Kham is a historical region of Tibet covering a land area divided between present-day Tibet Autonomous Region and Sichuan, with smaller portions located within Qinghai and Yunnan provinces of China. During the Republic of China's rule over mainland China, most of the region was administratively part of Hsikang, it held the status of "special administrative district" until 1939, when it became an official Chinese province. Its provincial status was nominal and without much cohesion, like most of China's territory during the time of Japanese invasion and civil war; the natives of the Kham region are called Khampas. Kham has a rugged terrain characterized by mountain ridges and gorges running from northwest to southeast, collectively known as the Hengduan Mountains. Numerous rivers, including the Mekong, Yalong River, the Salween River flow through Kham. Under the modern administrative division of China, Kham includes a total of 50 contemporary counties of the People's Republic of China which have been incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Qinghai as well as the eastern portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Some Chinese linguists and anthropologists refer to Kham as the "Ethnic Corridor of Southwest China", as its vast and sparsely populated territories are inhabited by over 14 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. For reasons of simplicity, the Chinese government combines the various ethnic groups of Kham together with the Tibetan people as the "Tibetan Nationality". There are, significant differences in traditions and beliefs—even physical appearance—between the peoples of Kham and Lhasa. At least one-third of Kham residents are speakers of Qiangic languages, a family of twelve distinct but interrelated languages that are not related to Khams Tibetan; the people of Kham were reputed warriors renowned for their horsemanship. Kham was traditionally referred to as Chushi Gangdruk, i.e.'four rivers and six ranges'. The peoples of Kham have endured a tumultuous past, their sovereignty encroached upon and marginalized by both Tibetans to the west and the Han Chinese to the East; the five main independent regions were the Kingdom of Chakla, the Kingdom of Lingtsang and the Kingdom of Lhatok.
Other important polities included Nangqen, Batang and the Hor States. Kham was never controlled by a single king, but most of the chieftains revered the Dalai Lamas and made contact with the Lhasa government. Kham was a patchwork of two dozen or more kingdoms and chiefdoms that were at war with each other. Since the collapse of the Tibetan Empire in the mid-9th century, the peoples of Kham had aggressively maintained their independence from invading nations. Local chieftains ruled their respective territories with hereditary titles bestowed by the Chinese government. Chieftains were able to rule with a large degree of independence from both Tibet. In 1717, the Mongol Dzungar Khanate invaded Tibet and a period of internal strife and civil war followed. By 1720, local Tibetan leaders had pledged their allegiance to China and the Qing dynasty had sent armies into the area to defeat the Dzungars. In 1724, the regions of Amdo and Kham were made into the province of Qinghai, with parts of Eastern Kham incorporated into neighboring Chinese provinces.
In the early 19th century, Gombo Namgye raised a rebellion in Nyarong, an area of Eastern Kham. He is reported to have taken control of Eastern Tibet. Residents of Derge and the Hor States appealed to both Lhasa and the Manchu government for help against Namgye. China was unable to take action, but Tibetan authorities sent an army in 1863 and defeated Namgye in 1865. Tibet claimed Nyarong and the Hor States north of Nyarong; this appears to have been accepted by the Manchu Tongzhi Emperor. Tibetan control of the Batang region of Kham appears to have continued uncontested from an agreement made in 1726 until soon after the invasion of Tibet by Francis Younghusband in 1904, which alarmed the Qing rulers in China, they sent an imperial official to the region to begin reasserting Qing control, but the locals revolted and killed him. The Qing government in Beijing appointed Zhao Erfeng, the Governor of Xining and Army Commander of Tibet to reintegrate Tibet into China. In 1905 or 1908 Erfeng was sent on a punitive expedition and began destroying many monasteries in Kham and Amdo, implementing sinicization of the region: He abolished the powers of the Tibetan local leaders and appointed Chinese magistrates in their places.
