During the late 1700s, Britain sold opium, which was grown in India, to China, the opium trade. By the early 1800s, many Chinese became addicted to the drug. The Chinese government did not like this trade because it cost a lot of silver. The government attempted to stop the exchange by passing harsh laws, such as death penalty. In 1839, the Chinese destroyed a British shipment of opium, so war began. In the Opium War, the British won. They had advanced technology and weapons compared to China.