The acquisition of Hong Kong, 1842

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  • British merchants confined to small area of Canton unable to travel up Yangzte
  • Piracy occured in Singapore and Canton- attacked European sailing ships and ships from EIC were less armed and inadequete, concerning for EIC who relied on China for operations and profit.
  • Negative balance of trade- used silver bullion to purchase goods

How were these issues resolved?


  • Grown cheaply
  • Addictive properties made it illegal in China
  • Chinese coastal merchants smuggled opium to supply its users
  • Trade accelerated- 357 tons by 1822
  • EIC monoploy expired in 1833 leading to expansion in opium trade from…


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