|Viceroy of Liangguang|
21 January 1840 –3 October 1840
|Preceded by||Deng Tingzhen|
|Viceroy of Shaan-Gan|
|Succeeded by||Yang Yizeng (acting)|
|Viceroy of Yun-Gui|
30 April 1847 –10 September 1849
|Preceded by||Li Xingyuan (Li Hsing-yüan)|
|Succeeded by||Cheng Yuzai (Ch'eng Yü-tsai)|
|Viceroy of Huguang|
February 1837 –December 1838
|Succeeded by||Zhou Tianjue|
|Born||30 August 1785|
Houguan County, Fujian, Qing Empire
|Died||22 November 1850 65) (aged|
Puning County, Guangdong, Qing Empire
|Education||Jinshi 進士 degree|
|Battles/wars||First Opium War|
Lin Zexu (30 August 1785 – 22 November 1850), courtesy name Yuanfu, was a Chinese head of states (Viceroy), Governor General, scholar-official under Emperor of the Qing dynasty best known for his role in the First Opium War of 1839–42. He was from Fuzhou, Fujian Province. Lin's forceful opposition to the opium trade was a primary catalyst for the First Opium War. He is praised for his constant position on the "moral high ground" in his fight, but he is also blamed for a rigid approach which failed to account for the domestic and international complexities of the problem.The Daoguang Emperor endorsed the hardline policies and anti-drugs movement advocated by Lin, but then blamed Lin for the resulting disastrous war.
Lin was born in Houguan (侯官; modern Fuzhou, Fujian Province) towards the end of the Qianlong Emperor's reign. His father, Lin Binri (林賓日), served as an official under the Qing government. He was the second son in the family. As a child, he was already "unusually brilliant". In 1811, he obtained the position of advanced Jinshi (進士) in the imperial examination, and in the same year he gained admission to the Hanlin Academy. He rose rapidly through various grades of provincial service. He opposed the opening of China but felt the need of a better knowledge of foreigners, which drove him to collect material for a geography of the world. He later gave this material to Wei Yuan, who published the Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms in 1843. He became Governor-General of Hunan and Hubei in 1837, where he launched a suppression campaign against the trading of opium.
Soon after his arrival in Guangdong Province in the middle of 1839, Lin wrote a memorial to Queen Victoria in the form of an open letter published in Canton, urging her to end the opium trade.He argued that China was providing Britain with valuable commodities such as tea, porcelain, spices and silk, with Britain sending only "poison" in return. He accused the foreigner traders of coveting profit and lacking morality. His memorial expressed a desire that the Queen would act "in accordance with decent feeling" and support his efforts. He wrote:
We find that your country is sixty or seventy thousand li from China. The purpose of your ships in coming to China is to realize a large profit. Since this profit is realized in China and is in fact taken away from the Chinese people, how can foreigners return injury for the benefit they have received by sending this poison to harm their benefactors?
They may not intend to harm others on purpose, but the fact remains that they are so obsessed with material gain that they have no concern whatever for the harm they can cause to others. Have they no conscience? I have heard that you strictly prohibit opium in your own country, indicating unmistakably that you know how harmful opium is. You do not wish opium to harm your own country, but you choose to bring that harm to other countries such as China. Why?
The products that originate from China are all useful items. They are good for food and other purposes and are easy to sell. Has China produced one item that is harmful to foreign countries? For instance, tea and rhubarb are so important to foreigners' livelihood that they have to consume them every day. Were China to concern herself only with her own advantage without showing any regard for other people's welfare, how could foreigners continue to live?
I have heard that the areas under your direct jurisdiction such as London, Scotland, and Ireland do not produce opium; it is produced instead in your Indian possessions such as Bengal, Madras, Bombay, Patna, and Malwa. In these possessions the English people not only plant opium poppies that stretch from one mountain to another but also open factories to manufacture this terrible drug.
As months accumulate and years pass by, the poison they have produced increases in its wicked intensity, and its repugnant odor reaches as high as the sky. Heaven is furious with anger, and all the gods are moaning with pain! It is hereby suggested that you destroy and plow under all of these opium plants and grow food crops instead, while issuing an order to punish severely anyone who dares to plant opium poppies again.
A murderer of one person is subject to the death sentence; just imagine how many people opium has killed! This is the rationale behind the new law which says that any foreigner who brings opium to China will be sentenced to death by hanging or beheading. Our purpose is to eliminate this poison once and for all and to the benefit of all mankind.
The letter elicited no response (sources suggest that it was lost in transit),but it was later reprinted in the London Times as a direct appeal to the British public.
An edict from the Daoguang Emperor followed on 18 March, emphasising the serious penalties for opium smuggling that would now apply.
