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Tientsin History, China

Tientsin, China has a long, great history.  Even when Shanghai was a small quite town, Tientsin was a large walled Chinese stronghold.  It located about 80 miles from Beijing, the capital of China.  China opened five ports to foreigners and their commerce after the Opium Wars and many people flocked to these areas. 

Foreign trade expanded and many business men began to open shops.  Churches, schools, and hospitals were built.  In the late 1850’s France and Britain decaled war on China and took control of Tientsin and Peking.  During this invasion, the Summer Palace located outside of Peking was looted.  Once treaties were passed in 1858 and 1860, Tientsin once again opened its doors to foreigners and diplomats from other countries began to reside in the city.

At the end of the 19th century, Tientsin was the most commercialized city in China.  Tientsin became a hub for the growing railroad that expanded to the distant areas of China.  The city also had shipping connection to every part of Asia.  But this was also not a very peaceful time.  It seemed like discord was always right under the surface.

The problems seemed to stem from the many foreign interests that controlled much of the shipping and industrial avenues of Tientsin.  Many taxes were so low on foreigners and these people were not subject to Chinese laws.  These unfair allowances to the foreigners lead to many rebellions, including the Boxer Rebellion in 1899, and the Chinese Revolution in 1911. 

The Second World War brought Japan’s armies into northern China.  US military, as well as Great Britain and France helped China to defend itself against Japan.  The peace treaties signed at the end of the war and by late 1949 all the foreign militaries were gone out of China and it remains that way today.

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