He introduced new laws that limited the number of lamas and deprived monasteries of their temporal power and inaugurated schemes for having the land cultivated by Chinese immigrants. Zhao's methods in eastern Tibet uncannily prefigured the Communist policies nearly half a century later, they were aimed at the extermination of the Tibetan clergy, the assimilation of territory and repopulation of the Tibetan plateaus with poor peasants from Sichuan. Like the Chinese conquerors, Zhao's men looted and destroyed Tibetan monasteries, melted down religious images and tore up sacred texts to use to line the soles of their boots and, as the Communists were to do Zhao Erfeng worked out a comprehensive scheme for the redevelopment of Tibet that covered military training reclamation work, secular education and administration. In February 1910, the Qing government sent a military expedition of its own to establish direct Chinese rule, deposing the 13th Dalai Lama and issuing an imperial edict prompting a search for a new
Miao Rebellion (1795–1806)
The Miao Rebellion of 1795–1806 was an anti-Qing uprising in Hunan and Guizhou provinces, during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor. It was catalyzed by tensions between Han Chinese immigrants. Bloodily suppressed, it served as the antecedent to the much larger uprising of Miao Rebellion; the term "Miao", as the anthropologist Norma Diamond explains, does not mean only the antecedents of today's Miao national minority. They consisted of 40–60% population of the province; the Qing Dynasty used tyranny rather than forced assimilation towards their non-Chinese inhabitants. In the south-west, since 15th century, in provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, the most common way of rule was through semi-independent local chieftains, called tusi, on whom the emperor bestowed titles, demanding only taxes and peace in their territories. However, Han Chinese immigration was forcing the original inhabitants out of the best lands; the Chinese state "followed" the immigrants, establishing its structures, first military civil, displacing semi-independent tusi with regular administration over time.
This practice, called gaitu guiliu, led to conflicts. The uprising was one of the long series dating back to Ming dynasty's conquest of the area. Whenever tensions reached a critical point, the people rose in revolt; each rebellion, bloodily put down, left simmering hatred, problems which were rather suppressed than solved. Basic questions of misrule, official abuse, over-taxation and land-grab remained. Mass Chinese immigration put a strain on scarce resources, but officials preyed on rather than administered the population; the quality of the officialdom in Guizhou and neighbouring areas remained low. Great uprisings took place in Ming times, during Qing dynasty in 1735–36, 1796–1806, last and the largest in 1854-1873; the previous rebellion of 1736 had been met with harsh measures, with the effect of the second half of the 18th century being calm, i.e. the numerous local incidents were not enough to challenge governmental authority. However, the officials were unnerved by heterodox sects spreading their teachings among both Han and Miao.
In 1795 the tensions reached the point of explosion and the Miaos, led by Shi Liudeng and Shi Sanbao, rose again. Hunan was the main area of fighting, with some taking place in Guizhou; the Qing dynasty sent banner troops, Green Standard battalions and mobilized local militias and self-defence units. The lands of rebellious Miao were confiscated, to increase the power of state. On the pacified territories forts and military colonies were set up, Miao and Chinese territories were separated by the wall with watchtowers. Still, it took eleven years to quell the rebellion. Relocating Green Standard troops from Hubei to Hunan in 1795, to deal with the Miao, facilitated the White Lotus Rebellion, because of the diminished control in the northern province. Military action was followed by the policy of forced assimilation: traditional dress was forbidden and an ethnic segregation policy enforced; the deep causes of unrest remained unchanged and the tensions grew again, until in 1854 they exploded in the largest of Miao uprisings.
