By U. Hillemann
British wisdom approximately China replaced essentially within the eighteenth and 19th centuries. instead of treating those adjustments in British knowing as though Anglo-Sino relations have been in simple terms bilateral, this learn seems at how British imperial networks in India and Southeast Asia have been severe mediators within the British come upon of China.
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Additional resources for Asian Empire and British Knowledge: China and the Networks of British Imperial Expansion
However, this otherness, which placed China half in the realm of fairy tales, half in that of an Oriental despotism, made it the perfect image for demonstrating how removed the Prince, and equally later as King George IV, and his Circle were from the real needs of his nation. 90 This becomes evident in a cartoon by William Williams in 1822 where the King is shown as a Chinese Mandarin and the royal arms are transformed into a Chinese emblem, with dragons as supporters. 91 The association of China with Chinoiserie thus remained vivid in the British mind.
The critic Joseph Warton thus remarked If these observations are rightly founded, what shall we say of the taste and judgement of those who spend their lives and fortunes in collecting pieces, where neither perspective nor proportion, nor conformity to nature are observed; I mean the extravagant lovers and purchasers of China, and Indian screens. . 45 From the 1760s onwards, the trade in tea and porcelain from China, with its connection to the EIC in India, was considered to be a good investment.
The American War of Independence ended in 1783 and brought with it the loss of Britain’s largest settler colony. In Asia, the EIC had increased its debt signiﬁcantly by its engagement in ever further wars and conquests, while stock market speculations in Britain added to its precarious situation. In this context, the gains from the tea trade became increasingly important to the British government. 5 per cent to limit smuggling and thus increased the excise revenue, while at the same time helping the shaken EIC.