Early American Trade with China

Trade Routes & Trading Strategies

Economics of the China Trade

Contrasting Views of Trade

Life on a Merchant Ship


Concluding the Lesson

  • Are there professions today which expect workers to accept difficult conditions like living in isolation for a long period of time, being on call day and night, or being physically punished for insubordination?

  • What efforts could have been made to improve the life of crews on merchant ships?


Many resources are available for students who wish to pursue a topic relating to clipper ships or the merchant marine. On the Internet, students can tour an historical clipper ship, visit mariner museums, or conduct research on a broad range of related topics. Interesting projects for students to research include the effects of trade winds on sailing routes, the history of the development of sailing vessels, or reading fiction or nonfiction which relates to life in the age of sail. See the resource list for suggestions.

The first extension activity in Lesson 1 (China Trade/Ships Logs) is also relevant to this lesson. Students can look at a number of ships’ logs and see how on all these ships crews experienced some of the hardships discussed here—discipline problems, long journeys, hazardous weather, and shipwreck.

Previous Next



Home | Unit Overview | Trade Routes | Economics | Contrasting Views | Life on a Ship | Resources | Credits