Sixteenth century physician Paracelsus invented laudanum, an opium based drug to treat a variety of disorders. It wasn't thought to be addictive then, but numerous artistic and literary figures are now known to be addicted, among them are Coleridge, Poe, Moussorgsky, and De Quincey (15 ).
The Dutch rule the Opium trade. Portuguese and Dutch traders regularly shipped Opium to Macau, Canton, Java and the Spice Islands. But soon the British would take command of the Opium trade (16 ).
The British founded the East India Company on New Years Eve in the 1600 (17 ). Queen Elizabeth formed the East India Company (1600-1874) to fight the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade in the East Indies(18 ).
Toward the end of the Ming dynasty The East India Company was the first company to import opium to China. This concerned the Ming dynasty (19 ).
The British government granted the British East India Company a monopoly in the opium business in India in the early 1700's (20 ).
At the time the British colonial government in China was heavily dependent on Opium revenues. For instance Singapore and other straits settlements Opium made up to 30 to 60 percent of the revenues collected yearly for the entire century after 1819(21 ).
To fight the abuse of opium the Chinese Emperor banned the import and abuse of opium. Colonial authorities ignored this ban and continued shipments. The Qing Court examined the legalizing the opium trade in 1836, but rejected this idea. This disagreement over opium trade led to the out breaks of Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars in the 1830's and 1850's (22 ).
The first of the Anglo-Chinese Opium Wars happened from 1839-42. British merchants started smuggling opium into China to balance Chinese exports of tea to Britain. China was defeated and forced to sign the Treaty of Nanjing (1842), plus the Treaty of Bogue (1843). These treaties opened the ports of Guangzhou, Jinmen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, and Shanghai to British trade and residence. Hong Kong was also ceded to the British (23 ).