly consumed Chinese tea. Britain first tried exporting European clothes, but the Chinese preferred their own silk. The British exported a large quantity of silver for Chinese Tea. With India and its poppy fields under British control, the logical option to fix the imbalance of trade was to start trading opium

    Because of its strong mass appeal and addictive nature, opium was an effective solution to the British trade problem. An instant consumer market for the drug was secured by the addiction of thousands of Chinese, and the flow of silver was reversed. Recognizing the growing number of addicts, the Yongzheng Emperor prohibited the sale and smoking of opium in 1729, and only allowed a small amount of opium imports for medicinal purposes

    Growth of opium trade
    Following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, in which Britain annexed Bengal to its empire, the British East India Company pursued a monopoly on production and export of Indian opium. The monopoly began in earnest in 1773, as the British Governor-General of Bengal abolished the opium syndicate at Patna. For the next fifty years opium trade would be the key to the East India Company's hold on the subcontinent

    Considering that importation of opium into China had been virtually banned by Chinese law, the East India Company established an elaborate trading scheme partially relying on legal markets, and partially leveraging illicit ones. British merchants carrying no opium would buy tea in Canton on credit, and would balance their debts by selling opium at auction in Calcutta. From there, the opium would reach the Chinese coast hidden aboard British ships then smuggled into China by native merchants. In 1797 the company further tightened its grip on the opium trade by enforcing direct trade between opium farmers and the British, and ending the role of Bengali purchasing agents. British exports of opium to China grew from an estimated 15 tons in 1730 to 75 tons in 1773. The product was shipped in over two thousand chests, each containing 140 pounds (64 kg) of opium

    Meanwhile, negotiations with the Qianlong Emperor to ease the trading ban carried on, coming to a head in 1793 under Earl George Macartney. Such discussions were unsuccessful

    In 1799, the Qing Empire reinstated their ban on opium imports. The Empire issued the following decree in 1810:

    Opium has a harm. Opium is a poison, undermining our good customs and morality. Its use is prohibited by law. Now the commoner, Yang, dares to bring it into the Forbidden City. Indeed, he flouts the law! However, recently the purchasers, eaters, and consumers of opium have become numerous. Deceitful merchants buy and sell it to gain profit. The customs house at the Ch'ung-wen Gate was originally set up to supervise the collection of imports (it had no responsibility with regard to opium smuggling). If we confine our search for opium to the seaports, we fear the search will not be sufficiently thorough. We should also order the general commandant of the police and police- censors at the five gates to prohibit opium and to search for it at all gates. If they capture any violators, they should immediately punish them and should destroy the opium at once. As to Kwangtung and Fukien, the provinces from which opium comes, we order their viceroys, governors, and superintendents of the maritime customs to conduct a thorough search for opium, and cut off its supply. They should in no ways consider this order a dead letter and allow opium to be smuggled out!

    The decree had little effect. The Qing government, in Beijing in the north of China, was unable to halt opium smuggling in the southern provinces. A porous Chinese border and rampant local demand only encouraged the all-too eager East India Company, which had its monopoly on opium trade recognised by the British government, which itself wanted silver. By the 1820s China was importing 900 tons of Bengali opium annually

    Napier Affair and First Opium War (1839–1842)

    [​IMG]

    Lin Zexu's "memorial" (摺奏) written directly to Queen Victoria
    First Opium War
    In 1834 to accommodate the revocation of the East India Company's monopoly, the British sent Lord
    William John Napier to Macau. He tried to circumvent restrictive Canton Trade laws that forbade direct contact with Chinese officials by attempting to send a letter directly to the Viceroy of Canton. The Viceroy refused to accept it, and closed trade starting on 2 September of that year. Lord Napier had to return to Macau (where he died a few days later) and, unable to force the matter, the British agreed to resume trade under the old restrictions

    Within the Chinese mandarinate there was an ongoing debate over legalising the opium trade itself. However, legalization was repeatedly rejected, and in 1838 the government sentenced native drug traffickers to death. Around this time, the British were selling roughly 1,400 tons per year to China. In March 1839, the Emperor appointed a new strict Confucian commissioner, Lin Zexu, to control the opium trade at the port of Canton

    His first course of action was to enforce the imperial demand for a permanent halt to drug shipments into China. When the British refused to end the trade, Lin blockaded the British traders in their factories and cut off supplies of food. On 27 March 1839 Charles Elliot, British Superintendent of Trade—who had been locked in the factories when he arrived at Canton—finally agreed that all British subjects should turn over their opium to him, amounting to nearly a year's supply of the drug, to be confiscated by Commissioner Lin Zexu. In a departure from his brief, he promised that the crown would compensate them for the lost opium.

