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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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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

To Make a Way

To Make a Way

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

(p.149) 8 To Make a Way
Narratives of Free Trade

Paul A. Bové

Hong Kong University Press

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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