31 DECEMBER

BRITISH OPIUM EXPORTS TO CHINA SOAR.

[ 31 December 1879 ]

By this day in 1879, 105,000 chests of opium had been exported by Britain to China during the year.  Each chest contained 63 kg of opium. The volume of trade in the lethal drug had increased exponentially from 4,000 chests at the start of the nineteenth century.  By 1888, The Times estimated that seven out of every ten adult males in China were users.[1]

FOOTNOTES

  1. Saul David (2007), “Victoria’s Wars: The Rise of Empire,” Penguin Books, London, p402.

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