First Opium War

During the 1840s, Britain tried to force China to accept foreign trade through intimidation from their superior naval power.  Despite the fact that the product was illegal in China, an important export from Britain to China was opium.  The product was often smuggled into China by Britain causing a large addiction among the Chinese people.  Due to the nationwide addiction, the Chinese government destroyed cretes of opium discovered in Canton in order to end the opium trade between the two nations.  China’s actions threw themselves into a five year conflict with Britain, the First Opium War (1839-1842).  China was defeated and forced to surrender Hong Kong to Britain and open five ports to foreign traders.First Opium War

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