By: Natalie Perrault
In the 1700s British merchants began making a profit by trading opium that they traded in India for Chinese tea. China ended up importing over six million pounds of tea per year from Canton. Opium had also been used in Chinese medicine. Many Chinese became addicted to this drug. People would pay in silver for opium, which ended up disrupting the economy. The government ended up outlawing opium and executing Chinese drug dealers. Many people were killed for the free trade of Opium. In 1839 the British and Chinese started the opium war. The British eailey fought the Chinese because of their weapon advancement.
Three Principles of the People
In the 1900s the reformers introduce a constitutional monarchy. Sun Yixian formed a new party, the Nationalist Party. The three principles of the people is a political philosophy which was developed by Sun Yixian. He wanted to make China a free, prosperous, and dominate nation. Nationalism or Minzu was the first principle and it helped free China from imperialist domination. Democracy or the rights of people was the second principle. Sun Yixian wanted the Chinese to be able to control their own government and to be able to elect their own leader. Minsheng or people’s livelihood was the third principle, which could have been also translated to socialism. He had in mind the idea of equalization of land ownership through a just system of taxation.
Hundred Days Reform
The Hundred Days Reform began in 1898 by Guang Xu, a young emperor. The reforms were aimed at making social and institutional changes. The Reform was a failed attempt to modernized China. Even though the reform movement had failed, it did spread ideas of the democratic and constitutionalist. These ideas had a significant effect on the future generations. Reforms affected schools, the military, and the bureaucracy. New laws were to help China modernize the civil service exams, streamline government, and encourage new industries. Conversations railed against the reforms, Ci Xi took over control and the reformers fled for their lives.
In 1849 China was forced to accept the treaty of Nanjing. The unequal treaties marked the end of the First Opium War between Britain and China. Unequal treaties meant that China was being forced to let the British live under their own laws. China also allowed the British access to the island of Hong Kong where they could unload their goods. The treaties did not resolve the status of the opium trade. The Nanjing treaty created a change in China’s foreign relations and overseas trade. This new system would last almost a hundred years.