Close window Timeline
previous entrynext entry
1700s - 1840
WESTERN TRADE DEFICIT WITH CHINA and OPIUM WAR

“Who would guess that a war could come from the drinking of tea?”

Loading cargo of tea

Widespread consumption of costly tea in England and the American Colonies combined with China’s lack of interest in purchasing western goods, results in a disastrous trade deficit, as millions in Mexican silver dollars are poured into China to pay for Chinese tea and other goods.

Britain’s solution to their trade deficit with China is to promote the sale of addicitve opium grown in India and smuggled into China for profit.

Eventually British intransigent violations of Chinese laws forbidding the sale and use of opium bring about the Opium Wars and the spiraling downfall of China in defeat from a previous position of unrivaled world trading power.