By Michael Greenberg

ISBN-10: 0521077745

ISBN-13: 9780521077743

An account of the actions of British retailers in China within the an important years earlier than the Treaty of Nanking (1842), which remodeled the kinfolk among the Celestial Empire and the Western 'barbarians' and positioned them upon a footing that used to be to final for a hundred years. Mr Greenberg indicates how this alteration used to be caused through the pressures of the increasing British economic system of the early 19th century. a lot of the cloth is predicated at the papers of Jardine Matheson and Co., the one enterprise of pre-treaty days to outlive, and the most important of the British businesses then validated in Canton.

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Adamson, J. , Burns MacVicar & Co. 38 B R I T I SH TRADE AND THE OPENING O F CHINA who were not Scottish. But i t was not unimportant that i n this period the Eastern trade was so largely developed by Scotsmen, with family connections in every port east of the Cape, not to speak of relatives in the neighbourhood of Lombard Street. However deeply in contemporary Scottish society the remoter causes of this effiux are to be sought, its effects on the develop­ ment of the China trade were evident. The 'free' branch of that trade was in the hands of a remarkable group of men, of modest birth but comparatively good education-some, like James Matheson, being graduates of Edinburgh University and similar academies1-all shrewd and conspicuously able, seeking a distant outlet for talents for which English church and society then had little use.

Their problem was to devise a system which would both bring in revenue to the receptive ,Imperial coffers and at the same time keep these uncouth alien barbaroi under control. The conduct of the latter was certainly calculated to turn hospitality into 'exclusiveness'. Marjoribanks, who was more unprejudiced than most Old China Hands, admitted 'the early part of our trade with China shows the commerce very ill-conducted and displays the English character to little advantage. The Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch and English first appeared on the coasts of China as a race of men eagerly desirous of wealth, but careless of the means by which it was obtained.

1 830, 45 36. Apparently, the Chinese always wore watches in pairs, on the quaint grounds that when one went to sleep the other would still be awake. M. papers always mark watches as sold in pairs. There were at this time no Chinese watches. 1787 and 2. u . 1787. 24 B R I T I S H T R A D E A N D THE O P E N I N G O F C H I N A agency, fitted out a small brig, the Hanna, with a cargo o f iron bars to barter with the North American Redskins for furs. The venture was a financial success, but in order to exploit this new field-articles for which the Chinese would pay well were but rare-more capital was needed.

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