MIT Visualizing Cultures
The images in this unit portray the abundant variety of commercial, art, and craft goods exchanged in the Canton region during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Three cities became the center of the trading system that linked China to the Western European powers and the United States. Macau, the oldest, stayed under Portuguese control from 1557 to 1999. Canton gathered traders from Europe, Southeast Asia, the U.S., and the rest of China. Hong Kong, acquired by the British after the Opium War, grew from a small fishing village to a major international port during the 19th century.
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Rise & Fall of the Canton Trade System IV
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