History of Hong Kong

colony of Hong Kong (used between 1870 and 1876)

Flag of the British colony of Hong Kong(used between 1876 and 1910)

Flag of the British colony of Hong Kong (used between 1910 and 1959)

Flag of the British colony of Hong Kong (Unofficial Red ensign for Hong Kong used between 1959 and the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997)

In 1839 the refusal by Qing Dynasty authorities to import opium resulted in the First Opium War between China and Britain. Hong Kong Island was occupied by British forces on 20 January 1841 and was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpee as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan, but the agreement was never ratified due to a dispute between high-ranking officials in both governments. It was not until 29 August 1842 that the island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom under the Treaty of Nanking. The British established a crown colony with the founding of Victoria City the following year.

Under British rule, the population of Hong Kong island had increased from 7,450 Chinese residents, mostly fishermen, in 1841 to over 115,000 Chinese and 8,754 Europeans in Hong Kong (including Kowloon) in 1870.

In 1860 after China's defeat in the Second Opium War, the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutter's Island were ceded in perpetuity to Britain under the Convention of Peking.

In 1894 the deadly Third Pandemic of bubonic plague spread from China to Hong Kong, causing 50,000–100,000 deaths.

In 1898 under the terms of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island and the adjacent northern lands, which became known as the New Territories. Hong Kong's territory has remained unchanged to the present.

During the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was a free port, serving as an entrepôt of the British Empire. The British introduced an education system based on