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British East India Company: Founded in 1600 and dissolved in 1858 by the queen of England. Also known as The (Honourable) Company. The initial purpose of the Company was to expand English trade as far as the Indian Ocean. Later, the Company expanded British trade into Southeast Asia; it also extended trade into China.


Dutch East India Company: Founded in 1602; also known as the VOC. The Dutch East India Company strove to establish a monopoly in the Spice Trade. It also attempted to control trade in Indonesia by expelling the Portuguese and resisting British encroachment. When the VOC's charter lapsed in 1799, the Dutch state took control of the remnants.


Extraterritoriality: The idea that the laws of a foreign country would be applied to its nationals in other sovereign states. For example, if a British citizen committed a crime on Chinese soil, he would be under the jurisdiction of British law, not Chinese law. Any trial or punishment would be administered by the British, not the Chinese. Extraterritoriality did not end until the twentieth century.


VOC: Acronym of "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie," which is Dutch for "Dutch East India Company."


Westernization: Term used to describe the process of a country coming under Western influence and adapting features learned from the West. Westernization should not be confused with modernization.




Canton Trade: Before the Opium Wars, Canton (Guangzhou) was the only point of entry for British trade with China. It was the center for all foreign trade with China until more treaty ports were opened.


Cohong: "Combined merchant companies." A guild of officially authorized Chinese merchants, licensed by the Qing government. The Cohong monopolized foreign trade, and became the major stumbling block for foreign traders in the Canton trade. The Cohong were abolished in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking.


Factory: (Godown) The "factories" of the China trade were not industrial plants; they were a combination of warehouses, shipping and receiving centers, trading centers, and residences. Godown is from Malay gudang, meaning "warehouse."


Foreign Concessions: Refers to the parcels of land ceded to foreign powers in Chinese cities. Within these compounds, each foreign power enforced its own laws with its own police force. The best-known concessions were in Shanghai. The concessions were both a source of employment for Chinese and a haven from Qing authority. Foreign concessions reverted to Chinese control in 1949.


Guangzhou: (gwong joe) Also known as Canton, Guangzhou is a major port city in southern China. It is the capital of Guangdong Province.


Hakka: (hock gah) Literally, "Guest Families." The Hakka are a seafaring Han people who live in southern China, noticeable for their distinctive black apparel and broad-brimmed hats. They were not considered Han Chinese until recently, hence the term "Guest Families." The name "Hong Kong" comes from the Hakka language, which is markedly different from both Cantonese and Mandarin.


Hong Kong: The former British Crown colony on the eastern side of the mouth of the Pearl River. Hong Kong is the name for both the principal island of the colony and the colony itself. Hong Kong is Hakka for "Fragrant Harbor;" this is "Xianggang" in Mandarin. The 99-year lease of the New Territories expired on June 1,1997, at which point the British returned all of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.


Li Hongzhang: {lee hung jahng) 1823-1901. A Chinese Viceroy who served the Qing government in many high positions in the second half of the nineteenth century, Li was the diplomatic voice of the Qing.


Lin Zexu: (lynn tsuh shoe) 1785-1850. A Chinese scholar-official who served the Qing government. In 1838, he was sent to Guangzhou to end the opium trade. His successful efforts resulted in the Opium War.


Macao: Established in 1557 by the Portuguese, Macao was the first permanent Western outpost in Asia. It is at the west end of the mouth of the Pearl River. "Macao" is a corruption of "A-Ma-Kao," meaning "The Bay of A-Ma." A-Ma is a guardian of fishermen in Chinese mythology.


Nanjing, Treaty of. The treaty that ended the First Opium War. Negotiated between the British and the Qing in 1842, it was the first Western-style treaty signed by China.


Opium Wars: Wars between Western powers and China that were fought on the pretext of Chinese opposition to the opium trade, but also involved broader issues such as extraterritoriality, tariffs, trading rights, opening of ports, diplomatic relations, and the cultural collision between the West and China.


Shanghai: A port city on the East China Sea, Shanghai was opened as a “treaty port” to foreign concessions as a result of the First Opium War.


Whanghia, Treaty of:  Signed in 1844 between China and the US, it extended the terms of Treaty of Nanjing to the United States. The treaty was negotiated in Whanghia, a small village near Macao.


Zeng Guofan: (tsung gwoe fahn) 1811-1872. A strict Confucian Viceroy who served the Qing government in a variety of posts, Zeng advocated adoption of Western technology and military organization.




Batavia: Now known as Jakarta, Batavia was site of the Dutch headquarters on Java.


Chulalongkorn; 1853-1910. King of Siam from 1868 to 1910; ruled as Rama V. Chulalongkom received both traditional and Western schooling. He was unable to exert his power as king in his younger years; however, when older, he instigated reforms that radically modernized Siam. Under Chulalongkorn, Siam was forced to cede territory to Western powers but retained its independence.


Cochinchina: The first French colony in Southeast Asia. Cochinchina was the name for a southern Vietnamese province on the Mekong delta.


Mongkut (1804-1868). King of Siam from 1851 to 1868; ruled as Rama IV. A devout Buddhist and enthusiastic scholar, Mongkut studied many languages of Asia, as well as Latin and English. He was fascinated by Western science, and read as much as he could about foreign countries. Mongkut dedicated himself to improving international relations. He also strove to modernize Siam; he implemented legal reforms, promoted modem medicine, and established a royal mint. A strong king, his leadership and ability preserved the integrity of the Thai state.


Saigon: An ancient port city in the Mekong delta of Vietnam. After 1859, Saigon became the French center of Cochinchina.


Saigon, Treaty of: The treaty signed in June 1862 among Vietnam, Spain, and France. The treaty ceded territory to France (establishing Cochinchina) and arranged payment of an indemnity to Spain. This marked the beginning of French encroachment into Southeast Asia.


Spice Islands: Refers to certain islands of modern Indonesia, famed for their bounty of spices. The Dutch exploited these islands' resources.


Straits Settlements: The ports of Malacca, Pinang, and Singapore were collectively known as the Straits Settlements. These were key ports controlled by the British, all located along the Strait of Malacca.

Chapter 2


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