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The British Presence in Macau, 1635-1793$
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Rogerio Miguel Puga

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139798

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139798.001.0001

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Lord Macartney’s embassy to China, 1792–1794

Lord Macartney’s embassy to China, 1792–1794

(p.122) (p.123) 12 Lord Macartney’s embassy to China, 1792–1794
The British Presence in Macau, 1635-1793

Rogério Miguel Puga

Hong Kong University Press

Lord Macartney headed the first embassy to China in 1793. The aim was to achieve greater freedom in trade and an establishment similar to Macau. To protect its interests, the enclave spared no effort in seeking the embassy’s failure, so that the enclave might continue to enjoy its privileged position. In 1794, the embassy concluded in failure, but it gave rise to several descriptions that changed China’s image in Britain and Europe to a weak and vulnerable nation which should be forced to modernise. In 1816, Lord Amherst led another embassy to Beijing, which bore no fruit. These failed embassies eventually resulted in the British’s attempts at achieving their aim through military might. Taking the 1839 opium crisis as a pretext, Britain declared war on China, a conflict known as the first Opium War.

Keywords:   Lord Macartney, Amherst Embassy, 1793 Embassy, Image of China, George Thomas, Opium War

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