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History of Shanghai, China

Shanghai began as a fishing village in the 11th century, but by the mid-18th century it was an important area for growing cotton and by the 1800s it was becoming the largest city in China.  Foreigners came into Shanghai due to foreign trade after the Opium Wars.  The British, along with the Americans and French, were allowed to live in certain territorial zones without being under the Chinese laws.  As a result of all the foreigners, Shanghai became greatly influenced by Western culture, but things changed dramatically after Communism took over.

During the 1900s, opium sales along with the gambling and prostitution that went with it brought in very big profits.  After the end of Shanghai's subjugation by the Japanese, the Nationalist Chinese government was given control of the city.  The foreigners no longer had control and by 1949, Shanghai was transformed by the Communist Chinese government.  As the foreigners left, the businesses that were left behind were one by one taken over by the government.  After losing ground during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, Deng Xiaopeng's open door policy allowed for the advancement back to being an international force in business and finance. 

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