Imperial Twilight - The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age

James Godfrey
Instructor of Lifelong Learning
Landmark Centre Building
Mondays, November 25-December 16
1-2:30 p.m.

The Opium Wars (1839-1860) between the Chinese Empire and Great Britain were fought as a result of what amounted to a state sanctioned illicit narcotics trade. Driven by a British demand for access to Chinese commercial markets, this thinly disguised general “trade war” drastically disrupted elements of the Chinese empire and subsequently led to its downfall in 1911. This reading will cover the background and events of this catastrophic East/West clash and show how its aftermath has remarkably affected Chinese foreign relations in the 21st century.

Book: Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age, Stephen R. Platt

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