• Harry Gelber


Britain and France agreed that a display of military force was needed to get China to address their various grievances. For the British the chief issues were diplomatic equality and Canton’s essential role in the, now global, network of trade and finance, whereas for the French the issue was China’s mistreatment of Catholic missionaries. London appointed Lord Elgin as High Commissioner for China. The French sent Baron Gros as Elgin’s counterpart. Russia and the USA sent observers. The initial Anglo–French occupation of Canton went ahead with minimum casualties, and the Chinese emperor accepted Anglo–French nominations for a new Chinese city administration.


Opium Trade Chinese Fire British Government High Commissioner City Wall 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Gelber
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TasmaniaTasmaniaAustralia

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