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A Struggle for Power, not for Opium: A Look Back at the Opium War.
This paper will argue that, although opium was one of the causes of the Opium War, the drug trade was actually a secondary element in the conflict. The primary cause of the conflict was the Chinese imperial government's ignorance and arrogance with respect to the challenge presented by the British. This is not to say that the British were without moral fault for their role in the Opium War. However, morality is irrelevant in discussion of what was essentially a struggle for economic and political supremacy. As will be shown, the Chinese ruling class were negligent in their understanding of the threat that they faced, which resulted in a confrontation that could only have ended in the humiliating defeat of the Chinese nation. 10 pgs. Bibliography lists 7 sources.