|Putting the China Trade in Context
This activity ties early U.S. international trade to political events at home
and abroad. The Napoleonic wars provided the opportunity to move goods between
Asia and Europe and between European countries through the United States.
After the war, U.S. imports and exports returned to levels comparable to
1800. The War of 1812 caused a major drop in imports and reexports which
rebounded to pre-war levels later in the decade.
This activity might best work as a teacher-directed class discussion.
Distribute the handouts on “Imports,” “Exports,” and “Value
of Imports and Exports” and have available
a set of overhead transparencies of the graphs.
Using an overhead of the “Import” graph, elicit student answers
to the questions on the student handout.
Do the same for the “Export” graph.
Have the students plot the figures for the China trade on their worksheets
and ask the following question:
- How would you characterize the trade with China compared with the total import
and export trade of the United States during this period?
Have the students answer the questions on the worksheet “Total Value
of U.S. Imports and Exports.”