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History: Opium, Modern China & The Long Memory Of War With Britain – Professor Anne Gerritsen From University of Warwick

2nd July 2021 @ 11:15 - 12:15

In this session, Professor Anne Gerritsen from the History Department at Warwick, will begin with the Opium War (1839-1842), and give an insight into why these two great empires (the British and the Qing) clashed so violently in the first half of the nineteenth century.

The session will then focus on the Treaty of Nanking, signed in 1842, and ask why this came known as the first of the so-called Unequal Treaties. The second half of the talk will focus on how the Opium War, and especially the Unequal Treaties, have shaped China in the twentieth century. Here, we will discuss why the Opium Wars and the ‘century of humiliation’ have had such lasting impact on China’s perception of itself as a modern nation.


Lecturer Profile (Please Click): Professor Anne Gerritsen



Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 and 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, History, and Humanities more generally. Teachers are also very welcome to join; please feel free to make it a class event.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: No pre-reading is required although students may choose to discuss some of the key issues, as they see them, and consider questions they might like to ask.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:



2nd July 2021
11:15 - 12:15
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