mingless wrote:ccurrie wrote: IIRC the war was fought by private traders, not the British government.
No, it was the British government. The one thing the British government did not do is kidnap millions of Chinese, hold them down and force them to ingest opium and become addicted. For that, the addicted Chinese have themselves to thank.
Correct. For some reason I half-remembered a story about a trader with a decent ship mixing it up with the local customs officers -- a habit I generally encourage with customs agents and any other thieves. Which probably happened but in some other context. I was likely mixing up the Arrow with some other ship. Interesting to see that the balance of trade was as clearly important then as it is now.
Doing some quick reading I'd say the 1911 Revolution was the second worst thing to happen in China in the whole history of the place. In the UK a similar thing happened in 1534, under Henry the Adulterer. That's when they burnt all the books and records and began to slander all those who came before as foolish barbarians. What was needed in China was not modern Ideas, but modern metallurgy and modern arms.
All completely off topic, of course. Sorry Styky!