Inthe 19thCentury British planned to invade China for economic reasons. It hadno motives to conquer the state rather entice it to accept a freetrade. The country was rich in tea which was in high demand not onlyin Britain but all over the world. China also had porcelain and silkwhich the Britons envied. The intruders did not have enough silver tobuy the commodities thus opted for a barter system. Consequently, awar between the two states occurred. It was fought between 1848 and1852 with China becoming unsuccessful due advanced militarycompetence of Britons. The signing of an agreement between them thenfollowed, and British was additionally awarded extraterritorialrights by China. However, the imperialism in China was a positivething to the natives because it introduced trade and much educationin the region which opened up opportunities.
Oneof the exploitations done by the British was that they took advantageof a weak Chinese Navy to forcefully take five ports from them amongthem being Hong Kong. The British Navy engaged the Chinese in a warwhere they won with much ease and were granted access to the ports(Cain& Hopkins, 2016).They used them as trade channels. Another exploitation is that theyused Chinese as slaves. The intruders neither paid the Chineseworkers nor provided them with medical covers after offering someservices to them. Britain also forced them to sign free tradeagreements. The treaties helped them ship some of the commoditiesfrom China without regulations. They also brought opium to Chinasince it had been banned in Britain for killing many citizens due toaddictions. The Chinese, however, adored the drug to the extent thatthe government complained about the substance use in the country.
Therewere both positive and negative effects introduced by imperialism inChina. During that period, it seemed as though the nation was beingharmed by it. However, today’s successes in the republic mayarguably be linked to the imperialism. The state acquired the chanceand the ability to trade with other countries which boosted theireconomic status (Cain& Hopkins, 2016).Another benefit is that the semi-illiterate obtained significanteducation from the Britons in addition to the provision ofsanitation. They introduced schools and other technical institutionsthat provided modern education to the natives. They were also taughthow to improve their land production. It was significant because theyyielded increased harvests from agricultural methods taught to them.
However,the intruders weakened the traditional Chinese culture. Britonsbrought with them the Western ways of doing things which provedinfluential in the region. Some locals began to adapt to them at theexpense of their practices. The native language and religion werealso negatively affected as a result of imperialism. The Britons wereneither willing to learn Chinese nor their religion and as a resultintroduced their own where some of the natives were attracted andbegan to follow.
HowChinese reacted to Imperialism
Duringimperialism, the China experienced difficulties in sustaining theiridentity while at the hands of the British rule due to the superiorpower of the intruders and their arrogance (Cain& Hopkins, 2016).Their next step was to make an attempt to end it. The Chinese hatedthe opium and imperialism brought by the Britons, and they tried todrive them out of their country. Though they were defeated theyswitched to preserving their culture from being westernized.
WhatChina wanted and how they tried to get it
Theprimary reason that catalyzed the desire to drive the intruders awaywas that the natives wanted to claim back their human dignity. Theyfelt that the British had lowered their human value by forcing themto work without pay in their country. They also wanted liberty andfreedom the foreign rule which was less appealing (Cain& Hopkins, 2016).The intruders had also mistreated the natives for a long time and hadgrown increasingly resentful of the influence from the west. As aresult, they developed the Society of Harmonious Fists (SHF) whichwas also referred to as the Boxers in an attempt to liberalizethemselves and get rid of the foreigners or any Chinese who hadadapted and accepted Christianity and the western culture. The troopsurrounded the Beijing’s European unit for several weeks in anattempt to evict them. However, they did not succeed as they weredriven away by the multinational military personnel. Also thefollowing attempts by China to evict their enemies did not bear anyfruits. Chinese military force became weak leading to otherforeigners invading the region and most notably the U.S.
DespiteChina facing many problems during the era of imperialism and claimingto be self-sufficient, they still needed some help from theforeigners. Imperialism helped the state to open up trade channelswhich positively shaped the country the way it is nowadays. Theyacted angrily and attempted to end it though it was unsuccessful.They had to watch more foreigners flock their territory. U.S,however, proposed an equal trade for all who were present to muchresistance from the British. The Americans and the French joinedhands to neutralize the effects of the Britons, and they obtainedtheir wish. Since then several states conduct trade equally andfairly.
Cain,P. J., & Hopkins, A. G. (2016). BritishImperialism: 1688-2015.New York N.Y.: Routledge.