300 word discussion response – Heather

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Instructions: Do not include statements such as great work, or excellent post. Try to include information that is challenging and respectful and that will stimulate debate. Additionally, please remember that simply posting the main post and a student colleague response post does not end the forum; the discussion forum should be dialogue that is continual until the Sunday deadline. Also, be mindful of including references and citations whenever citing facts to support your position. 300 words and 1 reference for support is also the minimal expectation.

Also the content of the Forum Assignment will often ask the student to take a position on a particular topic. However, this is not a strict opinion paper in which you the student can just make a statement of what you think or what your experiences are on a topic. Instead, the student needs to support their opinion or experiences with qualifying research from academic source. APA 6th edition citations and references must be used always.

Respond to:

After reading the attached article, The Opium Kings, post tracing the origin, history, and progression of the “opium poppy,” making sure to discuss the cultural, medicinal, and literary aspects of its history from 3400 B. C. to at least the First Opium Wars.

Today opium poppy is known as one of the most addictive drugs throughout the world, this drug has a strong historical progression. Opium poppy today is known for its highly addicting properties in drugs today such as morphine and heroin. Today it is known that one of the largest producers of opium poppy is Afghanistan, since the start of the war on terror began almost twenty years ago in Afghanistan, it has been publicized the effects that opium has on the people of Afghanistan. While today Afghanistan might be the largest producer of this highly addicting plant, the first known usage, and cultivation of opium poppy can be tracked back to Mesopotamia.

Many of the first known users of opium poppy had varying different uses and terms for the plant, the Sumerians considered opium poppy to be the joy plant, whereas the Assyrians described opium as the ‘plant of life’ or the ‘medicine of the gods’. The Sumerians had eventually traded the opium poppy plants with the Assyrians and eventually to the Egyptians. The Sumerian’s were the first known to use the opium poppy plants for a medical purpose ranging from pain relievers to internal diseases. Throughout 1300 B.C. opium poppy was planted, farmed and eventually traded among the Phoenicians and Minoans, and was sold in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea from Greece to other European countries. Throughout the Greek history, opium poppy has been widely utilized for medical purposes, one ancient Greek goddess is depicted wearing an opium poppy crown and appears to be sedated.

Opium poppy was eventually introduced to Persia, the eastern part of the Mediterranean as well as China from the 12th to 14th century (According to ss). During this time in Europe, many people withheld from using any opium poppy medications due to the Holy Inquisition, during this time any and all things that came from the east were considered to be associated with evil spirits and the Devil (n.d). Opium poppy made a reappearance during the Age of Discovery in the 17th century in Europe, just after the Black Plague has killed millions of people, during this time only those individuals that were had money were able to protect and treat themselves (Peakman, 2018). When Europeans began to utilize opium once again, it was utilized as a painkiller and was referred to as “stones of immortality” (Peakman, 2018).

Throughout the history there have been many means in which opium poppy was utilized, according to Peakman (2018), those trading along the East Chinese Sea began to smoke opium, which was attributed to the Portuguese, the Chinese did not approve of this method and had considered it to be vicious and rebellious. Other methods that were used were those from Persia and India started not only drinking opium, but also eating opium; this method was used as a means of recreational used.

Morphine is known as one of the most effective pain relievers in modern medicine, it can be traces back to the early 1800s when it was widely used as a pain reliever. The key ingredient in the creation of morphine was opium and considered to have a significantly higher potency quality (Cannabis, Coca & Poppy: Natures’ Addictive Plants, n.d). It is important to know that most physicians in the United States and throughout Europe would utilize morphine quiet often as treatment.

During the late 1700s and early1800s it is was an important time for opium it was now being utilized to make morphine and other pain-relieving medications, this let to opium being imported from China to various countries throughout Europe and the United States. A significant time was in 1799 when the Chinese ruler had implicated strict rules on opium, it was not illegal to grow and farm opium, export or trade it; this caused Great Britain to ultimately trade with other countries that did not have these strict rules (Peakman, 2018). This decision on the illegal farming and trading of opium in China is what led up to the first known Opium War which was between China and Great Britain from 1839 until 1842 (Pletcher, 2020).

References:

Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy: Nature’s Addictive Plants. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.deamuseum.org/ccp/opium/history.html

Peakman, J. (2018). A History of Opium. History Today, 68(10). Retrieved from https://www.historytoday.com/reviews/history-opium

Pletcher, K. (2020, February 5). Opium Wars. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Opium-Wars

Opium Throughout History | The Opium Kings | FRONTLINE. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/her…

2. In doing some further research outside of this week’s readings, how did the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and the growth of drug addiction in China impact organized crime and or criminal elements in general within China during that time?

The first Opium War began in 1839 and lasted roughly 2 years, during this conflict China and Great Britain were at war. During this time the British military has closed many of the Chinese ports which lead to China handing over Hong Kong. During the first Opium War, ultimately made addiction of the drug extremely prevalent in China. After the first Opium War, a second war resulted lasting 4 years from 1856 until 1860, which now had the French and British against each other, the French were assisting the Qing military. At this time foreign countries and businessmen opened up factories and were able to lease port space; this created friction due to foreign powers “were allowed to operate within China according to their own laws, and the opium addiction rose” (History.com Editors, 2018). Opium use was widely used for medical purposed, and recreational use was considered to illegal at this time.

After the Opium Wars, the Qing Dynasty began to experience instability, in 1911 the Qing Dynasty was starting to fall behind the westernized civilization, not only in terms of their lack of military, economically but also in terms of politics, China was falling behind drastically and had decided that a change was required in order to be with the West (Roblin, 2016). There are several factors that led to the ultimate fall of the Qing Dynasty, firstly being the Opium Wars with Britain, war with Japan over both countries wanting control over Korea and the process in which the Chinese government was overthrown in 1911, which Sun Yat-sen was thus put into the presidency of the new Republic of China. Sun Yat-sen was hoping to turn China into a democratic type run government, he had previously attempted to create a revolutionary many years prior, but was never successful.

There were many factors both within China and outside of China that influenced the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the increase of opium addiction throughout China; at this time opium was considered illegal in China and no longer wanted to trade opium. China was struggling both economically and industrially, this created miserable living conditions for many in China, which many people turned to opium to deal with the conditions.

The Qing Dynasty had contributed to organized crime starting in the 1800s, during this time the Hung Mun wanted to restore the Ming Dynasty and attempted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Members of the Hung Mun were known as Triad societies, which ultimately was known as the Chinese mafia, members this group had strong ties to military like hierarchy and strong structure with a “coded of conduct”. The Hung Mun started to branch off to create smaller groups or gangs throughout China, in the 1940s the communist party began to form in China, which forced many of these group to move to Hong Kong. Hong Kong was the gang capital of China during this time, at one point around the 1960s, there was said to be around 60 different gangs within Hong Kong; which meant roughly 1 in 6 people were apart of a Chinese gang. Drug trafficking (including opium and heroin), human trafficking and money fraud have been the major source for revenue for these gangs (Blundy, 2017).

References:

Blundy, R. (2017, February 4). A brief history of Hong Kong’s triad gangs. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/law-crime/arti…

History.com Editors (Ed.). (2018, May 4). Qing Dynasty. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/china/qing-dynasty

Roblin, S. (2016, August 6). Why the Chinese military is still haunted by this 19th-century ‘humiliation’. Retrieved from https://theweek.com/articles/640709/why-chinese-mi…

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