Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, ASIAN HISTORY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 April 2018

Opium in China

Summary and Keywords

Opium was used as a medicinal herb during the Tang-Song dynastic era, if not earlier, but this medicinal role was transformed during the Ming dynasty as it became an ingredient in aphrodisiacs produced for the Ming court. Small countries in South-Southeast Asia included opium in their tribute items to the Ming. Tribute missions were a form of trade as well as the best way to maintain foreign relations. Opium transformed again in the early Qing dynasty as Southeast Asian Chinese brought the habit of smoking opium mixed with tobacco back to the mainland. This was soon integrated in and promoted by the sex recreation industry in the mid-18th century, and the demand for opium grew rapidly in the early decades of the 19th century. By the 1850s, increasing supply fueled a level of consumption that neither repeated attempts at prohibition, nor two opium wars could stymie; it exploded into a consumer revolution. Opium became vital to the economy as all the polities since the late Qing taxed it to sustain themselves. It also became a symbol of China’s humiliation and anti-imperialist political platform. It has now come back to haunt the country despite the Mao era success in eradication.

Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), aphrodisiac, tribute trade, overseas Chinese, Anglo-Chinese trade, Jardine Matheson, globalization, opium regimes, narco-economy

Herbal Medicine to Aphrodisiac

Opium was common in at least Sichuan province during the Tang dynasty (618–906); by the Song dynasty (960–1278), it was included in the inventory of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Many doctors prescribed opium, as it reduced pain and helped treat diarrhea, dysentery, sunstroke, coughing, and asthma. It was widely used, sold by the bowlful on the roadside to prevent sunstroke in the hot summers of southern China. Opium’s medicinal value was further affirmed by practitioners in the subsequent Mongol-ruled Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), as we can see from Huihui Yaofang, the Islamic Pharmacopoeia, which was translated into Chinese.

By 1483 if not earlier, opium was no longer just a medicinal herb; we know this from memoirs of scholars who gossiped about a new aphrodisiac from Central Asia and the southern coastal provinces. Court records unintentionally exposed the circumstances of opium’s transformation. The Xianzong emperor (r. 1465–1487) was unable to produce any male heirs. Keen to solve this problem, court doctors were led by their research to opium. One of opium’s properties, its ability to arrest liquid secretion (thus its traditional role in the treating of diarrhea), was exaggerated: it would retain the male essence, hence strengthen sperm, aid masculinity, and preserve vigor. Whether this was clinically proven did not matter. What mattered was that the emperor did begin to produce the all-important male heirs from 1469. The epic Zheng He voyages had galvanized tribute trade; Siam, Java, and Bengal presented opium as tribute items.

Knowledge of the aphrodisiac property of opium spread through two channels. The first was medicinal works such as the Compendium of Materia Medica, written by the father of modern TCM, Li Shizhen (1518–1593). Li reiterated opium’s function as an effective herbal medicine for diarrhea, but he continued: “it can help control the essence of men; ordinary people use it for the art of sex. Beijing has golden panacea for sale.” A century after the Xianzong emperor, an industry had emerged making the “golden panacea” in the capital. Opium may have remained a medicine for the elites had it not been for the second channel of knowledge transfer, the Chinese in Southeast Asia. By the late Ming, maritime enclaves of Southeast Asia were home to many Chinese merchants and laborers who sojourned to and from mainland China.

Diaspora and Culture Transmission

War and disruption wrought by the Ming-Qing dynastic change in the mid-17th century sent more Chinese to Southeast Asia. This was also the time when more European traders arrived and established themselves in the region. Some Chinese worked for the Europeans as compradors, helping them procure Chinese goods because they could not do business inside China. Shuttling back and forth between southern coastal provinces and Southeast Asia, they returned to the mainland with Southeast Asian and European goods and cultures of consumption. The Chinese who lived in Java, for example, had smoked tobacco mixed with opium from the early 17th century; they carried opium and the habit of smoking back to the coastal provinces.

