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Book: The New Middle Kingdom: China in the Early American Romance of Free Trade

TitleThe New Middle Kingdom: China in the Early American Romance of Free Trade
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
Citation
Johnson, KA. The New Middle Kingdom: China in the Early American Romance of Free Trade. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.  How to Cite?
AbstractChina has long inspired Americans to write. The New Middle Kingdom puts merchants, missionaries, and diplomats at the center of a literary historical account of early US cultural development. The book covers a century, from just after Revolutionary War to the decades after the US Civil War. It conceives a romance of free trade with China as a quest narrative of national accomplishment in a global marketplace when the harbor of Canton was a destination for ambitious merchants who speculated beyond transatlantic networks of trade and through the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Those who managed to make fortunes went on to set the nation’s cultural foundations and westward infrastructure of communication and transportation. As the Civil War split the nation into warring halves, the romance of free trade lived on in China through diplomatic initiatives in Peking. After the war the commerce with China offered a pathway to national reunification and redemption. Looking across the continent of North America to California’s Golden Gate, some boldly proclaimed that the US had earned its place in world history as the new “Middle Kingdom.” However, free trade was never free. Exploring the contradictions at the heart of early American commercial romances with China, Kendall Johnson shows how the work of US merchants, missionaries, and diplomats to China resonated back home in ways overlooked by twentieth-century scholarship. He also demonstrates the relevance to US national development of major historical events that unfolded in China and East Asia—events such as the First (1839-1842) and Second (1856-1860) Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), and the opening of Japan to western trade. Situated at the intersections of several areas of study and utilizing methods of literary historical analysis, The New Middle Kingdom also demonstrates the broader importance of early China-US relations to intellectual histories of orientalism
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233510

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorJohnson, KA-
dc.date.accessioned2016-09-20T05:37:16Z-
dc.date.available2016-09-20T05:37:16Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationJohnson, KA. The New Middle Kingdom: China in the Early American Romance of Free Trade. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. -
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233510-
dc.description.abstractChina has long inspired Americans to write. The New Middle Kingdom puts merchants, missionaries, and diplomats at the center of a literary historical account of early US cultural development. The book covers a century, from just after Revolutionary War to the decades after the US Civil War. It conceives a romance of free trade with China as a quest narrative of national accomplishment in a global marketplace when the harbor of Canton was a destination for ambitious merchants who speculated beyond transatlantic networks of trade and through the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Those who managed to make fortunes went on to set the nation’s cultural foundations and westward infrastructure of communication and transportation. As the Civil War split the nation into warring halves, the romance of free trade lived on in China through diplomatic initiatives in Peking. After the war the commerce with China offered a pathway to national reunification and redemption. Looking across the continent of North America to California’s Golden Gate, some boldly proclaimed that the US had earned its place in world history as the new “Middle Kingdom.” However, free trade was never free. Exploring the contradictions at the heart of early American commercial romances with China, Kendall Johnson shows how the work of US merchants, missionaries, and diplomats to China resonated back home in ways overlooked by twentieth-century scholarship. He also demonstrates the relevance to US national development of major historical events that unfolded in China and East Asia—events such as the First (1839-1842) and Second (1856-1860) Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), and the opening of Japan to western trade. Situated at the intersections of several areas of study and utilizing methods of literary historical analysis, The New Middle Kingdom also demonstrates the broader importance of early China-US relations to intellectual histories of orientalism-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherJohns Hopkins University Press-
dc.titleThe New Middle Kingdom: China in the Early American Romance of Free Trade-
dc.typeBook-
dc.identifier.emailJohnson, KA: kjohnson@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityJohnson, KA=rp01339-
dc.identifier.hkuros263119-
dc.identifier.epage400+-
dc.publisher.placeBaltimore, MD-

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