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The image of Formosa tea in 19th century Great Britain through the observation of contemporaries narratives
Treaty Port community
|Issue Date:||2012-04-12 14:21:55 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract:||Ilha Formosa, meaning the ‘evergreen resplendent isle’, today known as Taiwan was named by passing European navigators in the sixteenth century. Although it had never been officially a part of the British Empire, the island – like a large portion of the world, was influenced by Great Britain, its activities, and policies. The aim of this thesis is to explore the development of the British concept, or image, of Formosa through the second half of the nineteenth century. During this period, British influence in Formosa picked-up significantly due to British commercial interests. Under British influence in the second half of the nineteenth century, Formosa started to produce and export famous Taiwanese tea on a much larger scale. The popularity of Oolong tea brought Formosa into the sphere of British public interest and the British community in Taiwan grew as a result. As time went on, more missionaries and their wives, officers, and merchants visited and lived in Taiwan. Their interactions with the Chinese and indigenous populations were carried back to Britain through visitors´ journals, letters, photographs, and stories, all of which effected the British public perception of Formosa. The popularization of Taiwanese tea together with other commercial and political interests played an important role in the British public reflection of Formosa, which evolved from the opening of the Taiwan seaports to foreign trade at the end of the 1850s and the beginning of the 1860s until the end of the nineteenth century, when the Japanese began its colonization of Taiwan.|
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