The Roles of Tea and Opium in Early Economic Globalization: A Perspective on China’s Crisis in the 19 th Century

The Roles of Tea and Opium in Early Economic Globalization: A Perspective on China’s Crisis in... Alongside military conquest which characterized great part of globalization during the 19 th century, the globalization of markets no doubt was its main manifestation. Addictive consumption goods played a leading role during this process, as observed in the case of China, tea and the opium trade had the largest impact. Owing to the importance of Britain’s growing demand for tea and its concomitant tax revenue, Anglo-Chinese trade became the dominant trade that Britain had in the East. To make up the trade deficit with China, Britain took advantage of its Indian colony and did its best in expanding its opium trade. Within this triangular trade scheme, Britain was the master, India was the instrument, and China was the ultimate victim. Confronted by the irresistible trend of globalization, China was ill prepared when facing this challenge leading to a complete failure in both military and commercial warfare and later on to an overall crisis in the 19 th century. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers of History in China Brill

The Roles of Tea and Opium in Early Economic Globalization: A Perspective on China’s Crisis in the 19 th Century

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2010 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1673-3401
eISSN
1673-3525
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11462-010-0004-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Alongside military conquest which characterized great part of globalization during the 19 th century, the globalization of markets no doubt was its main manifestation. Addictive consumption goods played a leading role during this process, as observed in the case of China, tea and the opium trade had the largest impact. Owing to the importance of Britain’s growing demand for tea and its concomitant tax revenue, Anglo-Chinese trade became the dominant trade that Britain had in the East. To make up the trade deficit with China, Britain took advantage of its Indian colony and did its best in expanding its opium trade. Within this triangular trade scheme, Britain was the master, India was the instrument, and China was the ultimate victim. Confronted by the irresistible trend of globalization, China was ill prepared when facing this challenge leading to a complete failure in both military and commercial warfare and later on to an overall crisis in the 19 th century.

Journal

Frontiers of History in ChinaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: tea trade; opium trade; globalization; 19 th century; addictive consumption goods

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