Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860

Franco-British Conflict in China

Authors: Gelber, Harry

  • Offers a new and innovative analysis of the 1860 Franco-British campaign in China
  • Provides a clear understanding of the strategy and motives of both the Chinese and Franco-British sides
  • Pays attention not only to the French contingent but also to the important roles of Russia and the United States
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eBook $79.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-30584-4
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Hardcover $99.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-30583-7
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About this book

The ‘battle for Beijing’ is universally – and quite wrongly – believed to have been about opium. This book argues that it was about freedom to trade, Britain’s demands for diplomatic equality, and French demands for religious freedom in China. Both countries agreed that their armies, which repeatedly prevailed over Chinese ones that were numerically superior, would stay out of Beijing itself, but were infuriated by China’s imprisonment, torture and death of British, French and Indian negotiators. At the same time, the British and French also helped the empire to battle rebels and to pocket port and harbour dues. They steered carefully between their political and trading demands, and navigated the danger that undue stress would make China’s fragile government and empire fall apart. If it did, there would be no one to make any kind of agreement with; much of East Asia would be in chaos and Russian power would soon expand.

Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860 offers fresh insights into the reasons behind the actions and strategies of British authorities, both at home and in China, and the British and French military commanders. It goes against the widely accepted views surrounding the Franco-British conflict, proposing a bold new argument and perspective. 

About the authors

Harry Gelber has spent a number of years teaching and carrying out research at Monash University, Australia, the University of Melbourne, Australia, University of London, UK, Harvard University, USA, and Boston University, USA. He has published a number of books, most recently The Dragon and the Foreign Devils (2008).

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-30584-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-30583-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Battle for Beijing, 1858–1860
Book Subtitle
Franco-British Conflict in China
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-30584-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-30584-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-30583-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 244
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 illustrations in colour
Topics