The price of tea from China?

Discussion in 'Other Conflicts' started by preacherbob50, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. preacherbob50

    preacherbob50 Active Member

    I am doing some research in conjunction with one of my passions which is woodcraft. After examining some of the finishes I might use I came upon a little history of Tung Oil and Tea. At one time China was the only country that had Tung trees to produce the nut which Tung Oil was made, and were also a major exporter of tea, both of which Great Britain had a major use for.

    Two major conflicts arose between China and Great Britain. One dating from 1839-1842 and the other from 1856-1860. It seems, according to my research, that the powers that were in Great Britain didn't want to pay cold hard cash for either Tung oil or Tea but would rather trade Opium for the Chinese products which is how the conflicts started. After much loss of life on both sides, the British finally won and got the tea and the tung oil while like it or not the Chinese got Opium and missionaries.

    I knew tea was important to the British, but come on guys, 3 wars over the stuff? Now, if it were over coffee, I can understand that one completely. There's only so much a person can take. No coffee? No work.
  2. Allison

    Allison Member

    It wasn't just over Tung trees. It was for control of those ports. The most important port was Hong Kong. The British used gun ship diplomacy to gain their way. Those gun ships would use cannons to blast away any insurgency along the costs.
    Additionally, the opium was a manner used to subdue the Chinese insurgents. Those Chinese who tried to fight against occupation were pushed back towards the mountains which is where those cannons could not reach.
  3. nailah783

    nailah783 Member

    That is very interesting to me. My cousin used to say, "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" Then I started saying it. What was meant by it is what does whatever you're talking about have to do with the subject. At least that's all I thought was meant by it. Now I know that there is more to it than that.
  4. vashstampede

    vashstampede Active Member

    It was not really about tea.
    China at the time did not really want to buy anything from the west or any foreign countries for that matter. So all the foreign merchants had to go there with nothing but silver and return with full ship of Chinese merchandise. Soon the British found the silver is running low, and they decide to sell something would get the Chinese hooked. So opium was their answer. It is a strong drug that can make any user addicted to it.

    Eventually, the Chinese outlawed the trade of opium. They seized and destroyed all opium. That was the cause for the war. The British demanded compensation for the "destroyed property". Of course the Chinese were not able to give in. So the British sent a fleet to bombard the coast all the way from the south to the north and forced treaties on the Chinese to give up Hong Kong as a port, and open up more ports for "free trade", as well as compensate for the "destroyed property" (opium) as well as made opium legal to trade.

    There were two Opium Wars if you Google it. Not three. The third was caused by the anti-foreign riots by the boxers after years of oppression.

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