Decline of imperial China


1793 Lord Macartney’s trade mission to China is rebuffed.

c.1800 Opium is increasingly used to pay for Chinese goods, sparking a balance of payments crisis.

1839–42 The First Opium War ends with Hong Kong ceded to Britain and five Treaty Ports opened.

1850–64 The Taiping Rebellion brings China close to complete disintegration and kills millions.


1899 The anti-Western Boxer Rebellion is put down by an eight-nation foreign force. It signals the effective end of Chinese imperial authority.

On October 6, 1860, after years of sporadic conflict known as the Second Opium War, an Anglo-French force seized the ...

Get The History Book now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.