Photos of The Steampunk Opium Wars

The Case for Free Trade

Paul Anderson John Crow steampunk opium wars

Sir Jardine-Matheson puts his case to Lord Palmerston

Sir Jardine-Matheson (Paul Anderson) puts his Case For Free Trade to Lord Palmerston in Verse.

Before 1834, the East India Company had the monopoly on trade with Asia as granted in a charter by Queen Elizabeth 1. After they lost their monopoly, all the narco-capitalist sharks fought for a piece of the action. The biggest and most successful to emerge was the company of Jardine Matheson which set out to force open the Chinese market for their opium: they were not only satisfying a demand they were creating one. As a result of the opium wars, there were eventually up to 12 million opium addicts in China.

Photo by Jan Jefferies (c) Anna Chen 2012

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