This is apparent from Dutch records: Dagh—Register Gehouden int Casteel Batavia and from Chinese sources. Zhang Xie (1574–1640) detailed the situation in his native Zhangzhou, Fujian province; the import tax for opium was 2 qian for every 10 jin or five kilograms in 1589 and 1 qian 7 fen 3 li in 1615. The opium trade had begun even though it was small in quantity and limited to coastal regions. This also included Taiwan, where the Qing sent troops to quell a small rebellion in 1721. Officers and soldiers alike picked up the habit of opium smoking and brought it back to the mainland. It proved to be such a problem in Fujian that local officials wrote to the Yongzheng emperor (r. 1722–1735), who in return issued the first edict banning opium smoking in 1729.

The spread of consumption was propelled by opium’s mythical aphrodisiac properties and the leisure element of smoking as it entered the most lucrative business: the sex recreation industry in the mid-18th century. Opium smoking accompanied by sexual recreation on the “flower boats,” floating brothels to be more precise, was a well-established practice. The medicinal as well as aphrodisiac function of opium was reinforced by this generation of practitioners, such as Xu Dachuan (1693–1771) and Zhao Xuemin (1719–1805), who knew the market well: “Guangdong has opium pills. It is made with Chinese caterpillar fungus, opium and Ginseng. This really is an aphrodisiac. This grass can strengthen yang [masculinity].”1 The industry in Nanjing was so sophisticated that a smaller vessel dedicated to preparing opium paste and pipes sailed alongside the “flower boats” to service their customers. The process was much less formal in Canton, where opium and sex were served in the same vessel; Six Chapters of a Floating Life detailed the experience of Shen Fu (1763–1825) in the 1780s.

Anglo-Chinese Trade and the Explosion of Consumption

Perhaps opium smoking could have been contained in coastal regions and large national urban centers had supply remained limited. Yet opium’s rise was fatefully linked with Anglo-Chinese trade. British trade with China had been unprofitable since its beginning. Although Lord Macartney did not secure privileges in 1793, the growing popularity of tea by the mid-18th century provided the East India Company (EIC) with hope. It was running up not just a trade but also a monetary deficit, as China accepted only silver as payment and bought little in return. If Britain was to continue the profitable tea trade, a solution had to be found. The EIC was quick to notice that the Chinese were buying more opium in the early 1800s.

Opium smoking had spread from the coastal regions and national urban centers to many provincial towns and cities in the interior by the early 19th century. It was growing among princely figures, the rich, and celebrities who could afford exotic and status-signaling foreign commodities. By the 1820s, opium smoking was a “hobby among both the high and the low in officialdom.”2 Scholar-officials were not just the bread-winners of their families but also the moral leaders of local communities. Many began to learn from them as more opium became available. Opium smoking could not have been contained, because a greatly increased supply was fueling this consumption. The EIC introduced a system where it collected opium from peasants; the raw opium was processed into concentrated balls and sold en mass to “private English” firms like Jardine Matheson, which shipped them to Canton. The growth of imports can be seen from Table 1.

Table 1. Opium Shipments to China, 1830–1839 (Chests).















































Source: Michael Greenberg, British Trade and the Opening of China 1800–1842.

This opium could not have reached Chinese consumers without the help of government-licensed Hong merchants and their partners, from smugglers to government officials whom they bribed. Few knew the addictive nature of the substance until its effects became apparent. Some looked thin and pale; they shook convulsively when their dependency attacked. Some would beg, steal, and even sell their wives and children in order to sustain the habit. Some deteriorated quickly; missionaries wrote about “the rapid career of the opium-smoker, from health and affluence to decrepitude and beggary” and considered them a counterpart to Hogarth’s “Rake’s Progress.”3 Some died, as openly as on the street. What was alarming for the Qing court was that the Manchu military machine was being reduced to its former shadow, as “seven out of ten” soldiers smoked opium.