In March 1839, Lin started to take measures that would eliminate the opium trade.He was a formidable bureaucrat known for his competence and high moral standards, with an imperial commission from the Daoguang Emperor to halt the illegal importation of opium by the British. He made changes within a matter of months. He arrested more than 1,700 Chinese opium dealers and confiscated over 70,000 opium pipes. He initially attempted to get foreign companies to forfeit their opium stores in exchange for tea, but this ultimately failed. Lin resorted to using force in the western merchants' enclave. A month and a half later, the merchants gave up nearly 1.2 million kg (2.6 million pounds) of opium. Beginning 3 June 1839, 500 workers laboured for 23 days to destroy it, mixing the opium with lime and salt and throwing it into the sea outside of Humen Town. Lin composed an elegy apologising to the gods of the sea for polluting their realm.
Lin and the Daoguang Emperor, comments historian Jonathan Spence, "seemed to have believed that the citizens of Canton and the foreign traders there had simple, childlike natures that would respond to firm guidance and statements of moral principles set out in simple, clear terms." Neither Lin nor the emperor appreciated the depth or changed nature of the problem. They did not see the change in international trade structures, the commitment of the British government to protecting the interests of private traders, and the peril to British traders who would surrender their opium.
Open hostilities between China and Britain started in 1839 in what later would be called the "First Opium War". The immediate effect was that both sides, by the words of Charles Elliot and Lin, banned all trade. Before this, Lin had pressured the Portuguese government of Macau, so the British found themselves without refuge, except for the bare and rocky harbours of Hong Kong.Soon, however, the Chinese forces faced a British naval fleet, which included the East India Company's steam warship Nemesis and improved weapons, and were soon routed.
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Lin made significant preparations for war against the possible British invasion. The British sailed north to attack Jiangsu and Zhejiang. The governors of these two provinces failed to heed a warning from Lin, however, and were unprepared when the British easily landed and occupied Dinghai.
Lin became a scapegoat for these losses due to court politics. As punishment, he was exiled to the remote Ili region in Xinjiang. His position was then given to Qishan in September 1840.
While in Xinjiang, Lin was the first Chinese scholar to record several aspects of Muslim culture there. In 1850, he noted in a poem that the Muslims in Ili did not worship idols but bowed and prayed to tombs decorated with poles that had the tails of cows and horses attached to them. This was the widespread shamanic practice of erecting a tugh , but this was its first recorded appearance in Chinese writings. He also recorded several Kazakh oral tales, such as one concerning a green goat spirit of the lake whose appearance is a harbinger of hail or rain.
The Qing government ultimately rehabilitated Lin. In 1845, he was appointed Governor-General of Shaan-Gan (Shaanxi-Gansu). In 1847, he became governor-General of Yun-Gui (Yunnan-Guizhou). These posts were less prestigious than his previous position in Canton, thus his career never fully recovered from the failures there.
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Lin died in 1850 while on the way to Guangxi Province, where the Qing government was sending him to help put down the Taiping Rebellion. Though he was originally blamed for causing the First Opium War, Lin's reputation was rehabilitated in the last years of the Qing dynasty, as efforts were made once more to eradicate opium production and trade. He became a symbol of the fight against opium, with his image displayed in parades, and his writings quoted approvingly by anti-opium and anti-drugs reformers.
Despite the antagonism between the Chinese and the British at the time, the English sinologist Herbert Giles praised and admired Lin: "He was a fine scholar, a just and merciful official and a true patriot."
Lin's former home, situated in Fuzhou's historic Sanfang-Qixiang ("Three Lanes and Seven Alleys") district, is open to the public. Inside, his work as a government official, including the opium trade and other work where he improved agricultural methods, championed water conservation (including his work to save Fuzhou's West Lake from becoming a rice field) and his campaign against corruption are well documented.
In China, Lin is popularly viewed as a national hero. June 3—the day when Lin confiscated the chests of opium—is unofficially celebrated as Opium Suppression Movement Day in Taiwan, whereas June 26 is recognized as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in honour of Lin's work. Monuments to Lin have been constructed in Chinese communities around the world.A statue of Lin stands in Chatham Square in Chinatown, New York City, United States. The base of the statue is inscribed with "Pioneer in the war against drugs" in English and Chinese. A wax statue of Lin also appeared in Madame Tussauds wax museum in London.
More recently, Lin has appeared as a character in River of Smoke , the second novel in the Ibis trilogy by Amitav Ghosh, which takes the Opium Wars as its setting to shed new light on a much-repressed history while offering a contemporary critique of globalisation.The novel takes place in 1838–1839, during which time Lin arrived in Canton and tensions escalated between the foreigners and the Chinese officials.
