Perang ini juga dikenali sebagi Perang Candu Pertama dan merupakan titik peralihan yang penting dalam sejarah moden negara China. Perang ini telah membuka negara China kepada barat bahkan menandakan kemerosotan Dinasti Manchu. Secara keseluruhannya, perang Inggeris – China yang pertama adalah disebabkan oleh pertembungan dua kebudayaan yang bertentangan.
1. Sekatan-sekatan kerajaan China ke atas perdagangan asing
Menurut ahli sejarah Christopher Hibbert dan Kenneth Scott Latourette berpendapat bahawa sebab terpenting bagi perletusan perang ini ialah sekatan-sekatan China ke atas perdagangan asing.Kerajaan China mengamalkan dasar anti perdagangan dengan negara Barat memandangkan ia dapat memenuhi segala keperluannya dan pertanian merupakan sumber ekonominya yang utama.
Malahan perdagangan ini dianggap sebagai kegiatan hina. Keperluan bahan mentah oleh barat yang banyak didapati dari China, dan sekatan-sekatan itu telah mengakibatkan ketidakpuasan di kalangan orang barat terutamanya pihak Inggeris.
Inggeris ingin memperluaskan perdagangan kebahagian lain China. Mereka ingin berdagang secara bebas dan mendapatkan harga barang yang berpatutan tetapi kehendak-kehendak mereka diperlekehkan oalh China. Jesteru itu, peperangan tidak dapat dielakkan.
2. Keengganan China mengadakan hubungan diplomatik atas dasar persamaan taraf
Sistem hubungan antarabangsa China dan Barat juga bertentangan. China menganggap dirinya ‘pusat dunia yang bertamadun’ dan maharaja mereka adalah pemerintah universal. China anggap orang barat barbarians atau hantu asing yang bertaraf rendah. Barat juga dianggap sebagai masyarakat Kuno yang kurang bertamadun.
3. Undang-undang Cina dianggap kejam dan tidak adil
Orang barat menganggap undang-undang China tidak adil dan terlalu kejam. Kematian Lady Hughes dari pihak Inggeris dan Lin Wei-hsi dari China dan kerana pertentangan undang-undang mengakibatkan ketegangan hubungan kedua-duanya
4. Kemasukan Candu
Orang Inggeris telah membawa dengan banyaknya candu ke negara China. Antara tahun 1821-39, sejumlah 4244 peti candu diimport kepada 40200 peti. Implikasinya imbangan perdagangan yang tidak menguntungkan China. Nilai candu yang diimport melebihi segala nilai eksport China. Candu juga telah mengakibatkan aliran keluar perak yang menjejaskan ekonomi China. Candu juga mengakibatkan keruntuhan sosial ramai pegawai kerajaan dan muda-mudinya.
Pada 18 Mac 1839, Lin Tse-hsu mengeluarkan perintah yang meminta orang asing menyerahkan semua candu kepada kerajaan China dan tidak membawanya lagi. Kapten Echarles Elliot telah menyerahkan sebanyak 20283 buah peti candu kepada kerajaan China dan kemudiannya dimusnahkan.
Akibatnya kapten Elliot telah menyerang Chuenpi pada november 1839 dan dengan candu ini, Inggeris istiharkan peperangan ke atas China. Candu hanya merupakan barang perniagaan yang mengakibatkan perletusan perang Inggeris-China pertama. Dalam kata-kata W. E Soothill, “opium was the accidental cause”.
Perjanjian Nanking (1842)
Syarat-syarat Perjanjian Nanking
1.Negara China terpaksa menyerahkan Hongkong kepada British dan menghapuskan sistem monopoli perdagangan Co-hong.
2. Lima buah pelabuhan dibuka kepada perdagangan asing, iaitu Amoy, Canton, Foochow, Ningpo dan Shnaghai.
3.Pegawai-pegawai konsular akan ditempatkan di pelabuhan-pelabuhan tersebut.
4.Cukai-cukai yang sedarhana dikenakan ke atas import dan eksport.
5.China dikenakan membayar ganti rugi sebanyak 21 juta tael untuk membiayai kerugian pihak British semasa peperangan Inggeris-China yang pertama
Lantaran dari temeterainya perjanjian Nanking ini, banyak implikasinya keatas China sendiri. Di sinilah bermula campur tangan Barat China ke atas politik China secara tidak langsung. China terpaksa tunduk kepada Barat dan menerima hakikat membuka perdagangan bebas kepada asing.
