The system and the right to occupy

The Conflict Due to the isolation of the Chinese and the degradement of the Navy, the Chinese Junks were no match to the British steam powered paddle boats. The British had powerful pistols while the Chinese had old Rifles. The Chinese did not expect an attack so the military was composed of weak soldiers. The British Nemesis easily destroyed the Chinese Junks. The Chinese’s ancient weapons were no match to the ironclads that the British owned.(see Appendix A) In Kowloon, during the war, six drunk men were accused of murder. They demanded their right to have a right of trial in Britain. The seamen walked out of the court unpunished.The Chinese had regarded the First and Second Opium wars as an unjust treatment and a humiliation. The first opium war was relatively short. On November 3rd, 1839, two British Frigates opened fire on the Chinese. The HMS Volage and the HMS Hyacinth attacked 29 unsuspecting Junks blockading a harbor near Chuanbi.(see Appendix B) There was many Chinese casualties, while only one British sailor was wounded. The worried Lin Zexu reported this to the Emperor. Afraid that he would lose his position due to this humiliation, Lin twisted the report and the Emperor became persuaded that this battle was a victory. This marked the beginning of the First Opium War. The true beginning of the war began when the British Government in India issued a formal declaration of war. Then, According to Perdue, there were three phases of the British attack in China. The first phase began when Captain George Elliott of the British Navy moved his troops, along with the HMS Nemesis( an ironclad paddlewheel boat) to Macau. Then the British sent a diplomat to the Emperor telling him to agree with their terms or else suffer a humiliating defeat. The british threatened to cut off the capital in the north from the economically rich south. They demanded the compensation of the seized opium, the abolition of the strict Canton trade system and the right to occupy one of China’s many islands. The Chinese officials met with the British diplomats on board the HMS Wellesley outside of Chusan.(see Appendix C) The Chinese officials did not agree to the British terms so on the following day, the British bombarded Chusan. After the British occupied Chusan, the officials again rejected to the British terms which resulted in the British blockade of the nearby port of Ningbo. The British then advanced to Tiantsien. Meanwhile, Lin Zexu had recruited an army to take over the British and Portuguese controlled Macau. The British diplomats succeeded in reaching Peking and conveyed their demands. The emperor soon heard about this and was enraged. He held Lin Zexu responsible for ┬áthis and stripped him of his title. The new imperial commissioner was no better. He fell faster than Zexu did. Lin Zexu warned the emperor and advised him not to accept the demands. In the meantime, the new Imperial Commissioner, Qishan took a more sly approach to this growing problem. He approached the diplomats and General Elliot and convinced them that the Chinese were preparing to negotiate in Canton. This tactic had worked. The British had soon withdrawn back to Macau. At canton, the British had came, prepared to negotiate but found that the Chinese diplomats were not there. Angered, the British attacked Chuanbi. This became known as the famous Second Battle of Chuanbi. Qishan, upset that his tactic failed, agreed to the British Terms in the Convention of Chuanbi. The Daoguang emperor soon caught wind of this and was enraged. He imprisoned Qishan and had him sentenced to death. Charles Elliot, the British diplomat was punished for agreeing to low terms. The British government insisted that the specific terms were the compensation of lost opium (which Qishan did not agree to), the cession of an island to the British, and the removal of the strict Canton Trade System (which Qishan also did not agree to). Both diplomats were punished. Captain Elliot then led a series of quick skirmishes that compromised the safety of Canton. The HMS Nemesis and some other British warships were now in position to lay siege to Canton which they did in May. (see Appendix D) The British then moved back north again recapturing Amoy, Tinghai, and Ningpo. There was mainly very little resistance. On March of 1842, a group of Chinese soldiers rebelled against the British in Ningpo and fought the foreigners. Next in the May of 1842, the British took over the city of Chapu in a bloody battle. A British lieutenant was instantly killed by a shot in his neck. The British were surprised by this because casualties were often low for the British. Finally, the British captured Shanghai and reached the capital Nanking. The war was over.