Introduction: Opium’s History in China

Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi

in Opium Regimes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780520220096
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924499 | DOI:
Introduction: Opium’s History in China

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This chapter discusses the opium trade's political and economic effects. It employs the term regime to signify a system in which an authority declares its right to control certain practices and develops policies and mechanisms to exercise that right within its presumed domain. The chapter notes that such a regime has the ability to impose conformity to policies which are profitable to it in the public realm. It explains that the opium regimes considered in this book include formal state governments, both Chinese and foreign; state agencies; and businesses and civic organizations which acted in the public sphere to induce political outcomes. The chapter narrates the origins of the opium trade in East Asia, and how it flourished in China and Japan. It also examines the events that led to the illegalization of opium.

Keywords: opium trade; political effects; economic effects; regime; opium regimes; Chinese; East Asia; China; Japan

Chapter.  11336 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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