China juga terpaksa menandatangani perjanjian-perjanjian dengan kuasa Barat yang lain. China terpaksa melupuskan Dasar Tutup Pintu yang telah dijunjung setelah sekian lamanya. Kesimpulannya, perjanjian Nanking banyak mendatangkan kerugian kepada China sendiri dan membuahkan hasil yang banyak terhadap pihak British
In 1842, the Opium War came to a end after the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. England now had control of the island of Hong Kong and from this base of operations, opium smuggling grew with each passing year. Sleek new opium clippers were now being built for this highly profitable trade, many of them in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The early opium clipper Red Rover
American merchants, eager to take advantage of this new opening of China, began negotiations with Chinese officials for access to additional mainland ports besides Canton. Shanghai, Ninghsien, Amoy, and Foochow were opened up to American trade. With this opening, came a growing sophistication amongst Americans for the many subtle exotic varieties of tea such as Lumking, Hyson, Imperial, Gunpowder, Bohea, and Mowfoong. The freshest teas commanded the premium prices; the lion’s share of which went to the shipping companies that could deliver the highly perishable crop to New York and Boston in the shortest possible time. The first tea-laden ship to arrive at South Street with the new year's crop would fetch the premium price at auction.
Chinese Attack on an Opium Clipper
As this market grew following the Opium War, shrewd shippers realized the growing importance of acquiring large fast ships with which to go up against their rivals in this increasingly competitive trade, and to dispatch their ships to Chinese ports every autumn to await the first tea pickings.
Once the tea was in the holds, the great sailing race half way around the world commenced down the South China Sea, past Anjier, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, and up the Atlantic to New York.
The Low brothers were early on the scene in China. They were all sons of Seth Low, a drug merchant of Salem who had a dozen sons. Seth Low saw his opportunity as early as 1833, and had made his fortune in the China tea trade and importing such exotic wares as mocha, asafetida, gum arabic, and musk in pods. Like many of the Yankee merchants, the Lows had moved from Salem to New York City, finding it a much more suitable location from which to conduct their business. They were such a numerous clan that someone from Salem, in jest, made up a jingle about them: "Old Low, old Low's son, Never saw so many Lows since the world begun."
Abiel Abbott Low had been in Canton for seven years serving with the merchant firm of Russell & Company. One Low brother after another followed him to Canton to work for the same firm. Abbott had made his fortune by 1840 and returned to New York the following year and continued to conduct his business in New York and established the family firm of A. A. Low & Bros.
Captain Nat Palmer and the Paul Jones arrived in the Portuguese colony of Macao in 1843. All along the way, Captain Nat had been putting the Paul Jones through her paces; testing her to see what she could do in the Indian and southern Pacific oceans; trying to figure out just how her design could be improved. At Macao, he took on as passengers William Low and his pregnant wife, Ann, for the passage back to New York. William Low had been the A. A. Low & Bros. representative in Canton for a while and now they were returning home so that Ann could have her baby there.
On the first part of the passage home, Captain Nat sailed against the monsoon. It was slow going; tacking back and forth as the Paul Jones clawed her way against the monsoon across the South China Sea. But even worse as far as Captain Nat was concerned, was no wind at all. He would come on deck, fly into a rage, and take off his old white beaver hat and stomp on it; screaming "Damn the calm and everything else."
Eventually Captain Nat cooled down and to vent his frustration began carving a block of wood into the shape of what he thought the ideal hull of a Canton trader should look like, one that Captain Nat thought "would outsail anything afloat." He incorporated John W. Griffiths' ideas concerning a sharp concave bow with his own ideas of a fuller flat-bottomed hull.
William Low began to take a lively interest as he watched Palmer whittling away at the model. He well understood Captain Nat's frustrations and the two had the opportunity to talk ship in the evenings after dinner over brandy and cigars, as the model slowly took shape over the coming days. William Low was soon intrigued and the new idea of just what an ideal China Clipper hull should look like swiftly became one of mutual interest as Low suggested that his firm might be interested in building such a vessel. Captain Nat was well pleased that he would at last get the opportunity to design a China tea clipper that could sail through the calms and give his old white beaver hat a rest.
Soon after the voyage ended at the South Street wharf, Captain Nat and his model accompanied William Low and his wife to the A. A. Low & Bros. building at 167-171 John Street to meet with Abiel Low, the head of the firm who had spent many years in China.
