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Indians not included Chinese 4 Ling-chi Wang, Scholar: When James Polk was the president, he recruited a geographer by the name of Aaron Palmer — and asked him to make a survey of the entire West Coast, from California all the way to Alaska.
And what potential there was for the United States future development. He was also very interested in finding a shorter route for the China trade. And inPalmer filed a report to President Polk And in the report he talked about the amazing natural resources and the importance of finding a more direct access to the West Coast.
And this is all before the gold was discovered in California. Long before the first Chinese immigrants stepped ashore in California in the mid 19th century, the story of China and America had been deeply intertwined — for hundreds of years.
Where did America come from?
America came from European colonization — from the fascination that explorers like Christopher Columbus had with China, And with the inception of the United States, our birth as a republic, one of the fascinating things is how important the China trade was for that revolutionary generation.
After political independence one of the first things that the British did was to cut off our ability to trade within the British Commonwealth.
China was among the few countries in the world not yet colonized by anybody and so we saw our opportunity to become economically independent linked to our trade with China.
John Kuo Wei Tchen, Historian: The big problem from the very beginning was what does China want?
China really didn't want to buy much from the United States or from England. So in the early 19th century they began to import opium into China, against Chinese law, as a way of addressing their own balance of trade deficits. Millions of Chinese were addicted to this Of course, this provoked the British gunships, and the Americans came in with them, because the Americans were also involved in the opium trade.
They did it under the banner of free trade; free trade as the core expression of liberty. And how dare the Chinese say they can't trade opium into China? The first Opium War ended in with the Treaty of Nanking.
In one stroke, the canton system used to manage trade with Europeans was destroyed. China was forced into this new international system. And gradually, in the Pearl River Delta the foreign intrusion really became disruptive to the local economy. By the 's, what was happening in China is dire.
The Qing Dynasty — the Chinese government — is falling apart. Taiping Rebellion begins aboutAnd this goes on for fifteen years. Approximately 30 million people are slaughtered.
It's not just this millenarian rebellion. It's this dissatisfaction with the corruption of the Manchu government. The economy is faltering. And the opium trade is all part of this, too. And this takes place right above Southern China, so that all this farmland is trampled. So when the Chinese hear of gold being discovered in California, U.
The Gold Rush was a global event. It brought, obviously, Anglo-Americans from the East Coast; it brought Mexicans from Sonora; it brought French mining groups; it brought English mining groups.Business owners will be able to speak with Hale Storm, founder and owner of Freeport Signs and Rigging.
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