Drug Wars

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Category:
History
Subcategory:
Global connections
Level:
Academic
Pages:
3
Words:
652
View sample
Lin Zexu was a Chinese Governor of Hubei and Hunan when he declared war against the trade of opium. He was known for his high morals and competence as a fierce bureaucrat. In 1839, he joined an imperial committee and together they went against the British illegal opium importation into China. He arrested two thousand opium traders and confiscated their goods in Guangdong Province (McPherson 489). However, he failed to convince other foreign firms to give up their stores for the storage of tea instead of opium. Hence he used brutal force against the western traders and he was able to confiscate over two million pounds of opium from them. The confiscated opium was destroyed by mixing it with salt and lime and then disposing it into the sea. In his continued spirit of the fight against the immorality of opium trade, he wrote to Queen Victoria of the British Empire. The memorial was supposed to convince the Queen to put a stop to opium trade in Britain but it never reached her and was instead published later on by The Times of London in Canton. His argument was that China provided Britain with commodities that were valuable but in return, they received goods that were harmful to the Chinese people. Lin considered spices, silk, tea and porcelain as respectable and moral goods compared to the opium that was being illegally imported into China (McPherson 551). He accused the western opium traders as people who lacked in morality and driven by greed for profits without considering the welfare of the opium buyers. Lin assumed that opium being traded was used solely for recreational purposes. This assumption was wrong as the United States, Europe, and the Middle East were using it for medicinal purposes. His call to ban the trade of opium was therefore headed to a sure rejection. He advised the Queen to uphold his efforts in the fight against the drug. Lin seemed ill-advised or unaware that the British would simply bow to his morals or instructions. He viewed the opium tra...
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