More imports meant increasing outflow of the hitherto plentiful supply of silver. The decreasing circulation of silver reduced tax income; it sent many local governments into financial difficulties as they found it hard to run their departments and pay salaries. Social problems and silver outflow led to a debate within the Qing officialdom. A few officials advocated legalization, but the majority voted for prohibition. The Daoguang emperor (r. 1820–1850) appointed Lin Zexu as imperial commissioner. Lin arrived in Canton in March 1839 and demanded foreign traders hand over their opium stock and sign a warrant pledging not to bring opium again. When few complied, his troops laid siege to the “Thirteen Factories,” where foreign merchants lived and worked. They left behind more than 20,000 chests of mostly British-owned opium, which was destroyed in public on June 3, 1839. This led to the outbreak of the (First) Opium War, details of which cannot be included here because of space constraints.4

Downward and Outward “Liquidation”

Opium brought war and humiliation as the Treaty of Nanking forced China to pay for the opium destroyed and the British naval expedition, to cede Hong Kong as a colony, and to open five port cities for British trade. Opium smuggling became rampant after the war, which can be seen from Table 2; nearly every ship that traveled between Singapore and Shanghai carried opium. This made the problem worse for the Qing, but the British were still not satisfied. In October 1856, Chinese coastal guards in Canton boarded the Arrow, a Chinese-owned but Hong Kong–registered and British-manned vessel, as they suspected that it carried opium. This Arrow Incident led to the Arrow or the Second Opium War, where France, the United States, and Russia joined the four-year conflict. The Treaty of Tientsin and the Convention of Peking were signed with all four parties. China had to pay indemnities and open more treaty ports, while Britain obtained Kowloon and what it most desired: the legalization of the opium trade.

Table 2. Opium Shipments from India (Chests).

























































































Source: Hosea B. Morse, The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China 1635–1834.

With increased supply, opium became cheaper, and more people could afford “conspicuous consumption.” The Peking Hospital assessed its prevalence in the capital region in 1869:5



Field labourers [general]

4 to 6%

Field labourers [cultivation provinces]

40 to 60%

Merchants in Peking


Mercantile community [treaty ports]


Male attendants [of Mandarin]

70 to 80%

Female attendants

30 to 40%


20 to 30%

Literary class

20 to 30%

Eunuchs of the Palace


Bannermen and Reserve

30 to 40%

Male population [general]

30 to 40%

City population [general]

40 to 60%

The capital was representative of the country, where by the 1880s opium dens outnumbered rice stores and tea shops. Offering opium to friends and guests was considered polite. That explains why opium appeared at dinner parties and wedding celebrations. Opium reduced pain, while smoking offered relaxation after a day’s hard work. Its consumption gave birth to jobs and other industries, such as pipe and lamp making. Opium began its social life in the sex recreation industry; it now enabled women to take the business into their own hands and led to what Christian Henriot called the explosion of “common prostitution.”6 For men of letters, opium was a fountain of inspiration, as they dedicated poems to it and wrote fictions that entertained many. It had truly become the “opiate of the people,” as the rich continued to smoke foreign brands and as the poor smoked ashes mixed with tobacco.

The late Qing saw what George Ritzer called the “McDonaldization” of opium smoking, as it bred a culture of consumption peculiar to China and came to identify the Chinese people.7 Fuel, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea had been the seven essentials of a Chinese household; opium had joined them by the late Qing. It even became a tourist attraction—a trip to China meant a trip to the opium den. Just as Southeast Asian Chinese had brought opium smoking to China, Chinese coolie laborers carried the habit to North America, Europe, and Australia as they left the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and often congregated in the opium dens of the various Chinatowns. China was a land of opium and addicts, a view perpetuated by fictions like The Good Earth and Hollywood films. Opium identified China, earning her a derogatory name, the “sick man of Asia.”

