How do you understand the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War (1840-42)? The First Anglo-Chinese War broken out in 1840-42. it was a war to show about the reaction of China to the Western country. Before First Anglo-Chinese War, China was a closed country, but after the War, the door of China became to opien. So the First Anglo-Chinese War was very important in Chinese History. But why the First Anglo-Chinese War broken out? What is the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War. To the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War, some people said that it was caused by opium trade.
But in my own opinion, the First Anglo-Chinese War was more suitable for the name of the commercial war. Traditionally, British look the trade as very important. Most of the war that British declared just because of trade. In 17th centry, British were already trade with China. The British buy so many tea and silk from China and just sell a little of cotton to China. It made the disbalance of trade. Britain lost money for every year. So in order to change this situation, British demanded China to open more trade port to do the trade. And also cancelled the Gonghong policy, let the British merchant do the free trade in China.
But to China, traditionally China did not look trade as important. Because Chinese thought that they use agricultural to build the country. also Chinese thought that to trade with foreigners are the policy of favour to the foreigners. It was a gift, so the foreigners could demand any more to China. So China refused all the demand about British. Sin order to open China’s market and make the British merchant could do the free trade in China, the only way to solve was use war to force China to open her market. Some people argued that the First-Anglo Chinese War was a Opium War. It was because Lin-Zixyu flow all the Opium.
The British government fight with China because Chinese government made British lost in the Opium. However, the opium trade still not a main reason to make British to fight with China. It is because British government knew that opium was not a moral thing. So British government would not fight with China just because of the opium. Although British earned a lot of silver. In the opium trade, British government thought if China could open her market, Britain must earn a lot of money too. Because opium was not a moral thing, so if the British could made choice, they won’t see opium to China.
Moreover, if British government really treat opium important, then why British government did not demand China in Treaty of Nanijng to make opium become legal. So we can see that the First Anglo-Chinese War were mainly caused by the ordinary trade, but not the opium trade. Also some people said that if opium were replaced by cotton, the war still would broke out. I agree on this. because opium just as an excuse to force China to open her market. Whatever opium or cotton, the only aim for British were opened China’s market. Some people said that the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War was different cultural.
Yes because of different cultural, like China treat trade not important, but British treat trade important. Also China treat foreigners as barbarians, they did not respect to British and different law between Britain and China. But every years, although the different cultural, there were still a lot of merchants went to China to trade. We can see that the British could earn benefit from the trade. So they didn’t mind any different cultural. The only think they would consider was how to earn money. Some people said the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War is diplomatic problems.
Because the emperor of China didn’t respect to the British missionaries. The Emperor need the missionaries to “kowtao” to him. It made the missionaries very angry. However, if the British really mind about the diplomatic problems, why they still modified to “kowtao” to emperor. And sent three not one missionaries to China. Also the three missionaries came to China just to talk about trade between Britain and China. To conclude, the nature of the First Anglo-Chinese War only have one. It is the commercial trade. If the trade between China and Britain could become better, their will be no First Anglo-Chinese War.