345). Tensions over opium eventually resulted in the Opium Wars against the British. Registered addicts were licensed by the government to get decreasing amounts of the drug, and many users were punished and shops closed. By the time of the second Opium War, however, it became clear that the real text of the war was not opium smoking, but imperialism. Unfortunately, by the end of the second Opium War, China found itself defeated, forced into unfavorable trade policies, and still vulnerable as a population to opium addiction.
the unbalanced system. The British were struggling to set up an imperialist structure in China by all means necessary during the 1800s. By the time of the “Arrow Incident” that started the second Opium War, the extension of the war was generally seen as an extension of British imperialism through Bowring in Hong Kong. “The British wanted the whole country opened up so that China could be incorporated into their "informal Empire," brought under indirect British rule like South America, rather than direct rule like India. The Chinese government was expected to govern the country in the interests of the British and their refusal to do this was bound to provoke renewed war” (China, 2010). In other words, China was punished with war for not accepting the unfair European imperialist system, until it relented and accepted treaty terms which were not favorable to its own interests.
Some scholars argue the imperialism is a national construction in which politics do not generally emphasize a person’s color or nationality over their position in the economy, with which politics is primarily concerned, and it is clear to them that an
imperialist political structure like the British one of the 1850s, with its aims focused exclusively on the capital to be extracted from China, is not as interested, and neither are insurgents who seek liberation from the oppressive imperial