Reading Response





Reading Response



















Reading Response

The affection and the quest of Great Britain to attain more trade territories contributed to its merchants to exploring the Far East regions. However, despite having traded with Chinese in the tea trade, their intentions and continued monopoly in India was not well welcomed by the Chinese reigns. This contributed to great differences between Qing Court and the Great Britain Empire.

By the start of the nineteenth century, British men and women had already started venturing in India with an aim to trade. Indeed, before the abolishment of the monopoly rule, British East India Company dominated the trade in Asia and Chinese with its close challenger being the Dutch. Appointment of lord Macartney by Henry Dundas to a mission in China was aimed in reshaping the trade between the Chinese and Britons. However, Chinese did not accept the Britons offers an act that contributed to Opium war. Henry Dunda’s letter to his lord intended to seek aid for English merchants that were already trading in China. He stated that they do not require financial aids, but just protection from encroaching Chinese who were already venturing in India. In this letter Henry provided options to the King of Great Britain which he felt that were viable in countering the mighty power of Chinese who were threaten to take their territories in Asia (Porter, 2000). Lord Macartney started his mission in China with a cordial welcome from Qianlong. Although, from his first negotiation he did not attain the goals of the meeting, he was later able to pierce veils of delusions that barred Europeans from comprehendingQing China nature. In describing Chinese government, Macartney states that the current Chinese constitution is totally different from the one that was used in those early days.

Tartar can be termed as the father or the initiator of growth and development in China. Before his entry, the country was dominated by rebellion, civil wars and governed by a feeble administration. Close to the end of seventeenth century, Qianlong reignedterritories much bigger than the entire Great Britain. As a result they felt that the lord Macartney was too little and not worth to debate with such an extensive empire.The end of British monopoly in China trade contributed to a drastic growth of the opium trade up to a point of making it a major concern of Qing Court (Perdue, 2009). Closing the ports was though no to be a solution in controlling opium but it called for setting more strict rules. One of the rules stated that, anyone who was caught with the drug, the whole consignment was to be destroyed. As per the imperial edicts, stiffening the rule against the use and trade of opium was necessary in order to deal with those people who still found a route to do the banned business in China. This lead to Annexed law which laid a tough punishment of decapitation to anyone caught with Opium for sale. Moreover, any opium retailers were to be faced with an instance sentence and conviction on being apprehended. Banning of opium and displacement of Britons from Pearl River compelled Palmerston to declare war with Chinese.

The two articles have been able to support some of the happenings that occurred by the end of seventeenth century with even the documents of agreement and letters that were written during those periods been highlighted. The choice of words in this letter is notable; respect and seniority have been depicted with use of words such as ‘His majesty’, ‘my lord’ and ‘your excellency’. This displays the veneration that was enjoyed by rulers in those early days. The article has also upheld precision on time and date to make the discussion more viable. In different instances, it highlights even the time at which certain action took place. The contrast between the Chinese and Britons can be highlighted from the reading. Despite transacting together, it is evident they did not have similar value to almost everything. For instance, the giftoffered to King of Great Britain via lord Macartney as a sign of peace despite being coveted and treasuredin Chinese land it seemed to be of no values to him. One can argue that, with the great change in technology and development of the China as a country, the governing rule ought to be different from those of ancient times. I tend to agree with the author that to shift to authority from dependence, freedom from slavery is a gradual process and can never be tolerated with discretion. Disregarding of Macartney by Qianlong contradicts the letter of Henry wrote to the King where he described the Great Britain empire as a mighty one. The cause of sale and abolishment of the opium was tough due to wide usage as a medicine, furthermore, even from psychology it is hard to combat a behavior once started rather than before it has been adopted. It was a wrong assumption that banning the trading of opium would end the use of the drug. It called for a concrete measure to counter this drug that was already commanding wide usage.

To sum up, trade war between the Chinese and the Britons in one way or another helped to shape the current economy of the two countries. It is in these periods and more particularly in China that slavery and individual dominions came to an end ushering the new era of economic development and political stability.









Perdue, P. C. (2009). China marches west: the Qing conquest of Central Eurasia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Porter, D. (2000). A Peculiar but Uninteresting Nation: China and the Discourse of Commerce in

Eighteenth-Century England.Eighteenth-Century Studies, 33(2), 181-199.


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