Address to the People of Great Britain, Explanatory of our Commercial Relations with the Empire of China
This anonymous work, sometimes attributed to G. J. Gordon, a researcher into tea cultivation, was published in 1836 after the East India Company's loss of its monopoly on trade two years earlier had opened up the market to private individuals. The pamphlet is aimed at a popular readership and feeds national anxiety about the British government's weak stance towards China and potential trade. It outlines the history and characteristics of the country and its society, and the reasons why previously stifled trade should now flourish. Based on first-hand knowledge, the work is observant and insightful, yet zealous and inflammatory in its tone. Convinced that British goods are equal or superior to Chinese products, the author exhorts the British government to take a firm hand and demand the respect of the Chinese people and their 'insolent' rulers in order to tap into the potentially huge free-trade market.