Few of Hunan Miao, "pacified" in 1795–1806, participated in the rebellions of the 1850s. Sutton, Donald S.. "Ethnic Revolt in the Qing Empire: The "Miao Uprising" of 1795-1797 Reexamined". Asia Major. 16: 105–152. JSTOR 41649879. White Lotus Rebellion Miao Rebellion Miao Rebellion Miao Rebellions Dungan revolt Dungan revolt Nian rebellion
Lhasa or Chengguan is a district and administrative capital of Lhasa City in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The inner urban area of Lhasa City is equivalent to the administrative borders of Chengguan District, part of the wider prefectural Lhasa City. Lhasa is the second most populous urban area on the Tibetan Plateau after Xining and, at an altitude of 3,490 metres, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world; the city has been the administrative capital of Tibet since the mid-17th century. It contains many culturally significant Tibetan Buddhist sites such as the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka Palaces. Chengguan translates to "urban gateway" in the Chinese language. Lhasa translate to "place of gods" in the Tibetan language. Ancient Tibetan documents and inscriptions demonstrate that the place was called Rasa, which either meant "goats' place", or, as a contraction of rawe sa, a "place surrounded by a wall," or'enclosure', suggesting that the site was a hunting preserve within the royal residence on Marpori Hill.
Lhasa is first recorded as the name, referring to the area's temple of Jowo, in a treaty drawn up between China and Tibet in 822 C. E. By the mid 7th century, Songtsen Gampo became the leader of the Tibetan Empire that had risen to power in the Brahmaputra River Valley. After conquering the kingdom of Zhangzhung in the west, he moved the capital from the Chingwa Taktsé Castle in Chongye County, southwest of Yarlung, to Rasa where in 637 he raised the first structures on the site of what is now the Potala Palace on Mount Marpori. In CE 639 and 641, Songtsen Gampo, who by this time had conquered the whole Tibetan region, is said to have contracted two alliance marriages, firstly to a Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal, two years to Princess Wencheng of the Imperial Tang court. Bhrikuti is said to have converted him to Buddhism, the faith attributed to his second wife Wencheng. In 641 he constructed the Jokhang and Ramoche Temples in Lhasa in order to house two Buddha statues, the Akshobhya Vajra and the Jowo Sakyamuni brought to his court by the princesses.
Lhasa suffered extensive damage under the reign of Langdarma in the 9th century, when the sacred sites were destroyed and desecrated and the empire fragmented. A Tibetan tradition mentions that after Songtsen Gampo's death in 649 C. E. Chinese troops burnt the Red Palace. Chinese and Tibetan scholars have noted that the event is mentioned neither in the Chinese annals nor in the Tibetan manuscripts of Dunhuang. Lǐ suggested. Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa believes that "those histories reporting the arrival of Chinese troops are not correct."From the fall of the monarchy in the 9th century to the accession of the 5th Dalai Lama, the centre of political power in the Tibetan region was not situated in Lhasa. However, the importance of Lhasa as a religious site became significant as the centuries progressed, it was known as the centre of Tibet where Padmasambhava magically pinned down the earth demoness and built the foundation of the Jokhang Temple over her heart. Islam has been present since the 11th century in what is considered to have always been a monolithically Buddhist culture.
Two Tibetan Muslim communities have lived in Lhasa with distinct homes and clothing, education and traditional herbal medicine. By the 15th century, the city of Lhasa had risen to prominence following the founding of three large Gelugpa monasteries by Je Tsongkhapa and his disciples; the three monasteries are Ganden and Drepung which were built as part of the puritanical Buddhist revival in Tibet. The scholarly achievements and political know-how of this Gelugpa Lineage pushed Lhasa once more to centre stage; the 5th Dalai Lama, Lobsang Gyatso, unified Tibet and moved the centre of his administration to Lhasa in 1642 with the help of Güshi Khan of the Khoshut. With Güshi Khan as a uninvolved overlord, the 5th Dalai Lama and his intimates established a civil administration, referred to by historians as the Lhasa state; the core leadership of this government is referred to as the Ganden Phodrang, Lhasa thereafter became both the religious and political capital. In 1645, the reconstruction of the Potala Palace began on Red Hill.