“Opium Regimes” and Spring Breeze

Supply diversified by the mid-19th century. In addition to South Asia, Southeast Asia became a major source. Dutch colonial authority in Java allowed local Chinese to control the opium trade under government monopoly, part of the revenue farm system; this was soon emulated by other colonial regimes who, with the help of Southeast Asian Chinese, transformed the region into what Carl Trocki called an “offshore” production zone for China. Chinese commercial guilds and criminal syndicates took over wholesale and retail on the mainland through the various international settlement regimes in the treaty port cities.8 Domestic cultivation was also fast catching up; many peasants switched to growing opium as it generated quick cash. Different regions and provinces produced their own brands; they came with elaborate names like “purple sunshine.” Some were more popular than others; Henan opium, for example, was considered as strong as that from Patna. Domestic production began to overtake imports after the 1880s; whether they knew it or not, many Chinese were smoking China-grown opium by then.

The vast amount of opium being grown, bought, and smoked meant that whoever controlled opium controlled a large portion of the economy—whoever controlled opium controlled China. Paying indemnities and suppressing the Taiping and other rebellions demanded cash, so did late Qing reform, launched in 1862. Prohibitionist in theory, the Qing government learned to profit from taxing cultivation, trade, transportation, and consumption. One of the most effective schemes was the so-called likin, which was operated at the discretion of local governments. Provincial officials like Zeng Guofan and Li Hongzhang used opium likin to fund their Xiang and Huai armies, which were instrumental in suppressing the rebellions. This gave birth to a political economy or “narco-economy,” as Edward Slack labeled it, and saw what Hans van de Ven called the “decentralisation of military finance.”9 This would have consequences.

Opium might have generated much-needed cash for the Qing, but it signified national shame. It exposed the problems with the Qing and galvanized anti-Manchu sentiment. Reformers and revolutionaries linked opium with national survival and built up their anti-imperialist platforms even though most people smoked Chinese-grown or overseas Chinese–grown opium. Nationalism rallied the Chinese people and helped them overthrow the Qing, but it did not save the country; neither did it solve the opium problem. Instead consumption was modernized, as morphine pills and injection emerged to serve new generations of consumers, while decades of wars turned many more people to opium. The Nationalist regime did launch anti-opium campaigns. But missionaries deserve the most credit; they were the most persistent crusaders, as many spent their career conducting anti-opium operations. Some of these were successful, but they were short-lived.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen might have founded the Republic of China (ROC), but the country was ruled by warlords after the 1910s. In fact, Dr. Sun’s own officers were engaged in the opium business; whether he knew it or not, it funded many of his endeavors, including the Northern Expedition, after which the National Opium Suppression Committee was established with Chiang Kai-shek as its leader. But his troops helped ship and protect “Chiang’s opium,” and the Green Gang took charge of wholesale and retail, making its leader, Du Yuesheng, the “opium king.” Even worse were the warlords, big or small, who forced peasants to grow opium, turning small places like Peiling in Sichuan province into the land of opium, as every family cultivated it. Opium sustained warlord armies and enabled them to purchase modern weapons and wage wars. This was compounded by the Japanese, who promoted production in colonies like Korea and shipped it to China. These were indeed what Timothy Brook and Tadashi Wakabayashi called “opium regimes.”10

The Communist regime in Yan’an was no exception; it cultivated opium, as Chen Yongfa has shown, and sold it to Nationalist- and Japanese-occupied areas in order to purchase much-needed weapons, medicine, and other necessities. With draconian discipline regimes, the Communists managed to eradicate both cultivation and consumption in the Mao era (1949–1976). But despite more than two decades of hibernation, opium has returned with a vengeance in the post-Mao era: there are now many modes of consuming opium, its derivatives and other mind-altering substances. In the words of Wall Street Journal journalists Adi Ignatius and Julie Leung: “What the Revolution in China wiped out, Reform brought back.” The story of opium in China echoes the famous Chinese saying: “Not even a prairie fire can destroy the grass; it grows again when the spring breeze blows.” The social life of opium continues.

