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

The table, “Total Value of U.S. Imports and Exports” (Lesson 2), can be used to show students how different world views affected trade during the 19th century. Ask students to use what they have learned in this lesson to explain why China’s imports from the United States stayed relatively stable throughout most of the 19th century while America’s imports from China (and trade in general) rose dramatically. What factors account for the differences in the two countries’ growth of foreign trade?


Have the students consider how these differing views of trade interfered with developing relations between the two countries.

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