Britain's China Policy and the Opium Crisis: Balancing Drugs, Violence and National Honour, 1833-1840

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Ashgate, 2003 - History - 158 pages
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This book examines British policy towards China, arguing, contrary to established interpretations, that when setting policy, British statesmen focused more on national honour and peaceful relations than on expanding trade.The first Opium War (1840-42) was a defining moment in Anglo-Chinese relations, and since the 1840s the histories of its origins have tended to have been straightforward narratives, which suggest that the British Cabinet turned to its military to protect opium sales and to force open the China trade. Whilst the monetary aspects of the war cannot be ignored, this book argues that economic interests should not overshadow another important aspect of British foreign policy - honour and shame.

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