t, all throught the 19th century. Some are like the Opium War(s), The Boxer Rebellion, and Sphere of Influence. These things were a big part of China’s history. The Opium War was two wars fought between Great Britain and China in whom Western powers gained significant commercial privileges and territory. The Opium Wars began when the Chinese government tried to stop the illegal importation of opium by British merchants. The First Opium War started in 1839 when the Chinese government confiscated opium warehouses in Guangzhou (Canton).
Britain responded by sending an expedition of warships to the city in February 1840. The British won a quick victory and the conflict was ended by the Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) on August 29, 1842. By this treaty, and a supplementary one signed on October 8, 1843, China was forced to pay a large indemnity, open five ports to British trade and residence, and cede Hong Kong to Great Britain. The treaty also gave British citizens in China the right to be tried in British courts.
Other Western powers demanded, and were granted, similar privileges. In October 1856, Guangzhou police boarded the British ship Arrow and charged its crew with smuggling. Eager to gain more trading rights, the British used the incident to launch another offensive, precipitating the Second Opium War. British forces, aided by the French, won another quick military victory in 1857. When the Chinese government refused to ratify the Treaty of Tianjin, which had been signed in 1858, the hostilities resumed. In 1860, after British and French troops had occupied Beijing and burned the Summer Palace, the Chinese agreed to ratify the treaty.
The treaty opened additional trading ports, allowed foreign emissaries to reside in Beijing, admitted Christian missionaries into China, and opened travel to the Chinese interior. Later negotiations legalized the importation of opium. The Boxer Rebellion uprising, Chinese nationalist uprising against foreigners, the representatives of alien powers, and Chinese Christians in 1900. Expulsion of all foreigners from China was the ultimate objective of the uprising. In 1899 a secret society of Chinese called the Yihequan (“Righteous and Harmonious Fists”), known by Westerners as the Boxers, began a campaign of terror against Christian missionaries in the northeastern provinces. Although the Boxers were officially denounced, they were secretly supported by many of the royal court, including the Dowager Empress Cixi (Tz’u-hsi).
Economic and political exploitation of China by various Western powers and Japan and humiliating military defeats inflicted by Great Britain in the Opium Wars (1839-1842, 1856-1860) and by Japan in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) were the main causes of Chinese resentment, compounded by general economic problems. The terrorist activities of the Boxer society gradually increased during 1899 with Boxer bands attacking Christians on sight. When these bands entered the Chinese capital, Beijing, the foreign powers dispatched a small relief column from Tianjin (Tientsin) to secure their interests and citizens in the capital. On June 13 Cixi ordered imperial troops to turn back this column, and the ensuing crisis culminated on June 18, 1900, in a general uprising in Beijing, with Cixi ordering that all foreigners be killed. Many foreigners and others took refuge in the part of the city where the foreign legations were located; the rebels placed the area under siege.
A larger relief expedition consisting of British, French, Japanese, Russian, German, and American troops relieved the besieged quarter and occupied Beijing on August 14, 1900. The relief forces retained possession of the city, looking for and punishing anti foreign actions, until a peace treaty was signed on September 7, 1901. By the terms of the treaty the Chinese were required to pay, over a period of 40 years, a large indemnity. Other treaty provisions included commercial concessions and the right to station foreign troops to guard the legations in Beijing and to maintain a clear corridor from Beijing to the coast. Despite efforts by the United States to stop further territorial encroachment (see Open Door Policy); Russia extended its sphere of influence in Manchuria during the revolt, a policy that culminated in the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905).
In Conclusion, these things are very important to China’s History in the 19th century.