Early American Trade with China

Trade Routes & Trading Strategies

Economics of the China Trade

Contrasting Views of Trade

Life on a Merchant Ship


The European Economic Tradition

This reading is from a pamphlet written by Daniel Defoe for the British government. It gives students an example of the kind of economic thought and writing that would culminate in Adam Smith’s famous work, The Wealth of Nations. Out of this tradition grew the assumptions and ideas about progress, foreign trade, industrialization, and wealth that were embraced by the American colonists and the leaders of the young independent nation.

Students can read the passage and answer the included questions independently, but they should be given a chance to clarify and discuss their answers in class.


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