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 tradedue to the serious social and economic problems it causedthe 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.
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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
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