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Use the documents below to answer the questions that follow. Complete this assignment in your notebooks.

Document 1

"The Opium Wars"

In the mid 19th Century, China and the European countries were not on good terms at all. At the root of all this conflict was
economics. Due to the lack of interest in European goods, all of the European countries, specifically Britain were running a trade
deficit with China. In order to reverse this trend, the British started exporting opium from India and into China. This had the
desired effect as soon China began to run a trade deficit with the British. In order to stem the outflow of silver from China,
Chinese officials began aggressively enforcing its laws against opium use and distribution. The actions of Chinese authorities
against this lucrative trade infuriated British politicians despite the fact opium was illegal in Britain as well. This conflict
resulted in two wars (1839-1842, 1856-1860) between the British and Chinese and would result in much hardship for the
Chinese people in subsequent events. The Opium Wars would end up having lasting effects on China that are evident even in the
present day.

The purchases made by British and American firms in Canton were multiplying. Both countries paid for everything with silver
instead of the barter system because China had little it wanted from the West. This system was getting costly for the US and
Great Britain. As a direct result the smuggling of opium (which was relatively cheap to produce) began. Opium was forbidden in
China except for medicinal use. Even though Canton was the only port legally open smuggling of opium occurred all along the
southern coast of China, the figures were as follows:

1. Which 2 countries fought in the Opium Wars?

2. What was the main reason for the conflict between these 2 countries?

3. Look at the chart: Why do you think the war began in 1839?

4. What problems did Opium cause for the people of China?

Document 2

Unequal Treaties
According to the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing, the Chinese were to:

1. Reimburse Britain for costs incurred fighting the Chinese

2. Open several ports to British trade

3. Provide Britain with complete control of Hong Kong

4. Grant extraterritoriality to British citizens living in China

1. What is one provision of the Treaty of Nanjing?

2. Describe how you think the Chinese people feel about the Nanking Treaty.

Document 3 Spheres of Influence

Eventually several European nations followed suit, forcing China to sign a series of unequal treaties. Extraterritoriality
guaranteed that European citizens in China were only subject to the laws of their own nation and could only be tried by their
own courts. Eventually western nations weary of governing foreign lands, established spheres of influence within China which
guaranteed specific trading privileges to each nation within its respective sphere.
Eventually the United States demanded equal trading status within China, and rather than carve out its own sphere of influence,
simply announced the Open Door Policy in 1899. This stated that all nations should have equal trading rights regardless of
spheres of influence. While this may have prevented the further expansion of spheres of influences, it did little to restore Chinese

What is the difference between a sphere of influence and colonization?

What are the benefits of a sphere of influence?

Document 3

What are the people of China rebelling against? What do you think they want to accomplish?

Disgusted with the failed efforts of the Manchu Dynasty in ridding China of opium or foreign influence after the Opium Wars,
Chinese citizens staged the Taiping Rebellion. A revolt by the people of China against the ruling Manchu
Dynasty because of their failure to deal effectively with the opium problem and the interference of
foreigners between 1850-1864. Already weakened, the Chinese officials turned to foreigners for help in putting down the
rebellion, killing millions of Chinese in the process.

After the further insult of the Open Door Policy, Chinese nationalist staged the Boxer Rebellion, A rebellion by the people
of China to end foreign domination in 1900. Viewed as a threat to the profits they enjoyed in their imperialist spheres
of influence, foreign nations formed an international coalition that ended the uprising. With this victory, additional concessions
were granted to foreign nations within China.

Document 4

Now that you know the outcome of the two rebellions, who do you think will control China in 1912

1. Which countries had influence in China in 1912?

2. How did the events you have learned about (Opium War, Treaty of Nanking, Taiping Rebellion, and the Boxer Rebellion)
lead to the situation shown in the map?