The Opium Wars
Victorian Great Britain imported luxurious and exotic items from China, but China only accepted payments in silver, creating a huge imbalance in trade. To avoid losing money on imported goods, Britain had to sell something back to China, and in desperation, the decision was made for Britain to sell opium.
When diplomatic efforts to introduce opium to the Chinese market failed, the British Parliament approved an alternative: war. There were two wars, one from 1839 to 1842 and another from 1856 to 1860. They are collectively known as the Opium Wars. These conflicts are largely forgotten in the Western world, perhaps out of a sense of collective shame. But in China, the Opium Wars are still symbols of national humiliation at the hands of the Western powers.
Credit to : Captivating History