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Memorial to Queen Victoria
Lin Zexu's memorial to Queen Victoria (also called the letter to Queen Victoria) addressed many things. It addressed that the use of opium is illegal in Britain because of its addictive qualities. So Lin Zexu said that if this is so, why does Britain still sell opium to other countries? In the letter he states that all China had done for Britain in the past was good. They export item to Britain that the people there need everyday; items such as tea and textiles.
He explains that China can do without items from the outside world so they might as well close trade. But even if they can, they do not. He explains how trade is for the purpose of sharing things with the world, and not that much for profit. He tells how the British can do without opium trade and that they can resell the goods from China for a large profit. Zexu says that if Britain keeps making opium, they will be severely punished by the heavens. It is also stated that any more British merchants that come into Hong Kong to sell opium shall be strangled or decapitated. The Chinese are trying hard to get their point through that opium is nothing but poison. They say that the British should cease the making and selling of it to China. Lastly, the states that trade can still go on between China and Britain but no opium shall be involved. This memorial eventually led to trouble for China. This memorial offended the British, and they used it as a reason to start a war with China so that they could win, and opium trade would be legalized. And so began the First Opium War.
For an in depth look at the Memorial, visit Commissioner Lin's letter to Queen Victoria or Chinese Cultural Studies
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