A Conversation for The History of the Royal Navy - Part 3 (1815 - 1914)
Vestboy Started conversation Jul 26, 2006
Isn't this amazing? Brits were killing Chinese people because they wouldn't buy opium. Can you imagine that nowadays? Our history is sometimes too dreadful to believe.
Phoenician Trader Posted Jul 28, 2006
The politics behind this was too labyrinthine to fully describe. The imperial Chinese government would only accept silver for payment of tea - which was a high demand commodity in Europe. When Europe ran out of silver, the traders had to work out how to get more, to buy tea from the imperial controlled tea exports. So they traded opium with the local Magnates (whose motives in addicting their entire workforce to Opium are not beyond reproach) for silver. They then used the silver to trade for tea. This was very lucrative as Indian opium was very cheap.
The problem was solved forever when the English smuggled tea plants out of China into India and braking the Chinese tea monopoly.
PS: Historians will have a field day with this awful summary!
PPS: When Tetley invented the tea bag, they destroyed the taste of tea forever, making the purpose of drinking tea questionable.
PPS: When Starbucks brought mass coffee drinking to London, they made drinking expensive, dreadful coffee while standing up in miserable weather normal, making the continued existence of civilisation questionable.
Vestboy Posted Jul 28, 2006
An interesting modern issue not a million miles from this is why does the UK currently need to use opium based pain killers when the rest of the world doesn't? (They use chemically based products that do not use opium). Are we keeping legal poppy growing going and thus allowing a loophole that prevents the total outlawing of opium production?
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