Second Opium War 1856-1860

[ 1856 - 1860 ]

In 1856 the British, seeking to extend their trading rights in China, found an excuse to renew hostilities when some Chinese officials boarded the ship Arrow and lowered the British flag. The French joined the British in this war, using as their excuse the murder of a French missionary in the interior of China.

The allies began military operations in late 1857 and quickly forced the Chinese to sign the treaties of Tientsin (1858), which provided residence in Peking for foreign envoys, the opening of several new ports to Western trade and residence, the right of foreign travel in the interior of China, and freedom of movement for Christian missionaries. In further negotiations in Shanghai later in the year, the importation of opium was legalized. The Chinese, however, refused to ratify the treaties, and the allies resumed hostilities, captured Peking, and burned the emperor's summer palace. In 1860 the Chinese signed the Peking Convention, in which they agreed to observe the treaties of Tientsin.

<table class='table table-bordered col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12 col-xs-12 margin20 row-30' border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><tbody><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">State</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Entry</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Exit</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Combat Forces</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Population</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Losses</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Britain</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1856</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1860</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">50000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">30000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">4000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">China</font></td><td width="16%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1856</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1860</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">2000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">410000000</font></td><td width="17%"><font face="Arial" size="2">6000</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 10000 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed 10000 / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 10000 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Note
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
United Kingdom - UK (Great Britain) and Qing Dynasty 1856 1860 View
Second French Empire and Qing Dynasty 1856 1860 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
Paixhans gun Vehicle Towed Artillery

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