A Month of: This Day in History

Louise M. H. Miller; Around The Red Map.

On this day in 1839 in Humen, China, Chinese scholar and official of the Qing dynasty, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kg of opium which had been confiscated from British merchants. Lin forcefully opposed the opium trade on economic, social and moral grounds. The destruction of the opium stores is seen as the primary catalyst for the First Opium War of 1839-42; as it provided the British with a casus belli to open hostilities with the Chinese over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade and the administration of justice for foreign nationals.

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