In 1648, the Potrang Karpo of the Potala was completed, the Potala was used as a winter palace by the Dalai Lama from that time onwards. The Potrang Marpo was added between 1690 and 1694; the name Potala is derived from Mount Potalaka, the mythical abode of the Dalai Lama's divine prototype, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. The Jokhang Temple was greatly expanded around this time. Although some wooden carvings and lintels of the Jokhang Temple date to the 7th century, the oldest of Lhasa's extant buildings, such as within the Potala Palace, the Jokhang and some of the monasteries and properties in the Old Quarter date to this second flowering in Lhasa's history. By the end of the 17th century, Lhasa's Barkhor area formed a bustling market for foreign goods; the Jesuit missionary, Ippolito Desideri reported in 1716 that the city had a cosmopolitan community of Mongol, Muscovite, Kashmiri and Northern Indian traders. Tibet was exporting musk, medicinal plants and yak tails to far-flung markets, in exchange for sugar, saffron, Persian turquoise, European amber and Mediterranean coral.
The Qing dynasty army entered Lh
The Xinhai Revolution known as the Chinese Revolution or the Revolution of 1911, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty and established the Republic of China. The revolution was named Xinhai because it occurred in 1911, the year of the Xinhai stem-branch in the sexagenary cycle of the Chinese calendar; the revolution consisted of many uprisings. The turning point was the Wuchang uprising on 10 October 1911, the result of the mishandling of the Railway Protection Movement; the revolution ended with the abdication of the six-year-old Last Emperor, Puyi, on 12 February 1912, that marked the end of 2,000 years of imperial rule and the beginning of China's early republican era. The revolution arose in response to the decline of the Qing state, which had proven ineffective in its efforts to modernize China and confront foreign aggression. Many underground anti-Qing groups, with the support of Chinese revolutionaries in exile, tried to overthrow the Qing; the brief civil war that ensued was ended through a political compromise between Yuan Shikai, the late Qing military strongman, Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Tongmenghui.
After the Qing court transferred power to the newly founded republic, a provisional coalition government was created along with the National Assembly. However, political power of the new national government in Beijing was soon thereafter monopolized by Yuan and led to decades of political division and warlordism, including several attempts at imperial restoration; the Republic of China in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China on the mainland both consider themselves the legitimate successors to the Xinhai Revolution and honor the ideals of the revolution including nationalism, modernization of China and national unity. 10 October is commemorated in Taiwan as Double Ten Day, the National Day of the ROC. In mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, the day is celebrated as the Anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution. After suffering its first defeat to the West in the First Opium War in 1842, the Qing imperial court struggled to contain foreign intrusions into China. Efforts to adjust and reform the traditional methods of governance were constrained by a conservative court culture that did not want to give away too much authority to reform.
Following defeat in the Second Opium War in 1860, the Qing tried to modernize by adopting certain Western technologies through the Self-Strengthening Movement from 1861. In the wars against the Taiping, the Muslims of Yunnan and the Northwest, the traditional imperial troops proved themselves incompetent and the court came to rely on local armies. In 1895, China suffered another defeat during the First Sino-Japanese War; this demonstrated that traditional Chinese feudal society needed to be modernized if the technological and commercial advancements were to succeed. In 1898 the Guangxu Emperor was guided by reformers like Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao for a drastic reform in education and economy under the Hundred Days' Reform; the reform was abruptly cancelled by a conservative coup led by Empress Dowager Cixi. The Guangxu Emperor, who had always been a puppet dependent on Cixi, was put under house arrest in June 1898. Reformers Kang and Liang would be exiled. While in Canada, in June 1899, they tried to form the Emperor Protection Society in an attempt to restore the emperor.
Empress Dowager Cixi controlled the Qing dynasty from this point on. The Boxer Rebellion prompted another foreign invasion of Beijing in 1900 and the imposition of unequal treaty terms, which carved away territories, created extraterritorial concessions and gave away trade privileges. Under internal and external pressure, the Qing court began to adopt some of the reforms; the Qing managed to maintain its monopoly on political power by suppressing with great brutality, all domestic rebellions. Dissidents could operate only in secret societies and underground organizations, in foreign concessions or in exile overseas. There were many revolutionaries and groups that wanted to overthrow the Qing government to re-establish Han led government; the earliest revolutionary organizations were founded outside of China, such as Yeung Ku-wan's Furen Literary Society, created in Hong Kong in 1890. There were 15 members, including Tse Tsan-tai, who did political satire such as "The Situation in the Far East", one of the first Chinese manhua, who became one of the core founders of the South China Morning Post.
