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An account of the activities of British merchants in China in the crucial years before the Treaty of Nanking (1842), which transformed the relations between the Celestial Empire and the Western 'barbarians' and placed them upon a footing that was to last for 100 years. Mr Greenberg shows how this change was brought about by the pressures of the expanding British economy of the early nineteenth century. Much of the material is based on the papers of Jardine Matheson and Co., the only firm of pre-treaty days to survive, and the largest of the British firms then established in Canton.
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