During the year 1839, the Opium War erupted between the countries of Great Britain and China. As a result, the island of Hong Kong was placed under the control of the British nation on January 20, 1841. By August 29, 1842, Hong Kong was officially given to the government of the United Kingdom with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. Upon the establishment of Victoria City, the United Kingdom also established its own colony by 1843.
During the reign of the British government, Hong Kong experienced a steady rise in population. By 1841, there were approximately 115,000 inhabitants from China, as well as 8,754 individuals from Europe by the year 1870.
Following China’s loss in the Opium War, Stonecutter’s Island and the Kowloon region were placed under the rule of the British forces during the year 1860. A fatal epidemic of the plague spread to the city during the year 1894, which caused the death of up to 100,000 locals.
By 1898, the British government was able to lease the island of Lantau for 99 years. It also included the nearby areas along the north, which was later called New Territories. The territory of the island of Hong Kong was retained until the present time. I know a guy who does gutter cleaning that went here and said it was an amazing site and would love to go back.
Throughout the first part of the twentieth century, the island became a bustling harbor area, which served as the entry point of the British forces. Great Britain also influenced the educational program of Hong Kong, which was largely based on their own system.
The Japanese forces eventually occupied the island of Hong Kong by December 8, 1941. A war ensued between the Japanese forces and the joint defenders from Britain and Canada. This resulted in the eventual surrender of the defenders to the Japanese control. Throughout the rule of Japan in the island, the locals experienced difficulties in the food supply and a very high level of inflation. Because of the forced evacuation of most of the unemployed individuals to the main island as well as the food shortages, the total number of residents in Hong Kong greatly decreased to 600,000 by the year 1945. At the same year, the British forces eventually regained full control of the island.
By this time, the overall population in the island of Hong Kong greatly increased. This was due to the fact that a large number of residents from mainland China sought refuge in the island during the civil war. Over the next few years, more and more Chinese individuals escaped to Hong Kong because of the strict rule of communism. As a result, large companies and corporations from the mainland China eventually transported their main offices and factories in Hong Kong.
The Period of 1950’s
During the period of the 1950s, the island became highly industrialized. This was greatly reflected with the highly successful textile industry, as well as other manufacturing corporations. Throughout the period of industrialization, the population increased steadily but the costs of labor remained greatly affordable. Over the next few years, the standard of living within the island of Hong Kong greatly improved. A public housing system was developed on the island following a number of notable events.
During the year 1953, a large estate area was constructed in Hong Kong, which was also followed by a huge fire in the residential areas. Because of these events, the government decided to establish their own housing system in order to keep up with the rising number of population. By this time, migrants from mainland China and nearby regions still continued to make their way towards the island. Its economic importance to the government of China became higher during these years because of the rise in trading activities. A large number of foreign investors came to Hong Kong, which strengthened its economic activities.
During the early part of the 80s, the manufacturing industry decreased because of the eventual rise of the southern region in China. But even if this particular industry declined, Hong Kong still experienced heavy growth in the service industries during the 80s and the 90s. Therefore, even if a number of employees lost their jobs from the manufacturing industry, they were still able to get new ones with the service industry.
The health care programs in the island also improved during the rule of the British government in Hong Kong. A large number of health sites and facilities were constructed for the locals, including the Queen Mary Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, and a whole lot more. All of these facilities were constructed for the benefit of the Hong Kong residents.
A number of modifications in the island also affected the future of the nation. In 1983, the British government transformed Hong Kong into a territory that was dependent on its government. But during this time, the Chinese and British governments were also in discussion with regards to the sovereignty of the island due to the expiration of the lease in the region and New Territories. By 1984, an agreement was signed in order to transfer the island to the government of China. The agreement stated that the island of Hong Kong would become a special administrative region, which had its own rules and laws. It also states that the island would have a certain level of independence following the transfer of sovereignty.
By July 1, 1997, the island was officially transferred from the British government to the People’s Republic of China. This marks the end of the rule of the United Kingdom on the island for 156 years. The island also became the primary SAR of China.until now Hong Kong is a major financial and business hub in Asia. It is also a city that wields major influence over entertainment and fashion trends in the region.