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Why Takow became a treaty port? A dynamic institution history of Imperial Maritime Customs Service (1858-1865)
Imperial Maritime Customs Service
Treaty of Tientsin
The purpose of this study is to probe the consideration of Takow as a treaty port and understand Taiwan’s goal to opening its door to foreign trade. When Treaty of Tientsin was signed in 1858, Taiwan started a new page in history as a member of treaty system. The resistance of Taiwanfu being opened as a treaty port from local authority and demands of customs duties and tariff from central government allowed Takow to opened as a treaty port. It’s worth noting that Takow was only mentioned in the said treaty when the British Consulate and the Imperial Maritime Customs House were instituted in this city. After 1860, Prince Kung, Yixin became the most influential man in China as he regarded the customs duties and tariff from treaty ports as an important state revenue.Taiwan opened not only Taiwanfu and Tamsui (original treaty ports mentioned in the treaty) but also opened Takow and Keelung as treaty ports. The central government of Qing took the establishment of Imperial Maritime Customs Service at Takow as a method to control the customs duties and tariff. But during 1874 when Japan invaded Taiwan, the customs duties and tariff of Taiwan was preserved as the coast defense funds. Since then, the central government had never obtained these funds. As to the process of Takow becoming a treaty port, this study showed a dynamic institution history of Imperial Maritime Customs Service.
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