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1. Opium War to the Treaty of Tianjin, 1842-58
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the development of the power and influence of the western powers in China between the Treaty of Nanjing (1842) that ended the First Opium War and the Treaty of Tianjin (1858). In particular, we think about: (i) the key impact of the Treaty of Nanjing – the opening-up of treaty ports along the east coast of China and the system of ‘extraterritoriality’; (ii) the reason that the cities around Hangzhou Bay in particular – Shanghai and Ningbo – became so important; (iii) the extent to which the Treaty of Nanjing had an impact on the general population of China; (iv) the unpopularity of the Treaty of Nanjing among Chinese intellectuals and the governing classes; (v) the Arrow Incident of 1856; (vi) the extent to which the general population of China was unhappy with the Qing dynasty at this time, and the reasons for this unrest; (vii) the impact of the Treaty of Tianjin – especially in the hugely expanded access to both traders and Christian missionaries to the Chinese interior; and (viii) French colonial activities in Indochina in this period, and their desire for a legal settlement to consolidate their territorial gains.
In this course, Dr Lars Laaman (SOAS, University of London) explores the history of China between the end of the First Opium War (1839-42) to the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911. In the first module, we think about the immediate aftermath of the First Opium War and the growing influence of the western powers up to the sweeping changes introduced by the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858. After that, in the second module, we shift our focus to two huge rebellions that took place almost simultaneously in different parts of the country – the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64) and the Nian Rebellion (1851-68) – before turning in the third, fourth and fifth modules to explore the three phases of the Self-Strengthening Movement (1861-72, 1872-85, 1885-95). In the sixth module, we think about the Hundred Day’s Reform – an abortive attempt to introduce sweeping cultural, political and educational reforms to the Qing Empire – before turning in the seventh module the causes, course and consequences of the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1900). Finally, in the eighth module, we look at the final decade of Qing rule, in which the Qing administration made one last attempt at reform before its final collapse in 1911.
Dr Lars Laamann is a Lecturer in the History of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. He specialises in the history of imperial China, including popular religion, medicine, drugs and healing and Manchu culture in the Qing empire. His publications include Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (co-authored with Frank Dikotter and Xun Zhou, 2004) and Christian Heretics in Late Imperial China (2006).
Cite this Lecture
Laamann, L. (2021, January 25). China – The End of the Qing Dynasty, 1842-1911 - Opium War to the Treaty of Tianjin, 1842-58 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/china-the-end-of-the-qing-dynasty-1842-1911/opium-war-to-the-treaty-of-tianjin-1842-58
Laamann, L. "China – The End of the Qing Dynasty, 1842-1911 – Opium War to the Treaty of Tianjin, 1842-58." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Jan 2021, https://massolit.io/courses/china-the-end-of-the-qing-dynasty-1842-1911/opium-war-to-the-treaty-of-tianjin-1842-58