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Opium, soldiers and evangelicals: Englands 1840-42 war with China, and its aftermath


Gelber, H, Opium, soldiers and evangelicals: Englands 1840-42 war with China, and its aftermath, Palgrave MacMillan, Hampshire, pp. 252. ISBN 1-4039-0700-5 (2004) [Authored Research Book]

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For political London, the 1840-42 war with China was not an 'Opium War' but merely a little local difficulty. England fought against the intolerable claims to superiority of a dilapidated and deeply corrupt China, to uphold the status of the crown, to protect the security of threatened British men and women, and to seek compensation for the seizure of property. No-one in London, and no commander involved in the war, thought opium was the issue; if the Chinese wanted to control their own borders and coasts, that was their business, not Britain's. Militarily, it was not a difficult war, but the aftermath was. Only decades later did a combination of evangelical and missionary opinion at home, together with sympathy for the growing resentments and miseries of China, persuade British and American opinion that Britain had, indeed, been wicked and even tried to force opium on the Chinese.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:International relations
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International relations not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Gelber, H (Professor Harry Gelber)
ID Code:32701
Year Published:2004
Deposited By:Government
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2010-08-05

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