FYSTEA

How does the journal enrich your understanding of the conflict between China and Britain?

The journal makes me aware of the tension between China and Britain.  The journal proves how bad the relationship between the two governments were, but it also shows the racism that is rooted in the British.  William Almack talks about how he hated the fireworks and seems unappreciative of their hospitality, although it is apparent that he was being too harsh on the them.  From the outside, it appears that they tried very hard to make him feel comfortable, yet he complained about the Chinese and dined with British men every night anyway.

The opium conflict is rather one sided.  It looks like Britian was trying to fool and take advantage of the Chinese government. When the British abused their relationship, the Chinese fought back.  The utter lack of respect that Britain has for China shows their “means to an end” mentality.  The British then fought and won the Opium Wars, even though citizens such as William Almack could clearly see how wrong Britian was.  He spoke in his journal about how cruel the opium trade was and how he is not surprised the British missionaries are failing.  This is because the Chinese have trouble trusting the people who are ruining their country.

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