Manage episode 276091852 series 2801567
The First Opium War of 1839-1842 was a devastating west meets east story that holds grievances even till this day. By the early 19th century over 90 percent of the Qing Dynasty court and many members of the army were opium addicts. Britain was economically and literally addicted-to tea, primarily grown in China, and ended up paying for it with profits made from the illicit opium trade. When China tried to ban the use of opium and stop Western smugglers from bringing it through its gates, England decided to fight to keep open China's ports for its importation.