Caroline posts to History Imagined every three weeks.
Not all the interesting and colorful characters from the 1830s were British. Lin Zexu, also known as Lin Tse-hsu, a Chinese scholar and government official, rubbed against the British mercantile ambitions of that era with dogged determination and incorruptible integrity. Unfortunately, the First Opium War broke out as one unintended consequence of his efforts. The humiliating defeat and resulting unequal treaty caused in Lin’s downfall. He became a scapegoat and spent much of his remaining years banished to the mountainous central-Asian Xinjiang frontier province of Xinjiang. Today he is widely regarded as a hero in China.
Born August 30, 1785, in in Fujian province in relative poverty, his father, a teacher, made sure he received a classical Confucian education. His brilliance led eventually to the highest degrees and success in civil-service examinations. By age twenty he served as an aide to the governor of his home province. He…
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