The Lion and the Dragon: Britain's Opium Wars with China 1839-1860

The Lion and the Dragon: Britain's Opium Wars with China 1839-1860

by Mark Simner


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During the middle of the 19th-Century, Britain and China would twice go to war over trade, and in particular the trade in opium. The Chinese people had progressively become addicted to the narcotic, a habit that British merchants were more than happy to feed from their opium-poppy fields in India. When the Qing dynasty rulers of China attempted to suppress this trade—due to the serious social and economic problems it caused—the British Government responded with gunboat diplomacy, and conflict soon ensued.

The first conflict, known as the First Anglo-Chinese War or Opium War (1839-42), ended in British victory and the Treaty of Nanking. However, this treaty was heavily biased in favor of the British, and it would not be long before there was a renewal of hostilities, taking the form of what became known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War or Arrow War (1857-60). Again, the second conflict would end with an ‘unequal treaty’ that was heavily biased towards the victor.

The Lion and the Dragon: Britain’s Opium Wars with China, 1839-1860 examines the causes and ensuing military history of these tragic conflicts, as well as their bitter legacies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781557174
Publisher: Fonthill Media
Publication date: 07/26/2019
Sales rank: 576,705
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mark Simner has been interested in British military history since childhood, having widely read and researched the period of 1700 to 1945. In 2007 he setup the incredibly successful Victorian Wars Forum, which was followed by the equally popular Napoleonic Wars Forum in 2011. His first book, ‘An Illustrated Introduction to the Battle of Waterloo’, was published in May 2015, and he has since written a number of other titles and articles.

Table of Contents

Maps 7

Glossary 11

Chronology 13

Introduction 17

1 The Iniquitous Trade 21

2 Lin Zexu 36

3 The British Expedition 51

4 Two Battles for Canton 68

5 The Advance to Ningpo 90

6 The Chinese Counterattack 107

7 The Treaty of Nanking 124

8 Renewal of Hostilities 140

9 The Treaty of Tientsin 157

10 Defeat at Taku 179

11 Victory at Taku 191

12 The Convention of Peking 208

Appendix I British Naval and Ground Forces 221

Appendix II British Casualty Statistics 227

Appendix III Victoria Cross Citations 229

Appendix IV The Treaty of Nanking 231

Appendix V The Treaty of the Bogue 236

Appendix VI The Treaty of Tientsin 243

Appendix VII The Convention of Peking 257

Endnotes 261

Bibliography 266

Index 269

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