Abiel was a very shrewd businessman who had learned early how to play the moneymaking games at both ends of the tea trade. He told his captains to wait when the first tea pickings were offered, and to let the other merchants pay the higher price. Then wait a week or two for the next tea offering at a lower price. All the while knowing that his ships would be among the first to reach the South Street wharves ahead of their rivals even with their head start. To Abiel Low, it was a simple fact of economics. It was also just a matter of keeping track of the new sharp "China Packets" swiftly taking shape in the New York shipyards; particularly that of William Webb, for things were looking up in the China tea trade around that time and the Lows would soon need a new, swift ship if they wanted to stay ahead of their rivals.
Abiel Low soon became as intrigued as his brother and Captain Nat about the model and the possibilities of such a ship. Within a week, work began at the Brown & Bell shipyard. David Brown designed the ship with lots of input from Captain Nat, who, from that point on, became an advisor to the Low's as a marine superintendent.
This ship would be called the Houqua, in honor of the beloved Canton Hong merchant Houqua, who had died the year before, and with whom the Low brothers had traded with in China for many years.
The Tong Merchant Houqua
The Houqua would be built to resemble a vessel of war with high man-of-war bulwarks and eight gun ports on each side. This was not unusual in that time, especially as the opium trade was going on and swift-sailing well-armed merchant ships were in demand for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. Ships capable of fleeing warships were at a premium. They also had to be well-armed to fend off Chinese pirates in the South China Sea when becalmed, or while running the gauntlet of treacherous reefs, currents, and pirates through the Java Sea. None of the Houqua's design qualities as a fast sailing merchantman were sacrificed for her armaments.
While the Houqua rose in the stocks, the Webb China packet Helena had come romping back from Canton in 90 days on April 4, 1844, and eclipsed Robert Waterman's run that year aboard the Natchez by two days.
The Lows sent off a dispatch to their agents with the next sailing ship bound for Canton asking them to negotiate the sale of the Houqua to the Chinese Government.
Meanwhile, over at the neighboring shipyard of Smith & Dimon, work had already begun on a prototype of a controversial new kind of ship, the Rainbow, but a series of delays had brought progress almost to a standstill.
The controversy and delays had caused considerable anguish to her outspoken designer, John W. Griffiths, but he was steadfast in his beliefs and put up a stoic front to ignore his critics. He was determined to see the Rainbow completed and according to his original scientific theories. They were quite unlike the accepted rules of shipbuilding of his day. Controversy had dogged Griffiths for years, but at last he had been given the opportunity he had sought for so long.
For years, he had espoused to anyone who would listen. Griffiths had lectured about his shipbuilding ideas in February, 1841, at the American Institute in New York City and was ignored. In 1843, this time with a model to display his radical hull and bow ideas, he delivered another lecture to a mostly skeptical audience of merchants and shipbuilders and was greeted with a horselaugh. One of the men who happened to be in the audience this time was the merchant William Aspinwall who was not as skeptical as the others. He knew of Griffiths' admiration of the Ann McKim which his firm now owned and took pride in, for she was still the fastest vessel in the growing China tea trade.
Aspinwall had also bought the old Cotton packet Natchez, and had sent Robert Waterman in command of her around the Horn off to Canton and she had come back from Macao in 78 days, record time, and astonished the South Street shipping community.
1843 was a highly profitable year for Howland and Aspinwall and the shipping firm needed a new, large, fast ship for the China trade. Aspinwall was a man who followed his intuition that had so often been right in the past. Griffiths' enthusiasm had rubbed off on him and Aspinwall was willing to take the gamble. He asked Griffiths to design a fast new tea clipper for Howland & Aspinwall.
But there were hurdles to come. Some of William Aspinwall's partners, notably the elder Howland brothers of the firm, were skeptical after having a look at the plans and were having second thoughts. They had many troubling questions to ask and needed to be reassured before giving their go ahead. Aspinwall decided to bring in Griffiths and William Smith of the Smith & Dimon shipyard to answer their questions. Later that day, they all met in the Howland & Aspinwall boardroom.
The question of the concave elongated bow, her tall masts and narrow freeboard between the deck and waterline troubled the Howlands. Griffiths, in a reassuring way, explained. He said that the sharp hollow bow would be compensated for by the buoyancy of the outward flare at deck level. His straightforward manner in defending his plans proved most convincing. One after another, the partners nodded their approval. At long last John W. Griffiths would get the chance to build the ship of his dreams. She would be called the Rainbow, and would be a large ship of 750 tons register.
