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Narratives of Free TradeThe Commercial Cultures of Early US-China Relations$
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Kendall Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083534

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083534.001.0001

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To Make a Way

To Make a Way

Telling a Story of US–China Union through the Letters of Henry Adams and John Hay

Chapter:
(p.149) 8 To Make a Way
Source:
Narratives of Free Trade
Author(s):

Paul A. Bové

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083534.003.0009

This chapter considers the U.S. Open Door Policy, through which Secretary of State John Hay was able to negotiate international agreement among the world's naval superpowers not to encroach on China's territory and to maintain the openness of China's treaty ports to all nations. In their correspondence, Henry Adams and John Hay agree that the rising power of the United States depends on an agitating energy that is bound up with cycles of power which exceed the bounds of any individual nation-state. Looking to China as the eventual centre of world order, Adams and Hay saw the interests of the United States served best by maintaining China as an open field through which to project the commercial influence of the United States. The historiography of free trade becomes much more complex as Adams and Hay see in China's rise to world prominence a way to sustain a romance of American trade that is not reducible to the interests of the governing state.

Keywords:   United States, China, diplomacy, Open Door Policy, John Hay, Henry Adams, free trade

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