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The Golden GhettoThe American Commercial Community at Canton and the Shaping of American China Policy, 1784-1844$
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Jacques M. Downs

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139095

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139095.001.0001

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Opium Transforms the Canton System

Opium Transforms the Canton System

(p.105) 3 Opium Transforms the Canton System
The Golden Ghetto

Jacques M. Downs

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 3 explains the growth of the opium trade and the business operations that flourished along with it. International credit was one of operations that prospered, and this in turn benefitted trade outside of China. The first edict against opium appeared in 1729 and by 1837, mandarin vigilance increased markedly and at the end of 1838, the emperor despatched Lin Tse-hsü to end the opium traffic. By stopping trade and demanding the surrender of all opium aboard storeships, he achieved his goal but led to the war with the British in November 1839. The war ended with China's defeat and the signing of the treaty of Nanking. Although the Americans were sympathetic toward the Chinese, they welcomed the opportunities presented by the treaty and clamoured for equal treatment.

Keywords:   China, China Trade, American, Opium, First Opium War, Trade, Sino-US Treaty of Wanghia, Opium smuggling, American foreign policy in China

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