Program One - Segment Four: Bitter Strength

The first English ship came to China in 1626.  And the English became addicted to Chinese tea.  By 1785, the English East India Company paid China 35 million pounds sterling per year for it.  Most of Britain, America and some other European countries loved their tea.  But rather than pay cash, they wanted to trade with China. But China didn’t need any goods.  It was growing increasingly wealthy from tea sales.  So Britain began selling Indian opium to China.  And the British used their profits to buy tea.  The opium trade was not legal in either country, and China fought back.  Thus began the Opium Wars. 



Professor Jack Tchen, Professor Judy Yung, and Actor Jason Wong.

Produced by Sara Caswell Kolbet.

Further Internet Resources:


Beeching, Jack.  The Chinese Opium Wars.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.

Cheng, Lucie and Edna Bonacich, eds.  Labor Immigration Under Capitalism: Asian Workers in the US Before World War II.  Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984.

Chinn, Thomas W., ed., H. Mark Lai and Philip P. Choy, asst. eds. A History of the Chinese in California. San Francisco, California: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1969.

Dobyns, Henry E. and Paul L. Doughty. Peru: A Cultural History. New York:Oxford University Press, 1976.

James, Preston E. All Possible Worlds: A History of Geographical Ideas. New York: The Odyssey Press, 1972.

Steiner, Stan. Fusang: The Chinese Who Built America. San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1979.

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