1816-1836

YearChestsValue in Dollars
18163,2103,657,000
18204,7708,400,800
18259,6217,608,205
183018,76012,900,031
183223,67015,338,160
183627,11117,904,248

[Source: Thelwall, pp. 33-34]

1827-1835

YearChestsValue in Dollars
1827-289,53510,425,075
1828-2913,13212,533,105
1829-3014,00012,057,157
1830-3118,76012,904,263
1831-3214,22511,501,584
1832-3323,603.515,252,429
1833-3421,25014,006,605
1834-3520,08911,758,779
1835-3626,01817,106,903

[Source: Edmonds, p. 10]

Since most of the opium came from India, either from the Princely States or the plantations of the British East India Company, we can see that the net outflow of silver, approximately fifteen million dollars annually by the mid-1830s, was the direct result of British trading policy. The cost of clearing and cultivating lands it had recently acquired in the Bombay region and in Burma required that the British East India Company make vast profits, and it did so by undermining the health and government of 300,000,000 Chinese. In 1834-35 alone, the B. E. I. Co. exported 10,107 chests from Calcutta to China, chiefly the port of Canton. However, the B. E. I. Company's flooding the market in 1831-32 resulted in the price of a chest of opium dropping from $2,075 (average for 1821-22) to just $955. although thanks to the cancellation of the B. E. I. Company's monopoly in 1834 profits in the trade dropped from 9,413,091 Rupees to 6,827,628 (despite a sharp increase in shipments to China), by 1848-49 the profits rose to 24,103,775 rupees, presumably because of an ever-increasing number of addicts in China. — Kuo, p. 32

Related Material

References

Edmonds, John W. Origin and Progress of the War Between England and China, Reprint .Seattle, Washington, 1924.

Kuo, P. C. A Critical Study of the First Anglo-Chinese War with Documents. Westport, Conn.: Hyperion, 1935.

Thelwall, A. S. The Iniquities of the Opium Trade with China, London, 1839.


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Last modified 23 June 2006