But Griffiths still had the wagging tongues of South Street to contend with and they would soon begin to slow him down. Griffiths' idea of a "clipper bow" was the most radical innovation in the evolution of shipbuilding. The Rainbow, by Griffiths reasoning, would slice through the waves like a knife rather than riding up and over the waves like all other ships of the day did with their rounded bows. Griffiths took great delight as he watched her grow upon the stocks. The Rainbow's forward section was elongated and lean with her long sharp bow extending further aft. Her greatest width was at her midsection and her masts were further aft. These three factors were very radical changes in ship design. She was slimmer than the packets of her day, specifically designed to knife through the water. But her critics just couldn't grasp the concept. The Rainbow was indeed a handsome ship, but she frightened them.
Conservative captains and shipwrights said that the Rainbow was "inside out." One big wave, her critics claimed, would send her diving down into the sea.
Griffiths had learned how to ignore the South Street wags and focused his attention on the building of the Rainbow. The work was going slowly as the master shipwrights of Smith & Dimon took their time in working out the new dimensions of this radically different hull to make sure that they did it right.
Then came word that William Aspinwall, in deference to his partners' concerns, was having second thoughts about the masts and rigging and wanted a second learned opinion concerning this. Aspinwall sent the plans for the Rainbow off to some British marine architects for their thoughts about the matter. A number of alterations were proposed by these firms, only too willing to second-guess Griffiths and earn their commissions. Aspinwall received the plans and approvingly sent them on to the Smith & Dimon shipyard. But it was too late, for the mast steps and spars were already finished. Griffiths had no intention of changing his plans anyway and quietly tucked the late-arriving plans away in some dark cabinet never to see the light of day with Aspinwall none the wiser. Aspinwall probably knew all the while that Griffiths would ignore them and just let the matter go. The work would go on in just the way Griffiths had planned.
Busy as he was, Griffiths could not help but pay attention to the building of the Houqua over at the Brown & Bell shipyard. He was acquainted with Captain Nat and had talked ship with him. Captain Nat liked Griffiths' theory about a concave bow but was more partial to his flat-floored bottom as opposed to Griffiths' V-shaped hull. Palmer stuck to his theory and Griffiths his.
Palmer's theories about ship design came from experience and hunches. He had a "try it and see" attitude about the matter. Griffiths' theories were steeped in mathematics.
The ocean would soon enough sort them out, but Griffiths was starting to wonder how his Rainbow would do against the Houqua. How would his clipper bow and V-shaped hull theory of design stand up to this challenge?
How ironic, Griffiths thought, that the Houqua, which incorporated his idea's concerning the clipper bow, was rapidly growing in the stocks, much faster that his Rainbow. The Low brothers wasted no time when they made a decision. The race to the sea was won by the Houqua as she slid down the skids to the cheering New York crowds on May 3, 1844.
The vociferous voice of the New York Herald egged on and captured the building excitement that the American people were feeling for their sailing ships. James Gordon Bennett, a marine writer of the Herald, captured the mood:
One of the prettiest and most rakish looking packet ships ever built in the civilized world is now to be seen at the foot of Jones Lane on the East River. . . .
We never saw a vessel so perfect in all her parts as this new celestial packet. She is about 600 tons in size-as sharp as a cutter- as symmetrical as a yacht-as rakish in her rig as any pirate-and as neat in her deck and cabin arrangements as a lady's boudoir.
Her figure head is a bust of Houqua, and her bows are as sharp as the toes of a pair of Chinese shoes.
Crowds of New Yorkers gathered at the East River to marvel at this latest creation of the maritime world that so captured their imagination. There was the Houqua, anchored off the Brown & Bell shipyard making ready for the China run. Captain Nat directed the fine-tuning of the rigging, while others scurried about paying attention to everything required of a new vessel preparing to put out to sea.
The Houqua was 143 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 17 feet deep. Captain Nat had a one-quarter interest in this unique vessel of war and would deliver her to China for a handsome profit.
On May 31, 1844, six months after the arrival of the Paul Jones, and the meeting of Palmer and the Lows at their South Street counting house, the Houqua set sail for Canton. Captain Nat carried with him the model of the ship hull that he had carved during his last homeward voyage as a gift for the Chinese.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Posted by CITY CYBER at 10:01 PM