Three films have been made on his role in the Opium Wars such that he is now one of the symbols of modern China's resistance to European imperialism.[ citation needed ]
His grandson Commodore Lin Taizeng was an officer in the Beiyang Fleet and commanded one of China's two modern battleships purchased from Germany in the 1880s, Zhenyuan , during the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895). He committed suicide with an opium overdose after the ship ran aground and had to be abandoned.
Lin descendants are living in Fuzhou, Fujian and surroundings, Jieyang (Puning), Meizhou, Guangdong and surroundings, various places in China and United States.
Lin is also remembered for a couplet he wrote after his exile which reflects his stoic acceptance: "海納百川，有容乃大。壁立千仞，無欲則剛。" ("The sea accepts the waters of a hundred rivers; its tolerance results in its grandeur. The cliff towers to a height of a thousand ren [unit of length roughly equal to a fathom];its lack of desire gives it its resilience.") The first line of the couplet was chosen as the motto for Chinese Wikipedia.
The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China on 29 August 1842. It was the first of what the Chinese later called the unequal treaties.
The First Opium War, also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty of China. The immediate issue was Chinese official seizure of opium stocks at Canton to stop the banned opium trade, and threatening the death penalty for future offenders. The British government insisted on the principles of free trade, equal diplomatic recognition among nations, and backed the merchants' demands. The British navy defeated the Chinese using technologically superior ships and weapons, and the British then imposed a treaty that granted territory to Britain and opened trade with China.
The Second Opium War, also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war pitting the British Empire and the French Empire against the Qing dynasty of China that lasted from 1856 to 1860.
The Opium Wars were two wars waged between the Qing dynasty and Western powers in the mid-19th century. The First Opium War, fought in 1839–1842 between Qing China and Great Britain, was triggered by the dynasty's campaign against the British merchants who sold opium in China. The Second Opium War was fought between the Qing and Britain and France, 1856–1860. In each war, the European force's modern military technology led to easy victory over the Qing forces, with the consequence that the government was compelled to grant favorable tariffs, trade concessions, reparations and territory to the Europeans.
The Daoguang Emperor was the seventh Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigning from 1820 to 1850. His reign was marked by "external disaster and internal rebellion," that is, by the First Opium War, and the beginning of the Taiping Rebellion which nearly brought down the dynasty. The historian Jonathan Spence characterizes the Daoguang Emperor as a "well meaning but ineffective man" who promoted officials who "presented a purist view even if they had nothing to say about the domestic and foreign problems surrounding the dynasty."
That people from the Western hemisphere have been visiting China from before the Christian era is beyond doubt. The first known name of a westerner is that of Alopen, and he came from Syria in about 635. He may have been a Nestorian priest, and his visit is recorded on the Nestorian Stone tablet, now in Xi'an. But before that, it is recorded that an unnamed ambassador from the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius arrived in Beijing in 166. The scarcity of records of Western visitations means little, since it is known, for example, that the upper classes in the Tang dynasty favored the employment of westerners as servants. When Alopen arrived in Chang An (Xi’an) it is very unlikely that he would find himself the sole representative of a foreign land as did many later arrivals in the last couple of centuries.
Mujangga was a Manchu statesman of the late Qing dynasty, belonging to the Gogiya (郭佳) clan. He belonged under the Bordered Blue Banner in the Eight Banners. He was awarded the, jinshi, the highest degree in the imperial examination in 1805 and quickly rose in the ranks of the Qing government. Mujangga was the teacher of a young Chinese statesman, Confucian scholar, future general of the Xiang Army during the Taiping Rebellion, Zeng Guofan. He became a member of the Grand Council in 1828 and gradually grew to exercise a decisive influence on the Daoguang Emperor's policies. Following the demise of Cao Zhenyong, Mujangga became the chief Grand Councillor in 1837. As tensions in Sino-British relations rose in 1839, he became one of the chief advocates of a conciliatory policy towards the British and following the outbreak of the First Opium War, he moved to dismiss Lin Zexu from his position as imperial commissioner in September 1840. Around 1845 he was President of the Hanlin Academy. Mujangga's conciliatory policies created tensions with the allegedly more xenophobic heir apparent, and following his accession to the throne as the Xianfeng Emperor, Mujangga was dismissed from all his positions in 1851.
Qishan, courtesy name Jing'an, was a Mongol nobleman and official of the late Qing dynasty. Although he was of Mongol descent, his family was under the Plain Yellow Banner of the Manchu Eight Banners. He is best known for negotiating the Convention of Chuanbi on behalf of the Qing government with the British during the First Opium War of 1839–42. Some view him as a traitor.
