During the 1856 war, Chinese set fire to foreign factories. The British retaliated by burning Chinese houses. Burning of Canton Harbor, oil painting, by an anonymous Chinese artist, nineteenth century.
The Second Opium War (1856–1860) is less well known outside China than the first, but its impact was no less profound. The First Opium War (1839–1842) marked the beginning of the end for imperial China, but only because of the