Teacher guide Rise and fall of the Canton trade system IV: image galleries

TLF ID M006694

This is a collection of 320 images about Western trade with China in the 18th and 19th centuries and how it was organised through the Canton trade system. The images are organised into four categories: places, people, commodities and ships. The places category includes images of Macau, Canton and Hong Kong. The people category includes portraits of Chinese people and foreigners, and images showing some Chinese occupations and activities. The third and fourth categories show the variety of commercial, art and craft goods traded in the Canton region and the ships engaged in the China trade.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This collection provides a wealth of primary source material essential for modern history studies of Western commercial penetration into China in the senior years and very useful for the year 9 historical depth study of Asia and the world.
  • It is also useful for the historical skills strand in the history curriculum, in particular for developing student understandings about evidence, perspectives and empathy. The visual sources are all from a Western perspective and enable students to see a highly selective view of the China trade - as the foreign traders themselves wished it to be seen by their contemporaries at home and remembered by later generations.
  • Images in all four categories show aspects of Chinese ways of life in the south China area as they were influenced by Western demand for Chinese goods such as porcelain, furniture and tea. The perspective of the sources - 'export art', often commissioned by Western merchants - means there is almost no coverage of the devastating effects of the opium these merchants brought into China.
Year level

9; 10; 11; 12

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Publisher
  • Name: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: Massachusetts, UNITED STATES
  • URL: http://web.mit.edu/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology © 2008 Visualizing Cultures. Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.