    While this amounted to a tacit acknowledgment that the British government did not disapprove of the trade, it also forced a huge liability on the exchequer. Unable to allocate funds for an illegal drug but pressed for compensation by the merchants, this liability is cited as one reason for the decision to force a war

    As well as seizing supplies in the factories, Chinese troops boarded British ships in international waters outside Chinese jurisdiction, where their cargo was still legal, and destroyed the opium aboard. After the opium was surrendered, trade was restarted on the strict condition that no more drugs would be smuggled into China. Lin demanded that British merchants sign a bond promising not to deal in opium, under penalty of death. The British officially opposed signing of the bond, but some British merchants that did not deal in opium were willing to sign. Lin had the opium disposed of by dissolving it in water, salt, and lime, and dumping it into the ocean.

    In 1839, Lin took the step of publishing a letter addressed to Queen Victoria questioning the moral reasoning of the British government (it is not known that she ever received it). Citing what he understood to be a strict prohibition of the trade within Great Britain, Lin questioned how it could then profit from the drug in China. He wrote: "Your Majesty has not before been thus officially notified, and you may plead ignorance of the severity of our laws, but I now give my assurance that we mean to cut this harmful drug forever"

    In fact, opium was not illegal in England at the time, and comparably smaller quantities were imported. The British government and merchants offered no response to Lin, accusing him instead of destroying their property. When the British learned of what was taking place in Canton, as communications between these two parts of the world took months at this time, they sent a large British Indian army, which arrived in June 1840

    British military superiority drew on newly applied technology. British warships wreaked havoc on coastal towns; the steam ship Nemesis was able to move against the winds and tides and support a gun platform with very heavy guns. In addition, the British troops were the first to be armed with modern muskets and cannons, which fired more rapidly and with greater accuracy than the Qing firearms and artillery, though Chinese cannons had been in use since previous dynasties. After the British took Canton, they sailed up the Yangtze and took the tax barges, a devastating blow to the Empire as it slashed the revenue of the imperial court in Beijing to just a fraction of what it had been

    In 1842, the Qing authorities sued for peace, which concluded with the Treaty of Nanking negotiated in August of that year and ratified in 1843. In the treaty, China was forced to pay an indemnity to Britain, open four ports to Britain, and cede Hong Kong to Queen Victoria. In the supplementary Treaty of the Bogue, the Qing empire also recognised Britain as an equal to China and gave British subjects extraterritorial privileges in treaty ports. In 1844, the United States and France concluded similar treaties with China, the Treaty of Wanghia and Treaty of Whampoa respectively

    The First Opium War was attacked in the House of Commons by a newly elected young member of Parliament, William Ewart Gladstone, who wondered if there had ever been "a war more unjust in its origin, a war more calculated to cover this country with permanent disgrace, I do not know"

    The Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, replied by saying that nobody could "say that he honestly believed the motive of the Chinese Government to have been the promotion of moral habits" and that the war was being fought to stem China's balance of payments deficit. John Quincy Adams commented that opium was "a mere incident to the dispute... the cause of the war is the kowtow—the arrogant and insupportable pretensions of China that she will hold commercial intercourse with the rest of mankind not upon terms of equal reciprocity, but upon the insulting and degrading forms of the relations between lord and vassal"

     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  2. vostok

    vostok PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    And nothing has changed. Anglo-Saxons are still trading opium-heroine.
    I want to add one more fact, little known outside Russia. One day in the 2000s, Russian military appealed to Americans with a proposal to spray poison from planes over fields of poppies. They refused. They said it would ruin peasant economy of Afghanistan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  3. Desert Fox

    Desert Fox ELITE MEMBER

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    The opium industry during the opium wars was not run by Anglo-Saxons, but by a Iraqi Jew by the name of Solomon Sassoon.

    Sassoon family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Opium Wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. shazlion

    shazlion FULL MEMBER

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