Discussion of the Literature

Opium in China has fascinated generations of scholars and writers. It had much to do with Anglo-Chinese relations, which many have studied: A. J. Sargent, Earl H. Pritchard, John. K. Fairbank, J. L. Cranmer-Byny, Gerald S. Graham, and James Hevia and Peter J. Kitson recently. Most of these scholars focused on or used Lord Macartney’s mission as a case study; they highlighted the symbolic importance of cultural difference and Western impact on China. They have enlightened, but their work is largely Eurocentric, denying Chinese agency. Anglo-Chinese relations point to British opium policies but few except Frederick S. Turner and David E. Owen have examined these. The parliamentary resolution that led to war had just a nine-vote majority in 1840, and there was a sixteen-vote majority against war in 1857. How did opium in China shape Victorian politics and public opinion?

Anglo-Chinese trade was crucial and has been the subject of study among economic historians. H. B. Morse made an exhaustive study on the East India Company archive, whereas Michael Greenberg examined the Jardine Matheson archive; they focused on the trade and have provided the best statistics available so far. The power of Jardine Matheson, which took the lion’s share of the opium trade and successfully lobbied for war, has fascinated generations, from Edward Le Fevour and W. E. Cheong to Richard J. Grace and Alain Le Pichon. But merchants from other countries were also involved in the opium trade. Few studied them until recently, when Jacques M. Downs, Richard R. Haddad, Ander Permanyer-Ugartemendia, and Amar Farooqui exposed American, Spanish, and Indian involvement in the opium trade. Although Yen-ping Hao and W. E. Cheong have studied comprador-Hong merchants, much more needs to be done in order to understand their operations and partners, the Chinese smugglers who took over the shipment from offshore islands and delivered opium to its buyers.

The Opium War has interested many writers and historians, ranging from Pin-chia Kuo (1935), Maurice Collis (1946), Edgar Holt (1964), and Jack Beeching (1975) to Peter Ward Fay (1975), Brian Inglis (1976), and, recently, Julie Lovell (2011). Much can be learned from these works, but most of them are focused on the large events, rather than details. What, for example, did the British do after they took Zhoushan? It took art historian Louise Tythacott to reveal that they looted while in Zhoushan. Looting had begun during the Opium War and looted artifacts can provide unique insights. Historians have also tried to provide the Chinese perspective. Edward Parker and Arthur Waley did so by translating the works of Wei Yuan and Lin Zexu; they shed light on how the Qing scholar-officials approached Anglo-Chinese trade and conflict. Hsin-pao Chang produced an excellent piece of work on Lin and the conflict that remains a must-read.

Frederick Wakeman had provided a rare and insightful study on the social condition in Canton on the eve of both conflicts. It is surprising that the treaties have not generated much research. Ssu-yu Teng remains the only scholar to have written about the Treaty of Nanking from the perspective of Chang Hsi, an official who was involved. Tan Chung produced an excellent work, China and the Brave New World, in 1978. The significance of this work is that it synthesized the scholarship thus far and came up with three theories on the origins of the Opium War. The first saw the conflict as a clash between two civilizations. The second or the trade war theory emphasized the Marxist view that industrial revolution led to overseas expansion and imperialism. Tan Chung seems to agree with the idea of a war centered on opium, advanced by missionaries.

The study of opium returned to a place of eminence in the 1990s after the debate died off in the late 1970s. The scholarship has clearly diversified. Historians of Southeast Asia, James Rush and Carl Trocki in particular, shed new light on the opium trade by exposing revenue farming under colonial rule; Southeast Asian Chinese were instrumental in the story of opium. Their work opened a new window to understand the supply and political economy of opium. In Northeast Asia, opium was in the hands of the Japanese; John Jennings believes that they used opium to drug the people of Asia into submission. The concept of “opium regimes” has enlightened us and taken the debate to new heights. Frederic Wakeman and Brian Martin mentioned opium as they dissected the politics of policing in Shanghai, but much more research needs to be done on domestic cultivation and commerce that defined organized crime and funded revolutions and modernization.

