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新书 | Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America

Trading Freedom: How Trade with China Defined Early America
Dael A. Norwood
In the series American Beginnings, 1500-1900
Published by University of Chicago Press 2021
https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226815596

About this book

Trading Freedom explores the surprisingly rich early history of US-China trade and its unexpected impact on the developing republic.

The economic and geographic development of the pre-twentieth-century United States is usually thought of in trans-Atlantic terms, defined by entanglements with Europe and Africa. In Trading Freedom, Dael A. Norwood recasts these common conceptions by looking to Asia, making clear that from its earliest days, the United States has been closely intertwined with China—monetarily, politically, and psychologically.

Norwood details US trade with China from the late eighteenth through the late nineteenth centuries—a critical period in America’s self-definition as a capitalist nation—and shows how global commerce was central to the articulation of that national identity. He examines how much of the country’s early growth and definition was influenced in important ways by its multifarious Chinese relations. Trading Freedom illuminates how crucial Federalist-era debates over political economy and trade policy, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and the looming sectional struggle over slavery were all influenced by Sino-American relations. Deftly weaving together interdisciplinary threads from the worlds of commerce, foreign policy, and immigration, Trading Freedom thoroughly dismantles the idea that American engagement with China is anything new.

Author information

Dael A. Norwood is assistant professor of history at the University of Delaware.

Reviews

“An impressively ambitious book, surveying US commercial involvement with China from the departure of the Empress of China, which sailed from New York in 1784, to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Books on China and the United States in this period typically cover either trade or immigration—Trading Freedom is the rare book to tackle both.”

— Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire

Contents

Frontmatter

Publicly Available     i

Contents

Publicly Available     vii

Introduction: America’s Business with China       1

Chapter One. Founding a Free, Trading Republic           15

Chapter Two. The Paradox of a Pacific Policy      35

Chapter Three. Troubled Waters    53

Chapter Four. Sovereign Rights, or America’s First Opium Problem   73

Chapter Five. The Empire’s New Roads    95

Chapter Six. This Slave Trade of the Nineteenth Century          113

Chapter Seven. A Propped- Open Door   133

Chapter Eight. Death of a Trade, Birth of a Market        157

Acknowledgments    181

Appendix: Accounting for the China Trade          187

Notes 195

Index   263

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