Merchants of War and Peace : British Knowledge of China in the Making of the Opium War

USD $ 50.00

Merchants of War and Peace challenges conventional arguments that the major driving forces of the First Opium War were the infamous opium smuggling trade, the defense of British national honor, and cultural conflicts between ‘progressive’ Britain and ‘backward’ China. Instead, it argues that the war was started by a group of British merchants in the Chinese port of Canton in the 1830s, known as the ‘Warlike Party’. Living in a period when British knowledge of China was growing rapidly, the Warlike Party came to understand China’s weakness and its members returned to London to lobby for intervention until war broke out in 1839.

However, the Warlike Party did not get its way entirely. Another group of British merchants known in Canton as the ‘Pacific Party’ opposed the war. In Britain, the anti-war movement gave the conflict its infamous name, the ‘Opium War’, which has stuck ever since. Using materials housed in the National Archives, UK, the First Historical Archives of China, the National Palace Museum, the British Library, SOAS Library, and Cambridge University Library, this meticulously researched and lucid volume is a new history of the cause of the First Opium War.

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Additional information

Type

Hardcopy

Author

Song-Chuan Chen

ISBN

9789888390564

Year Published

2017

Pages

248

Delivery

5-6 weeks worldwide

Hong Kong University Press was established in 1956. Since then it has grown from publishing a few titles, primarily the work of the University’s faculty, into a publisher issuing more than 50 new titles each year. From its very first book, it has been a bilingual publisher of works both in English and Chinese. Our authors now come from all the universities of Hong Kong, and from Mainland China, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, also from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries.