Many have accepted that the Arrow War (1856-60) was caused by an insult to the British flag belonging to the pirate boat Arrow. Dr. Wong argues that Britain's reliance on the opium trade with China played a far greater role in pushing the diplomatic conflict into war. The war was not a simple diplomatic squabble: it involved vital economic interests in British India, which had to be protected at all costs. Dr. Wong offers penetrating insights into theories of imperialism and how they might be reassessed.
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