Sun Yat-sen's Xingzhonghui was established in Honolulu in 1894 with the main purpose of raising funds for revolutions. The two organizations were merged in 1894; the Huaxinghui was founded in 1904 with notables like Huang Xing, Zhang Shizhao, Chen Tianhua and Song Jiaoren, along with 100 others. Their motto was "Take one province by force, inspire the other provinces to rise up"; the Guangfuhui was founded in 1904, in Shanghai with Cai Yuanpei. Other notable members include Tao Chengzhang. Despite professing the anti-Qing cause, the Guangfuhui was critical of Sun Yat-sen. One of the most famous female revolutionaries was Qiu Jin, who fought for women's rights and was from Guangfuhui. There were many other minor revolutionary organizations, such as Lizhi Xuehui in Jiangsu, Gongqianghui in Sichuan and Hanzudulihui in Fujian, Yizhishe in Jiangxi, Yuewanghui in Anhui and Qunzhihui in Guangzhou. There were criminal organizations that were anti-Manchu, including the Green Gang and Hongmen Zhigongtang.
Sun Yat-sen himself came in cont
Xinhai Lhasa turmoil
Xinhai Lhasa turmoil refers to the ethnic clash in the Lhasa region of Tibet and various mutinies following the Wuchang Uprising. It resulted in the end of Qing rule in Tibet; the Wuchang Uprising unfolded on October 10, 1911, marked the beginning of the Xinhai Revolution. Turmoil in the frontier regions of China began to spread; the revolutionaries led by Sun Yat-sen insisted on "getting rid of the Tartars" and rejected the Manchus, creating a new regime based on the Han dominated China proper. The influence of the Wuchang Uprising spread to the frontier region. Qing armies in Tibet ended up struggling against each other, as a result, Tibet fell into a state of anarchy. In the winter of 1911, the Qing Governor of Sichuan, Zhao Erfeng, was executed by radicals, the situation turned worse as Xikang fell into turmoil as well; as a result, the Dalai Lama was able to eliminate Qing influence in Tibet and return as the sole administrator of the region. The Qing army in Tibet were unable to resist the Dalai Lama's forces, fled back to inland China via India.
Tibet under Qing rule Lhasa riot of 1750 Chinese expedition to Tibet Tibet Tibetan independence movement Dalai Lama Xinhai Revolution
Later Jin invasion of Joseon
The Later Jin invasion of Joseon occurred in early 1627 when the Later Jin prince Amin lead an invasion of Korea's Joseon kingdom. The war ended after three months with the Later Jin establishing itself as sovereign tributary overlord over Joseon; however Joseon continued its relationship with the Ming dynasty and showed defiance in solidifying its tributary relationship with the Jurchens. It was followed by the Qing invasion of Joseon in 1636; the kingdom of Joseon had sent 10,000 musketeers and 3,000 archers to aid the Ming dynasty in attacking the Later Jin in 1619, which culminated in an allied defeat at the Battle of Sarhu. The Joseon general Gang Hong-rip surrendered with his remaining forces and insisted that Joseon did not hold anything against the Jurchens, having only sent reinforcements to repay an obligation to Ming. In 1623 a faction at the Joseon court known as the Westerners deposed King Gwanghaegun and installed Injo as king; the following year Yi Gwal rebelled against King Injo, but failed in ousting him, the rebellion was crushed.
Its survivors fled to the Jin court. General Gang Hong-rip was led to believe by the survivors that his family had died in the coup, so he pushed for the invasion out of a desire for revenge. Meanwhile the Westerners took on an explicitly pro-Ming and anti-Jurchen stance in their relations with the two states. Injo severed relations with the Later Jin on the advice of his advisers; the Ming general Mao Wenlong's army of 26,000 men engaged in raids against the Jurchens from an island base off the Korean peninsula. The Westerners aided him by allowing him to station his troops in Uiju; the Later Jin had lost at the Battle of Ningyuan the previous year and their khan Nurhaci died from his wounds afterwards. Peace negotiations with the Ming after the battle delayed an aggressive Ming response to the Jurchen loss, the Ming general Yuan Chonghuan was busy fortifying the border garrisons and training new musketeers; the new khan Hong Taiji was eager for a quick victory to consolidate his position as khan.
