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Creating the Opium War

British imperial attitudes towards China, 1792-1840

By Hao Gao

Creating the Opium War
Hardcover

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3342-7
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: December 2019
  • BIC Category: History, HISTORY / Asia / China, HISTORY / General, China, British Empire, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism

Description

Creating the Opium War examines British imperial attitudes towards China during their early encounters from the Macartney embassy to the outbreak of the Opium War - a deeply consequential event which arguably reshaped relations between China and the West in the next century. It makes the first attempt to bring together the political history of Sino-western relations and the cultural studies of British representations of China, as a new way of explaining the origins of the conflict. The book focuses on a crucial period (1792-1840), which scholars such as Kitson and Markley have recently compared in importance to that of American and French Revolutions. By examining a wealth of primary materials, some in more detail than ever before, this study reveals how the idea of war against China was created out of changing British perceptions of the country.

Reviews

'In sum, this is a well-written and well-researched book, which also includes, by the way, a lucid index at its end that makes it easy to look up names and key terms in the main text. It will prove a very helpful guide for any student dealing with the time prior to the First Opium war and may serve as a perfect point of departure for any further research, as it bundles information from both primary sources and secondary literature related to the various aspects of that topic. No scholar who deals with early Sino-British relations should be without it.'
Journal of Asian History, Dorothee Schaab-Hanke

Contents

Introduction

PART I THE EMBASSIES
1 The Macartney embassy
2 The Amherst embassy

PART II PRELUDE TO THE OPIUM WAR
3 The EIC vs free traders
4 'Show of force'
5 Justifying the Opium War

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

Author

Hao Gao is Senior Lecturer in Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter

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