The Opium Wars — Then and Now

As a child, I remember studying about the Opium Wars in Social Studies class. The text books would have pictures of Chinese people smoking pipes of opium. The history book would explain the war between China and England, for no loftier purpose than to keep China’s harbors open to opium ships inbound from India, whose colonial economy depended on the export of opium to the Chinese population. The books also contained illustrations of the supposed stupor that the people of China were under from smoking the opium plant during this period (1800’s) of history. At the time, it was very …read more

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