By invading Joseon he hoped to extract much needed resources for his army and subjects, who had suffered in the war against Ming. In 1627, Hong Taiji dispatched Amin, Jirgalang and Yoto to Joseon with 30,000 troops under the guidance of Gang Hong-rip and Li Yongfang; the Jurchens met sharp resistance at the border towns but Joseon border garrisons were defeated. The Jurchen army advanced into Uiju where Mao Wenlong was stationed, Mao fled with his men into the Bohai Sea. Next the Jurchens attacked Anju; when it became clear that defeat was inevitable, the Anju garrisons committed suicide by blowing up their gunpowder storehouse. Pyongyang fell without a fight and the Jin army crossed the Taedong River. By this time news of the invasion had reached the Ming court, which dispatched a relief contingent to Joseon, slowing the Jurchen advance into Hwangju. King Injo dispatched an envoy to negotiate a peace treaty, but by the time the messenger returned, Injo had fled from Hanseong to Ganghwa Island in panic.
Despite the Jin invasion's success, Amin was willing to negotiate a peace. The following settlement was agreed upon on Ganghwa Island: Joseon abandons the Ming era name Tianqi. Joseon offers Yi Gak as a hostage as a substitute for a royal prince. Jin and Joseon will not violate each other's territory. While negotiations were taking place the city of Pyongyang underwent several days of looting by the Jurchens before Amin was ordered by Hong Taji to sign the peace agreement; the Jin army withdrew to Mukden, ending the three-month-long invasion. In the postwar negotiations, the Later Jin forced Joseon to open markets near the borders because its conflicts with Ming had brought economic hardship and starvation to Jin subjects. Joseon was forced to transfer suzerainty of the Warka tribe to Jin. Furthermore, a tribute of 100 horses, 100 tiger and leopard skins, 400 bolts of cotton, 15,000 pieces of cloth was to be extracted and gifted to the Jin Khan. Injo's brother was sent to deliver this tribute; however in letters to the Joseon king, Hong Taiji would complain that the Koreans did not behave as if they had lost, were not abiding by the terms of the agreement.
Joseon merchants and markets continued to trade with Ming and aided Ming subjects by providing them with grain and rations. Hong Taiji rebuked them; the relationship between Joseon and Later Jin remained bleak. The invasion was bitterly resented by Joseon's statesmen and Confucian scholars, who believed that it was treacherous and unfilial for Joseon to abandon Ming considering the assistance it had provided against Japan in the past; this resentment was inflamed in 1636 when the Manchus demanded to change the terms of diplomatic relationship from equality to Sovereign-Vassal. The Joseon Court, dominated by anti-Manchu hawks, rejected the demand; this led to the Qing invasion of Joseon of 1636. The Ming general Yuan Chonghuan was impeached for having been duped by the Jin into entering peace negotiations, court officials accused him of lack of agency; this was the last time Ming would engage in peace negotiations with the Jurchens. Mao Wenlong was reported to Ming authorities by Joseon for treachery.
Mao began acting independently and minted his own coins in 1628, while conducting illicit trading in contravention of Ming law. He was caught by Yuan Chonghuan in 1629 and executed for smuggling on 24 July, 1629. Yuan reported the death of Mao Wenlong to the Joseon court, stating that it had been done to "properly establish the emperor's awesomeness." Prior to his execution, Yuan Chonghu
First Opium War
The First Opium War known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing dynasty of China over diplomatic relations and the administration of justice in China. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the demand for Chinese goods in Europe created a trade imbalance between Qing Imperial China and Great Britain. European silver flowed into China through the Canton System, which confined incoming foreign trade to the southern port city of Canton. To counter this imbalance, the British East India Company began to grow opium in India and smuggle them into China illegally; the influx of narcotics reversed the Chinese trade surplus, drained the economy of silver, increased the numbers of opium addicts inside the country, outcomes that worried Chinese officials. In 1839, the Daoguang Emperor, rejecting proposals to legalize and tax opium, appointed viceroy Lin Zexu to go to Canton to halt the opium trade completely. Lin wrote to Queen Victoria an open letter in an appeal to her moral responsibility to stop the opium trade.
