official sent to replace the merchant taipan
of the defunct East India Company
after they lost their royal monopoly in 1834. Napier
attempted to address the Chinese
as equals, ending their patience with the Cohong
merchant/official bullshit; he wanted to talk to the man in charge. The misunderstanding arose because the Chinese
had traditionally viewed their dealings with all other nations as "tribute" exchanges with vassal states. How could they have known that the Brits were in charge of the world?
's predecessor had been a merchant, and the Chinese
would not allow him to address the officials with a "letter" but only with a "petition." As a Royal British Representative, Napier
could not accept this arrangement. After his courier was left in the rain all day and no one would even receive his "letter," it was all over.
's show of naval force against Guangzhou
(he subjugated the city from sea in a day) shaped Western policy in Asia: use guns first