Background Terms:

Opium War: A series of wars fought between Great Britian and China in the late 19th century. Aimed at increasing trade with China, the British ended the wars in greater trade with the Chinese, and in control of Beijing and Hong Kong.

Extraterritorial Rights: The privilidge of immunity from local law enjoyed by Western Europeans living in their colonial holdings

Taiping Rebellion: Broke out in south China in the 1850s and early 1860s; led by Hong Xiuquan, a semi-Christianized prophet; sought to overthrow Qing dynasty, because of the opium problem. The British aided in putting down the peasent rebellion, and millions were killed.

Sphere of Influence: An area or region over which an organization or state exerts some kind of indirect cultural, economic, military or political domination

Open Door Policy: a concept in foreign affairs stating that, in principle, all nations should have equal commercial and industrial trade rights. Used by western powers to legitimize their domination of China

Boxer Rebellion: In 1900, the boxers, a secrete society of Chinese men who opposed christianity and foreign influence in China, led a rebellion to expell all foreingers from China. They were successfully put down by the British.

Powerpoint: This is a quick powerpoint presentation on the growing influence of Western Europe in the Qing Empire
This is a map of Mainland China. The capital, Beijing and the British colony of Hong Kong are identified.
This is an old drawing of a opium den in China. The addicted Chinese population made a fantastic target for American and British Opium smugglers, fueling the Opium wars and the British drive to open trading in China. All western powers favored the open door policy because it gave them free range of the Chinese interior to trade with. These men are smoking Opium, and this picture is the reason for Imperialism in China
This is a picture of a classic Qing empire Bannerman. This picture helps us to see why the Qing were so easily defeated by their European conqueres. British Marines armed with the latest and greatest in rifle technology, the percussion cap, were easily able to defeat Bannerman armed with match-lock muskets at the best. Most fought with bows, or swords.
Visual Aides:
Below is a video about the Boxer rebellion. While somewhat comical, it does give some insight into the kind of fighting that occured, and I found the karate chop at the end to be quite humorus. However, it helps us to understand how many western nations, not just the British were establishing spheres of influence within mainland China

These political cartoons both show China being "carved up" by western powers. The first I find more comical, as all the countries are depicted by animals that they are commonly associated with. However, while all the other animals are preparing to fight over the body of the Chinese dragon, it sleeps (or is dead?). In the second one, France, Japan, Britian, Germany & company are dividing up "Chine" (French for China)