The Opium War (鸦片战争) is a 1997 Chinese historical epic film directed by Xie Jin. The winner of the 1997 Golden Rooster and 1998 Hundred Flowers Awards for Best Picture, the film was screened in several international film festivals, notably Cannes and Montreal. The film tells the story of the First Opium War of 1839–1842, which was fought between the Qing Empire of China and the British Empire, from the perspectives of key figures such as the Chinese viceroy Lin Zexu and the British naval diplomat Charles Elliot.
Fuzhou people, also known as, Foochowese, Hokchew, Hokchia, Hokchiu, Fuzhou Shiyi people (福州十邑人), Eastern Min or Mindong refer to Chinese who originate from the Fuzhou and Mindong regions and the Gutian and Pingnan counties of Fujian province and Matsu Islands. Fuzhou people are a part of the Min Chinese-speaking group that speaks Eastern Min or specifically Fuzhou dialect. There is also a significant overseas Fuzhou population, particularly distributed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, United States, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The First Battle of Chuenpi was a naval engagement fought between British and Chinese ships at the entrance of the Humen strait (Bogue), Guangdong province, China, on 3 November 1839 during the First Opium War. The battle began when the British frigates HMS Hyacinth and HMS Volage opened fire on Chinese ships they perceived as being hostile.
The Second Battle of Chuenpi was fought between British and Chinese forces in the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong province, China, on 7 January 1841 during the First Opium War. The British launched an amphibious attack at the Humen strait (Bogue), capturing the forts on the islands of Chuenpi and Taikoktow. Subsequent negotiations between British Plenipotentiary Charles Elliot and Chinese Imperial Commissioner Qishan resulted in the Convention of Chuenpi on 20 January. As one of the terms of the agreement, Elliot announced the cession of Hong Kong Island to the British Empire, after which the British took formal possession of the island on 26 January.
Guan Tianpei was a Chinese admiral of the Qing dynasty who served in the First Opium War. His Chinese title was "Commander-in-Chief of Naval Forces". In 1838, he established courteous relations with British Rear-Admiral Frederick Maitland. Guan fought in the First Battle of Chuenpi (1839), the Second Battle of Chuenpi (1841), and the Battle of the Bogue (1841). The British account described his death in the Anunghoy forts during the Battle of the Bogue on 26 February 1841 as follows:
Among these [Chinese officers], the most distinguished and lamented was poor old Admiral Kwan, whose death excited much sympathy throughout the force; he fell by a bayonet wound in his breast, as he was meeting his enemy at the gate of Anunghoy, yielding up his brave spirit willingly to a soldier's death, when his life could only be preserved with the certainty of degradation. He was altogether a fine specimen of a gallant soldier, unwilling to yield when summoned to surrender because to yield would imply treason.
Yijing was a Manchu prince of the Qing Dynasty. He was a nephew of the Daoguang Emperor. In 1826, he served at Kashgar as a junior officer in the campaign against Jahangir Khoja. During the First Opium War, after the British captured Zhenhai and Ningpo, the emperor ordered Yijing to go to Zhejiang on 18 October 1841 and take command of a counter-offensive. In the Battle of Ningpo on 10 March 1842, Yijing's troops attempted to retake the city, but the British successfully repelled the attack.
Huang Juezi (1793 – 1853) was a Chinese Qing dynasty scholar and civil servant and a fervent opponent of the opium trade. His 1838 official memorial to the Daoguang Emperor detailing the problems caused by opium helped lead to the appointment of Lin Zexu as Imperial Commissioner responsible for tackling the opium problem, a move that would ultimately result in the First Opium War with Great Britain.
Yang Fang (1770–1846) was a Han Chinese general and diplomat during the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Born in Songtao, Guizhou Province, he joined the military as a young man and became a secretary, where he came to the attention of General Yang Yuchun, who recommended him for military school.
Lu Kun, was a Chinese politician of the Qing dynasty. He was a student of politician and scholar Ruan Yuan. He was born in Zhuozhou Prefecture, Shuntian Fu (顺天府).
The history of opium in China began with the use of opium for medicinal purposes during the 7th century. In the 17th century the practice of mixing opium with tobacco for smoking spread from Southeast Asia, creating a far greater demand.
The destruction of opium at Humen began on 3 June 1839 and involved the destruction of 1,000 long tons of illegal opium seized from British traders under the aegis of Lin Zexu, an Imperial Commissioner of Qing China. Conducted on the banks of the Pearl River outside Humen Town, Dongguan, China, the action provided casus belli for Great Britain to declare war on Qing China. What followed is now known as the First Opium War (1839–1842), a conflict that initiated China's opening for trade with foreign nations under a series of treaties with the western powers.
Events from the year 1839 in China.
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