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The Arrow War, occurred in 1856, was provoked by a dispute arising from the arrest by the Chinese authorities of the crew of a ship called the Arrow.

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Introduction

The Arrow War, occurred in 1856, was provoked by a dispute arising from the arrest by the Chinese authorities of the crew of a ship called the Arrow. But behind this, Britain and China had lots of more complex reasons to have the war. According to Roberts in "A History of Modern China", "the second conflict and the second treaty settlement can be interpreted as the inevitable outcome of this dissatisfaction" meaning that this second war was caused by human mistakes, decisions and actions such as lack of communications or the discrepancy between the English and Chinese versions of Article ?of the Treaty of Nanjing. But I would say China was rather to be blamed for this war than Britain in spite of her unawareness of the Chinese cultures and politics or even Sir John Davis's rudeness to enforce Qiying to open Canton by bringing 900 soldiers and capturing the factories in April 1847. In the first place, China never showed her will to negotiate with foreign countries; not even when Beijing became reconciled to the creation of systematic co-operation with England. ...read more.

Middle

These irritating Chinese conducts and the decline of Chinese power by the treaty justify the reason why China was to be blamed. Comparing to Bowring who had always tried to have a talk with China, the court's attitude was inflexible. If the would not have been so stubborn not to negotiate, Britain and China could have came up with a softer solution; maybe China even did not have needed to accept more treaties, the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858 and the Convention of Beijing in 1860. China had suffered in the situation she made. Jack Gray argues that "no doubt this failure was due to China's willful ignorance of the outside world" and British's claiming changes were directly because of Chinese failure to maintain the treaty. They lacked the urgent motive for learning in spite of the defeat. This again shows their stubbornness and their overweighed self-conceit. China still sought after the fame and the power she used to have. Moreover for Britain, the trade at last began to achieve profits in 1856 which means there was no need for the British to take risk and the war was to inflict upon the Chinese the most unambiguous defeat. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last term was the most abhorrent to China. Followed by this treaty, China was forced to accept a further unequal treaty, the Convention of Beijing which increased the indemnity payment, opened Tianjin as a treaty port and ceded Jiulong peninsula opposite Xianggang to Britain. This treaty made British even more beneficial. Middle Kingdom's fame no longer existed. According to Hs�, "the second set of treaties reinforced the first signed after the Opium war, to form an iron-clad treaty system, from which China was not freed until 1943" and this statement is agreeable. China had been defeated and humiliated thoroughly by the West and it was her first big collapse. This as an opportunity, the Westerns started to seek commercial interest and economic concessions through the creation of treaty ports and the extension of trade. Western power gradually penetrated to Asia and at the same time this meant the complete breakdown of the dynasty Chinese had been cherishing for about two millennia. This phase became not only the turning-point of China's internal and external affairs but also the controlling authority of the world moving from Asia to the West and effects of this are still observable today in China. ...read more.

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