Historians have visited the internal politics of the Opium War. James Polachek probed the debate in Qing officialdom that shaped its response to the opium problem. Mao Haijian has recently questioned the earlier victimization verdict and pointed out China’s flaws; this is a welcome move but far from the vigorous debate the topic needs. John Wong and Bernard Brizay turned attention to the Second Opium War in the post-Mao era. Wong’s book provides a comprehensive survey of the conflict, whereas Brizay’s work focuses on the sacking of Yuan Ming Yuan. The second Anglo-Chinese conflict was complex and protracted; it involved three new players: the French, the Russians, and the Americans. Careful research demands language skills or collaboration. Perhaps future generations will rise to the challenge; the Second Opium War has undoubtedly much more to teach us about opium in China.

Post-Mao scholarship has greatly enhanced our understanding of prohibition from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. Among the excellent works produced are those by Kathleen Lodwick (1996), Zhou Yongming (1999), Edward Slack (2001), Joyce Madancy (2004), David Bello (2005), Alan Baumler (2008), and Norman Smith (2013). They studied and argued for the importance of different regions, especially borderland areas such as Yunnan in the southwest and Manchuria in the northeast; they also detailed missionary-led campaigns and government initiatives. These works have greatly complemented our understanding of the extent of opium’s spread and, more important, exposed opium’s complex relationship with the politics of local society and nation building.

Why did so many Chinese succumb to opium? Few had asked how the demand for opium was generated until the 21st century. Keith McMohan, Frank Dikotter, and Yangwen Zheng have examined opium smoking from the perspective of consumer culture. This opened a new window for the debate and offered a revisionist view; it “decriminalized” consumption and highlighted the power of popular culture, and in the case of Zheng’s work economic globalization beyond national control. The study of looted objects during the opium wars has become a small field of its own. This is refreshing, as the unique perspective of objets d’art has and will continue to shed new light on Anglo-Chinese encounters. But few have studied opium paraphernalia despite collecting efforts. Many a symbol and meaning were invested in the pipes and lamps. Careful studies will undoubtedly inform us about opium’s appeal to its consumers, hence its tenacious hold on the country.

Despite the scholarship just mentioned, there is still a lot about which we do not know, the Second Opium War in particular. Both conflicts were triggered by issues of extraterritoriality: the Lin Weixi affair and the Arrow Incident, but few have written on the legal aspect. Domestic cultivation replaced foreign imports roughly from the 1880s. How exactly did that happen? Some smokers became addicted while others did not. To what extent did this have to do with individuals’ physiology, diet, and other elements like weather? Chen Yongfa began uncovering the role of opium in the Communist regime in Yan’an. How much did they produce and how exactly did they sell to Nationalist- and Japanese-occupied areas? The regime eradicated opium after 1950; how exactly did they do that? Opium has returned. Who are its new consumers and what is the social life of opium in the 21st century? Opium in China continues to be a gold mine waiting for historians to dig.

Primary Sources

Information on opium in China can be found in a multitude of government documents. For British opium policies, Parliamentary debates offer the best insight, as MPs debated about what happened in China and voted on resolutions. State Papers and Foreign Office Files offer revealing communications between the government and the superintendent of trade in Canton and later the various consul offices. The Royal Commission on opium is an excellent source on how politicians viewed the issue of opium. For the opium trade, the China Supra Cargoes (Ship) Diary in the East India Company Factory Papers is the best source, as it provides details on the company’s opium operations. Even more detailed is the Jardine Matheson Archive, as it furnishes company-agent and intra-company communications on procurement and accounts. Newspapers and magazines like the Chinese Repository, North China Herald Market Report, and China Weekly Review offer important information on prices of opium, awareness of addiction, and anti-opium campaigns.

