What was the main reason that Europe began to trade opium for Chinese goods?
A. to destabilize Chinese society
B. to ensure better trading profits
C. to increase demand for the good
D. to put down any Chinese rebellions
A. to destabilize Chinese society.
Opium: The Downfall of Imperial China
We tend to think of the "drug problem" as a modern phenomenon. [ But a century ago, illegal drugs brought an end an empire that had lasted for thousands of years.
In 1793, China was the home of a sophisticated culture and a rich history. Among other remarkable achievements, China invented movable type, kites, and
gunpowder. They perfected porcelain, silk and tea production. 1793, however, was the beginning of the end of Imperial China.
Great Britain and other European nations, desiring her silk, tea and porcelain, wanted badly to trade with China. China, however, wanted nothing to do with Europe, and even refused to see European diplomats. Finally in 1793, a British diplomat was successful in reaching the Chinese court. He told the Chinese of the wonderful products of his country, convinced that once they really knew what Europe had to offer, they would quickly agree to engage in trade. China, however, was unmoved. In a letter to King George, the emperor said,