China and the United States of America
Notes from Japan, China and the Powers

For The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

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U.S. Relations with China up to the Opium War (1784 to 1842)

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All [page numbers] reference China, Japan, and the Powers by Meribeth E. Cameron, Thomas H. D. Mahoney, and George E. McReynolds. The Ronald Press Company, New York. Copyright 1952

“Until the 1840’s foreign trade was of comparatively minor importance. The Chinese thought of themselves as quite able to satisfy their own needs without importation from abroad. The official view of foreign trade was that the “barbarians” came as humble petitioners in great need of Chinese goods, and were benevolently permitted to secure them on Chinese terms.” [p. 52]

“American trade with China had commenced in 1784 with the arrival of the first American Ship at Canton, the “Empress of China.” Within a few years an American consul at Canton was appointed.” America exported ginseng, textiles, sea-otter and seal pelts, and sandalwood. “Most of the American firms, which had residences in the factory district, also engaged in the opium traffic. Imports from China were tea, rhubarb, silks, and porcelain. When the before the Opium War broke out in 1839, the Chinese refused to trade with the British, but bought British manufactured goods from American shippers. [p. 170]

“The first protestant missionaries from America reached Canton in 1830.” [p. 171]

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