Missionaries, diplomats, officers, and soldiers who served in China and travelers to the country provide invaluable clues in their memoirs. For those who read Chinese, the various Qing state sources, from 宫中档‎ (memorial to the court) to 起居注‎ (veritable record of the emperors), allow us to see how Qing officials and emperors perceived the rising problem of opium, how they debated the war on drugs, and the circumstances under which they made a U-turn as they used opium taxes to suppress rebellions and fund reform programs. 地方志‎ (local gazetteers) are even more important, as they provide vital information on local cultivation, smuggling, and consumption. The best sources come from the private diaries or memoirs of scholars and officials from the mid-18th to the mid-20th centuries as they enjoyed opium, discussed the failure of wars, watched the rise of domestic cultivation, or reflected on China’s problem with opium.

Further Reading

Bello, David A. Opium and the Limits of Empire: Drug Prohibition in the Chinese Interior, 1729–1850. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2005.Find this resource:

Brook, Timothy, and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, eds. Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.Find this resource:

Chang, Hsin-pao. Commissioner Lin and the Opium War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.Find this resource:

Fay, Peter W. The Opium War 1840–1842. Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.Find this resource:

Greenberg, Michael. British Trade and the Opening of China 1800–1842. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1951.Find this resource:

Madancy, Joyce A. The Troublesome Legacy of Commissioner Lin: The Opium Trade and Opium Suppression in Fujian Province 1820s to 1920s. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.Find this resource:

Morse, Hosea B. The Chronicles of the East India Company Trading to China 1635–1834. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926.Find this resource:

Polachek, James M. The Inner Opium War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.Find this resource:

Trocki, Carl A. Opium, Empire and the Global Political Economy: A Study of the Asian Opium Trade 1750–1950. London: Routledge, 1999.Find this resource:

Wong, John Y. Deadly Dreams: Opium and the Arrow War (1856–1860) in China. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.Find this resource:

Yangwen, Zheng. The Social Life of Opium in China. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.Find this resource:

Yongming, Zhou. Anti-Drug Crusades in Twentieth-Century China: Nationalism, History and State Building. Lanham and Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.Find this resource:

文庆‎, 贾祯‎, 宝鋆等编‎, 筹办夷务始末‎. 北京‎: 中华书局‎, 1880 版‎ 2014 重印‎.Find this resource:

中国第一历史档案馆编‎, 鸦片战争档案史料‎. 上海‎: 人民出版社‎, 1987.Find this resource:


(1.) Zhao Xuemin, Bencao Gangmu Shiyi, 10 vols. (Taipei: Hongye Shuju, 1985), vol. 5, 156.

(2.) Dai Lianfen, ‘Libianxian Zhiyan’, in Qingshuo Qizhong (Shanghai: Wenyi Chubanshe, 1992), 57.

(3.) “Admonitory Pictures”, Chinese Repository, V, 12 (1837): 571–573.

(4.) “Space constraints preclude a recounting of details of this war here.”

(5.) “Peking Hospital Report”, North China Herald, III, 116, 15 July (1869): 374.

(6.) Christian Henriot, Prostitution and Sexuality in Shanghai: a Social History, 1849–1949 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 73–98.

(7.) George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society: an Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life (Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1996).

(8.) Carl Trocki, “The Internationalisation of Chinese Revenue Farming Networks”, in Water Frontier: Commerce and the Chinese in the Lower Mekong Region, eds., Nola Cooke and Li Tana (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004), 159–173.

(9.) Edward R. Slack, Opium, State and Society: China’s Narco-Economy and Guomindang, 1924–37 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000) and Hans van de Ven, “Public Finance and the Rise of Warlordism”, Modern Asian Studies 30, no. 4 (1996): 829–868.

(10.) Adi Ignatius and Julia Leung, “What the Revolution in China Wiped Out, Reform Brought Back”, The Wall Street Journal (1989): A1 & A23.