Units of Study

HSTY2622 - The Opium Wars in China (1839-1860)

Semester 1, 2010  |  Credit Points: 6

Coordinator: John Wong


The Opium Wars (1839-60) 'opened' China. But scholars strongly disagree on their causation. US President Adams blamed the Chinese kowtow; Lord Palmerston, Chinese insults; Morse, cultural clashes; Oxbridge Professors Gallagher/Robinson, free trade imperialism; Galbraith/Fieldhouse, periphery/centre; Caine/Hopkins, gentlemanly capitalism; Harvard Professor Fairbank, Chinese tributary system; CalTech Professor Fay: reparation of seized property; Toronto Professor Hevia, English lessons; Chinese historians, naked aggression. This unit critically examines these and other interpretations against primary sources whereby students will arrive at their independent conclusions.


one 2000 word essay (plus draft), one 2000 word take-home exam and class participation


one 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week


12 credit points of Junior History, Ancient History, or Asian Studies



The information displayed above is indicative only as online information is subject to change without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney