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While investigating facts about Opium Wars, I found out little known, but curios details like:

During the First Opium War of 1839, 19,000 British troops fought against 200,000 Chinese. The Chinese had 20,000 casualties, the British just 69. The war marked the start of the "Century of Humiliation" in China.

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During The First Opium War of 1839, 19,000 British troops fought against 200,000 Chinese. The Chinese had 20,000 casualties, the British just 69. The war marked the start of the "Century of Humiliation" in China.

In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across. Here are 39 of the best facts about Opium Wars I managed to collect.

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  1. The Opium Wars were fought to allow the British to import Opium TO China.

  2. Franklin D Roosevelt's grandfather Warren Delano made a fortune smuggling opium into China around the time of the first Opium War

  3. When the Chinese tried to stop opium being imported by British merchants due to the increase in addiction , the British Navy attacked with gunboats.The Chinese were forced to legalise opium and give Hong Kong to the British in the Opium Wars

  4. During the First Opium War the British defeated China despite being outnumbered 10:1, while only suffering 69 losses and inflicting over 18,000 casualties.

  5. After the first opium war in 1842 the opium dealers gathered to form a bank, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (now HSBC), as the financial flagship of the British opium trade. Thus befitting its role as the financial kingpin of Dope, Inc.

  6. Britain waged 2 wars on China in 1839 & 1856 because China began illegalizing Opium & stopping the trade of the narcotic with Britain due to its addictive effects.

  7. Before dissolution in 1873 the East India Company's accomplishments included winning conflicts against the nations of France, China, Japan, India and Portugal, smuggling 2.8million lbs. of opium to China in just one year, and inciting the Boston Tea Party, beginning the revolutionary war.

  8. During the Second Opium War a British diplomat and his entourage was arrested and tortured after insulting a Qing emissary. The sight of their mutilated bodies, which had been subjected to slow slicing, caused the Anglo-French forces to burn down the Summer Palace.

  9. During the 2nd opium war in China, the British destroyed the Old Summer Palace in Beijing taking as much as they could back to Europe including Pekingese dogs, the first of which was given to Queen Victoria who brazenly named "Looty"

  10. The dog looted from the summer palace in China during the opium war by British and French troops and given to Queen Victoria who named it "Looty"

opium wars facts
What are the best facts about Opium Wars?

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During The First Opium War the Chinese attempted to utilize Flaming Monkeys as weapons against British warships

A dissident baker attempted to poison the British governor of Hong Kong during the Second Opium War. However the assassination attempt was foiled because the baker put too much poison in the bread resulting his victim's simply vomiting it out. - source

At the conclusion of the First Opium War between Britain and China, the British High Command had wanted the island of Chusan as part of negotiations. Miscommunication with the Admiral on the field led to negotiations ceding a territory entirely different. That territory was Hong Kong.

In 1839, a Chinese official flushed more than 1,000 tons of smuggled opium into the sea, effectively causing Britain to declare war on the Chinese Qing Dynasty. - source

When where the opium wars in china?

About the the Opium War. Britain illegal imported large amounts of opium to China in order to balance out the large amount of tea China imported to Britain

There's a lesser known third Opium War fought in 1967 on Laos

The opium wars were started after William Jardine of Jardine Matheson (now Jardine) and his associates persuaded the British parliament to do so. As a result of the war Jardine Matheson became the largest trading firm in Asia

Abundant morphine stocks during the American Civil War resulted in thousands of veterans becoming addicted to opium. As a result, the St. James Society offered free heroin samples by mail in order to help addicts kick the habit.

Interesting facts about opium wars

Roughly 1/3rd of the silver mined in America between 1500 and 1800 wound up in China. The Chinese economy had such a demand for silver that Europeans traders eventually switched to opium to pay for their goods, partly precipitating the Opium wars of the 18th century.

The Opium Wars, how Hong Kong ended up being ruled by England. It's all about English from bringing Opium to China and China's rulers trying to stop it.

About Lin Zexu, who was able to seize and destroy nearly 1.2 million kg of opium in two months during the opium trade in China. This is one of the key events that led to the First Opium War.

One of China's great plans to win the Opium Wars was to cut off Britain's supplies of Rhubarb and Tea

During the Cold War, the US government stashed enough black opium and white morphine to keep the entire nation supplied for an entire year.

The last British "Ship of the Line" was launched in 1815, served with distinction in the Opium Wars but was sunk by a German air-raid in 1940

During the Opium War the Chinese tried to use monkeys strapped to fireworks to cause hysteria on British ships. The flaming monkeys didn't work.

Hong Kong became a colony under the British Empire, after Britain defeated China in a war about Opium trade known as "The First Opium War"

At the close of the Second Opium War between the UK and China, UK troops looted and destroyed the Summer Palace in Peking (Beijing). Among the many treasures were 5 pekingese dogs who were taken back to England where one of the dogs was given to Queen Victory and named "Looty".

Before the invention of synthetic painkillers, a supply of processed morphine and opium was kept in the Fort Knox Gold Depository as a hedge against the US being isolated from the sources of raw opium during WWII and into the Cold War.

Modern Western society and Ivy League universities like Harvard Yale were bankrolled and built upon opium money, the enslavement of Chinese people via narcotic addiction and opium wars to force more opium to the Chinese

Qing government official Lin Zexu precipitated the First Opium War by ordering the destruction of nearly 1.2 million kg (2.6 million lbs) of opium in Humen, China on June 3rd, 1839

By 1838 England was importing ~1,400 tons of Opium per year to China. This eventually led to the Chinese banning the drug and war erupted between the two countries. China eventually lost, and cession of Hong Kong was made, which was under British control until 1997.

During the First Opium War the Chinese were so desperate they started strapping fire crackers onto the backs of monkeys and throwing them.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Opium Wars. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Opium Wars so important!

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