Shanghai History Tour
As early as 17th century, Shanghai had grown into a port of medium size. In the 18th century, Shanghai developed its cotton industry and attracted merchants from all corners of the world. After the Opium Wall, Shanghai become a semi-colonial status until the end of World War II. Influenced by both Chinese and international cultures, Shanghai developed a diversely mixed culture.
Shanghai went through a pretty fascinating hundred years, from the Opium War in 1840 up until end of WWII in 1945. As the resulting of a weakening Qing Dynasty, China lost a series of wars and was forced to open up Shanghai to western countries as an important international port of call. The French and British, among other European countries, set up concession zones in Shanghai and ran these areas according to their own rules.
The interesting thing about the French Concession was that the French population (no more than 2000 at the peak) was outnumbered by the Russians (who fled from the new communist Russia), British, Americans, and even the Germans. There were also a significant number of successful middle-class Chinese professionals who lived in the area. Nevertheless, the French ran their own municipal counsel and named all the streets after French generals, martyred soldiers, and other famous personalities.
- About Opium War
Opium was at the centre of one of the great controversies of the nineteenth century. Shanghai was the main importation point for China, and the city's fortunes were founded on and bound up with drug trafficking. There was hypocrisy on the part of both Britain and China, and both shared the blame. And, Shanghai, as one of the results of the opening of the ports, opium usage boomed. It spread right through Chinese society from the Imperial Palace to lowly labourers. It was a means of escape from reality - as understandable for the ruling Manchus as their empire slowly collapsed around them, as for the poor coolies trying to forget their nightmarish lives amidst clouds of opium smoke. In Shanghai, the trade prospered and huge fortunes were made, financing profligate lifestyles and magnificent castles back home in Scotland.
Old Shanghai Memory Tour
|As the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years, the Bund witness Shanghai’s history and development. Along the bund stands over twenties magnificent buildings designed by architects from different countries, however, they are in great harmony with each other by the river.|