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Opium RegimesChina, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952$
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Timothy Brook, Patrick Carr, and Maria Kefalas

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520220096

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520220096.001.0001

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Opium for China: The British Connection

Opium for China: The British Connection

(p.30) (p.31) One Opium for China: The British Connection
Opium Regimes

Gregory Blue

University of California Press

This chapter outlines the economic and political considerations involved in the creation of the British opium regime in Asia. It traces opium in a “cohesive trade structure” that Britons, Indians, and Chinese created through the energetic pursuit of profitable trade, and which Britain dominated, and gained the greatest advantage from. The chapter notes that a “bifurcated framework of formal colonialism and the imperialism of free trade” characterized the British presence in Asia in the nineteenth century. It explains that through the said formal colonialism, Britain was able to impose the legalization of opium in China after 1858, and thereby secure an important financial pillar of its far-flung political empire.

Keywords:   British opium regime, Asia, cohesive trade structure, China, formal colonialism, free trade, nineteenth century, opium

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