Early American Trade with China

Trade Routes & Trading Strategies

Economics of the China Trade

Contrasting Views of Trade

Life on a Merchant Ship


The Chinese View of Trade

“Emperor Qianlong’s Response to the King of England”. This reading presents a contrast to the Western world view discussed thus far. Read the brief introductory paragraph above the reading together. Ask the class:

  • Why would the King of England wish to send a mission to China? How does this fit with what you have been reading?

  • What assumptions is the King making when he sends a mission to China with the aim of opening up trade relations between the two countries?

Students should work with a partner to read the passage and answer the questions at the end of the reading. Finally, go over the questions in a class discussion. Students should be able to identify the points on which the King and the Emperor apparently differ. What do words like “progress,” “commerce,” “foreign relations,” and “competition” mean to each of these rulers?


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