Lin Case Study

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1. What is Lin asking Queen Victoria to do, and why? Lin pleaded to Queen (mistakenly calling her “King”) Victoria to ban Britain’s opium trade with China and to shut down its illegal opium production in India. He and the emperor were desperate to terminate the trafficking of opium because it jeopardized China. The drug is very addictive, unhealthy, and uneconomical. When a person is on opium, he loses his drive to work, so he won’t do his job. This was destructive for the economy. The government also lost gold and silver to Britain because the import (of opium) was higher than the export (of Chinese goods), which was terrible for their mercantile economy. 2. What assumptions does Lin make about the English and the English monarch? Lin…show more content…
The letter is coming from a man with almost zero knowledge about Britain, so it is not very convincing. That being said, he did have some strong points. He informs the Queen (or as he calls her, King) that the deaths of many Chinese people will be on her hands as a result of British opium, which is a little disconcerting. If I were a queen, I would not want the blood of thousands on my conscience. He also reminds her that China has been good to the British, by quoting an English tributary, "In general our countrymen who go to trade in China have always received His Majesty the Emperor's gracious treatment and equal justice.” On the other hand, he makes some fatal mistakes in his letter. It is very accusatory and disrespectful, “Let us ask, where is your conscience? I have heard that the smoking of opium is very strictly forbidden by your country.” Considering he is writing to the most powerful person in the world, he should be watching his tone. He further threatens to cut off the British from Chinese exports, which is an empty threat considering they do not solely rely on China for imports. Another weakness in his letter is when name called the British “wicked” and “barbarians.” If the queen were to end opium trading in China, it would be a sacrifice on her part, and calling her people names would not drive her to do that.

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