Summary Of Lin's Letter To Queen Victoria

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The letter written by Commissioner Lin to Queen Victoria requesting an end to the trade of opium with china was written out of necessity. Commissioner Lin was appointed by Emperor Qianlong to cease the opium trade. He was stationed in Canton, which at the time was the only port that of which foreigners could use to trade with china. In Lin’s letter to Queen Victoria he demanded an end to the trade of opium. Opium use in China had become a major problem with roughly 10% of the population considered to be abusers, including the emperors own son, who died from an overdose. Lin’s letter was written not only by a strong personal motivation, but as well as his duty to his country. As stated earlier, Queen Victoria was the audience for Commissioners Lin’s letter. Lin personally had no connection to Queen Victoria, but he most likely assumed that British merchants stationed in Canton took their orders directly from her. He probably assumed this because of his lack of knowledge of English culture and instead used his experience with Chinese ideals to come to this conclusion. Because of Lin’s interactions with British merchants he was able to make his letter more credible and direct. In the beginning of Lin’s letter he seemed polite and determined, but as it progressed he became angry and aggressive. For example, he called the British merchants barbarians.…show more content…
Since Lin calls the queens merchants barbians, says the queen has no conscience, and threats the queens people you can see the seriousness of the letter. If Lin did not make the letter so straight forward he could have risked that his point would not have been understood. He used threats to show his strength and sense of power. All of the parts of his argument show that he is willing to do whatever it takes to put an end to the opium trade. His letter can be seen as an all or nothing attempt, as he has the future of china within his

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