User:Cap'n Ben/Opium Wars
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The Opium Wars is the name given to two nineteenth conflicts, the first between Britain and China (1839-1842), the second between an Anglo-Coward coalition and China (1856-60). It is a common misaprehension that the British opium trade in China was the main cause of the wars. In fact, the wars were so named because both sides were massively stoned for the duration of both conflicts. The principle cause of the wars was British attempts to import vast amounts of prog rock into China in spite of the objections of China's ruling Qing dynasty, who prefered freeform jazz.
edit Origins of the Conflict
Large scale British trade with China began in the eighteenth century, when the East India Company began importing berets and switchblades from China. However, as both items became increasingly popular in Britain, a trade imbalance resulted. Britain tried a number of exports to China to balance the books - saxophones, lava lamps, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, etc - but to no avail. Then, on the 16th June 1809, the Prime Minister of Britain, His Grace the Duke of Portland rolled off of the piss soaked matress on the floor of his squat and announced to Cabinet his idea of exporting prog rock to China. Those members of Cabinet who were conscious gave a rousing ovation.
edit Jazz and the Confucian Tradition
At first, prog rock was exported only in small ammounts. This was acceptable to the Confuscian scholar-administrators of the later Qing period, as the substance had been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes . However, the rapid rise of prog abuse shocked the mandrins who railed against its pernicious foregn influnce.
The scholar Liang Chang-Chü, for example, described the typical prog abuser as "...pale and skeletal in appearance, lacking in respect for elders and for family, disinclined to honest work, fond of ridiculous looking beanbags and possessed of a tendency to borrow money from me 'for rent' and never pay me back. I have rent to pay too, damn it! That shit ain't funny."
Some members of the Chinese bureaucracy favored legalisation in order to better monitor prog consumption and limit its effects trhough a process of education. A second faction preferred a zero tolerance policy, advocating tougher enforcment of the prog ban, along with new legislation forbidding posters of unicorns. In between these extreme, there was a moderate faction who believed that China's first priority should be on getting the invisible bugs off of everyone, OH GOD THE BUGS!
Eventually, the second group were able to convince the Emperor to act, in return for listening to his rambling theory about what if, like, the whole world was just a big atom, you know? And like space wasn't real, and there was just this... stuff, you'know that's like space, but...
edit Commissioner Lin Zexu
edit Reaction in Britain
Initially, reaction in Britain was all, like, whatever. But as export income from China began to drop, Britain (although emphatically NOT a breadhead) became worried. Queen Victoria in particular did not want to go back to having to blow Napoleon III for dime bags. So she ordered her Prime Minister Lord Palmerston to "...go 'round to John Chinaman's house and smash some shit up."
Having lost his teeth during the Meth Wars, Palmerston was initially reluctant to procede. However,