This Day in International Law: March 3

By Lauren-Kelly Jones

Thus began the Second Opium War – also known as the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French War – which followed the First Opium War (1839-52). Britain sought a series of allowances from China to extend their trading rights: full access for British merchants, an ambassador in Beijing, legalization of the opium trade, and exemption of imports from tariffs. Ultimately (in 1860) the Qing Dynasty were defeated by the foreign powers, and the resulting “unequal” treaties helped to weaken the dynasty, which eventually fell in the early 20th Century.