Why may it be argued that the Problem including Opium War was more a reflection of dynastic decline
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Opium trade was outlawed by the emperor but was conducted anyway because it was too lucrative for the businessmen in China to ignore. Opium was known to be addictive, so once someone tried it there was an instant market. Short of executing both the seller and the buyer, there was not much that could be done. Mass execution was not a new concept in China. I feel that the problem was that the traders were so ingrained into the daily affairs of China, that little or nothing could be done. Also drugs were perfect for the British to trade. There was little that the Chinese needed from the West, so to balance trade, a need was created among the Chineseaddiction to drugs found cheaply in India by the Brits.
Compare it to today in Mexico where everyone in the village is either threatened into cooperating or willingly cooperating with drug dealers. Then consider the informers in the gov that tip off the dealers to every move the gov makes. How the gov will win this without a civil war is beyond my imagination. And.
The US will have to remove those who are addicted in the US so there is no market for drugsnot likely.
It may be argued, but it may also be argued the world is flat.
The Chinese government clearly saw the results of opium addiction, and actively wanted to do something about it.
Problem was that the west all of them doing business there, no exceptions had nothing the Chinese wanted, apart from silver. That would mean a trade deficit to the advantage of China: silk, tea other goods being traded for silver only. No nation wanted that. But China wasn interested in the cheap cotton they wanted to sell, or in beads and mirrors. They only wanted to trade for silver. Or opium. The Chinese government didn want their merchants or civil servants to accept opium.
Result: the war on drugs. With the western nations all of them forcing China to make opium legal. By all of them, I mean all of them. The USA was just as busy pushing opium as the other nations.
The Dutch crown got filthy rich out of it. The royal family of holland ranks as one of the richest royal houses in the world. Before the opium wars, they were relatively poor. Go figure.