Opium was illegal in China, but that didn’t stop the East India Company from manufacturing it for the black market. The Chinese emperor appointed an official, Lin Zexu, to stop it. He seized and burned huge opium caches held by British merchants, and ultimately ordered the British out of China entirely. Instead, they set up base on a barren island that would become known as Hong Kong.
Support us on Patreon! http://bit.ly/EHPatreon — (Episode details below)
Grab your Extra Credits gear at the store! http://bit.ly/ExtraStore
Subscribe for new episodes every Saturday! http://bit.ly/SubToEC
Learn about the disastrous Macartney Embassy that tried and failed to improve British trade relations with China: http://bit.ly/28Ro4B1
Play games with us on Extra Play! http://bit.ly/WatchEXP
Talk to us on Twitter (@ExtraCreditz): http://bit.ly/ECTweet
Follow us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/ECFBPage
Get our list of recommended games on Steam: http://bit.ly/ECCurator
The tea trade flowing from China had left the British government in staggering debt. They had loaned huge amounts to the Honourable East India Company (EIC) to conquer India, and to pay their debts, the EIC turned that land into poppy fields and manufactured opium in huge quantities. Since China had banned the opium trade, the EIC set up a market in Calcutta (part of their Indian territory) and turned a blind eye to the black market traders who smuggled it into China. By 1839, over 6.6 million pounds of opium were being smuggled into China every year. The Chinese DaoGuang Emperor appointed an upright official named Lin Zexu to halt this opium trade. Lin orchestrated a massive campaign to arrest opium traders, force addicts into rehab, and confiscate pipes. He even laid siege to British warehouses when the merchants refused to turn over their opium supply, instead taking it all by force and burning it. The outraged merchants sought redress from their government, but although the Chief Superintendant Charles Elliot promised them restitution, the government never had any intention of paying them back. Amid the unrest, two British sailors brutally murdered a Chinese man. Lin Zexu demanded their extradition, but Elliot insisted on trying them aboard his ship and sentencing them himself. Lin Zexu had enough. He halted the British food supply and ordered the Portuguese to eject them from Macau. They retreated to a barren island off the coast (now known as Hong Kong). Since the island could not support them, Elliot petitioned the Chinese to sell them food again. He received no response. Then he sent men to collect it directly, but on their way back they were halted by the Chinese navy, and the first engagement of the Opium Wars began.
♪ Get the intro music here!
*Music by Demetori: http://bit.ly/1AaJG4H
♪ Get the outro music here!
*Music by Sean and Dean Kiner: http://bit.ly/1WdBhnm
This video is brought to you by Kokula Krishna Hari Kunasekaran! Visit Website or Follow back at @kkkhari