When he failed to get a response, he attempted to get foreign companies to forfeit their opium stores in exchange for tea, but this failed too. Lin resorted to using force in the western merchants' enclave, he confiscated all supplies and ordered a blockade of foreign ships to get them to surrender their opium supply. Lin confiscated 20,283 chests of opium; the British government responded by dispatching a military force to China and in the ensuing conflict, the Royal Navy used its naval and gunnery power to inflict a series of decisive defeats on the Chinese Empire, a tactic referred to as gunboat diplomacy. In 1842, the Qing dynasty was forced to sign the Treaty of Nanking—the first of what the Chinese called the unequal treaties—which granted an indemnity and extraterritoriality to Britain, opened five treaty ports to foreign merchants, ceded Hong Kong Island to the British Empire; the failure of the treaty to satisfy British goals of improved trade and diplomatic relations led to the Second Opium War, the perceived weakness of the Qing dynasty resulted in social unrest within China, namely the Taiping Rebellion, which the Qing dynasty fought against the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
In China, the war is considered the beginning of modern Chinese history. Direct maritime trade between Europe and China began in 1557 when the Portuguese leased an outpost from the Ming dynasty at Macau. Other European nations soon followed the Portuguese lead, inserting themselves into the existing Asian maritime trade network to compete with Arab, Chinese and Japanese merchants in intra-regional commerce. After the Spanish conquest of the Philippines the exchange of goods between China and Europe accelerated dramatically. From 1565 on, the Manila Galleons brought silver into the Asian trade network from mines in South America. China was a primary destination for the precious metal, as the imperial government mandated that Chinese goods could only be exported in exchange for silver bullion. British ships began to appear sporadically around the coasts of China from 1635 on. Without establishing formal relations through the Chinese tributary system, by which most Asian nations were able to negotiate with China, British merchants were only allowed to trade at the ports of Zhoushan and Guangzhou.
Official British trade was conducted through the auspices of the British East India Company, which held a royal charter for trade with the Far East. The East India Company came to dominate Sino-European trade from its position in India and due to the strength of the Royal Navy. Trade benefited. Taiwan came under Qing control in 1683 and rhetoric regarding the tributary status of Europeans was muted. Guangzhou became the port of preference for incoming foreign trade. Ships did try to call at other ports, but these locations could not match the benefits of Canton's geographic position at the mouth of the Pearl River, nor did they have the city's long experience in balancing the demands of Beijing with those of Chinese and foreign merchants. From 1700 onward Canton was the center of maritime trade with China, this market process was formulated by Qing authorities into the "Canton System". From the system's inception in 1757, trading in China was lucrative for European and Chinese merchants alike as goods such as tea and silk were valued enough in Europe to justify the expenses of traveling to Asia.
The system was regulated by the Qing government. Foreign traders were only permitted to do business through a body of Chinese merchants known as the Cohong and were forbidden to learn Chinese. Foreigners could only live in one of the Thirteen Factories and were not allowed to enter or trade in any other part of China. Only low level government officials could be dealt with, the imperial court could not be lobbied for any reason excepting official diplomatic missions; the Imperial laws that upheld the system were collectively known as the Prevention Barbarian Ordinances. The Cohong were powerful in the Old China Trade, as they were tasked with appraising the value of foreign products, purchasing or rebuffing said imports, charged with selling Chinese exports at an appropriate price; the Cohong was made up of between 6 to 20 merchant families. Most of the merchant houses these families ruled had been established by low-ranking mandarins, but