Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Chinese influence on architecture remained conspicuous after the founding of the United States. In the 1790s a member of the American Philosophical Society, Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest (1739-1801)- built a home near Philadelphia known as China's Retreat. The building adopted a Chinese-style cupola on the roof. The windows, similar to screens in Chinese homes, were double leaves that slid into pockets in the walls. The buildings that used Chinese "touches" added “decorative embellishments to an otherwise Occidental plan and structure." Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz (1758-1841), a Polish visitor, wrote a vivid description of the house and its contents. The house was "immense, surmounted with a cupola and decorated with golden serpents in the Chinese manner. Six tabourets of porcelain were arranged in a circle in the peristyle." Thomas Jefferson showed interest in Chinese garden styles while designing a garden on his property. For Jefferson, gardening was "the complement to building, in the activity of a country gentleman." In his eyes, gardens were "peculiarly worth the attention of an American, because it is the country of all others where the noblest gardens may be made without expense." He used his free time to draw up plans for his garden, and finally decided to ornament his garden with a Chinese style.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Readers of my blog that introduces Dr. Dave Wang's research (王小良博士）know that the founders of the United States made their efforts to use positive elements from Chinese civilization to build a new nation. It would be wrong if one thinks that the founders picked up everything from China. Yes, it is no doubt that Chinese civilization is a great civilization. However, it is not right to state that everything from China is great. That's why Dr. Dave Wang demonstrates to us that the founders applied the positive elements from Chinese civilization for the purpose of creating a new nation in the world over 200 years ago. Recently I found Elizabeth Economy's online article, Time for the United States to learn from China. I am not so sure when the time for the United States to learn from China is/was? For my readers, it was clear that during the founding era the founders and other colonists of the North American Colonies learned a lot from China. Dr. Elizabeth Economy is the C.V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. You'd better to read her article to find out when the United State should learn from China. It is very interesting.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Not long ago, in a University at Manhattan I asked a group of graduate students, "Any of you knows where the US China relations were started?" They were surprised when I told them that the relations were started right here, New York. I don't know how many people remember today, February 22. 230 years ago, some heroes of the American Revolutionary War, under the support of the founding fathers of the United States, gathered on the ship, the Empress of China, and started her virgin sail to China from the East River between Manhattan and the Long Island. As of today, the relations between China and the United States have walked through 230 years. Clearly, without the efforts of the revolutionary veterans who overcame numerous challenges established the direct connections between the oldest nation and the newest nation in then world, there would be no 230 anniversary. I would like to introduce you Dr. Dave Wang's article, with China We Trade published by Asian Times on Line. Embodying Americans' hope to break through the British blockade and revitalize the depressed postwar economy, the Empress of China, the first American commercial ship after its independence, left New York for Canton (Guangzhou), China, on February 22, 1784. Before the Empress of China left the East River Harbor of New York, George Washington duly signed the sea letter, guiding the purpose of the Empress of China's voyage. Dr. Dave Wang's paper is available with this link.
Monday, February 17, 2014
George Washington regarded Europe as only a sideshow that must not divert attention from the permanent strategic interests of the US . He had not wanted to do business with England after the revolution. In October 1783, six months before the Empress of China started her virgin voyage to China, Washington made it clear in his letter to Marquis de Lafayette, a general in the American Revolutionary War and later a leader of the Garde Nationale during the French Revolution, that "I do not incline to send to England (from whence formerly I had all my goods) for anything I can get upon tolerable terms elsewhere." Where could the Americans trade for what they needed? His solution was for the newly founded US to develop its commercial relationship with China. Even before the departure of the Empress of China, Washington had discussed the possibilities of this engagement with people like Ezra Stiles, the president of Yale College. Washington had realized that the American merchants "will carry the American flag around the globe itself, and display the thirteen stripes and new constellation, at Bengal and Canton, on the Indus and Ganges, on the Whang-ho [the Yellow River] and the Yang-ti-king [Yangtze River], and with commerce will import the wisdom and literature of the East." While the Empress of China was still on her way to China, Washington told Thomas Jefferson that "from trade our citizen will not be restrained".
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
王小良开创性研究受美国学界瞩目 发布于 2014-02-01, 周六 01:22 【侨报记者管黎明1月29日纽约报道】在全球华人龙腾虎跃迎马年的时候，在早期中美关系研究领域耕耘多年的华人学者王小良 (Dave Wang)也迎来一份特殊的喜讯——他所从事的关于中华文明对美国早期发展，包括殖民地以及建国时期的影响在美国学术界正受到越来越多的重视。许多大学的教授将他的研究成果作为教学资料，也有许多学者在其著作中引述王小良的研究。 王小良日前在接受本报采访时表示，很高兴看到自己研究多年的成果终于获得整个学术界的认可，这一方面是他个人的骄傲，同时也希望这些论文能够让中美两国的人民对300多年前中美两国在贸易、文化等各领域的广泛交流和影响有个深刻的了解，这段历史长期以来都被人们忽略和遗忘了，现在应当让它重见天日。 王小良的代表性论文之一《本杰明•富兰克林与中国：美国建国时期本杰明•富兰克林努力汲取中华文明的积极因素的考察》（Benjamin Franklin and China: A Survey of Benjamin Franklin’s Efforts at Drawing Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization during the Formative Age of the United States）被全美纪念富兰克林诞辰三百周年网站（www.benfranlin300.org/eassays.htm）收藏，该组织由前总统小布什担任荣誉主席。 同时，哈佛大学肯尼迪政府学院的客座教授 Richard Rosecrance 在他和别人一起编撰的著作《力量与制约：美中关系的共同视角》（Power and Restraint: A Shared Vision for the U.S-China Relationship）中，也对王小良有关富兰克林与中国的研究多有引述。 加州大学圣地亚哥分校的历史系教授 Sarah Schneewind 在她的论文《托马斯•杰斐逊的独立宣言与武王太誓》（Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and King Wu’s First Great Announcement）中，引用了王小良博士的论文《所有子孙后代都会铭记我的遗产：托马西•杰斐逊与传说中的中国王子》（All Posterity Would Remember My Legacy: Thomas Jefferson and a Legendary Chinese Prince）。 美国植物学会的Lindsay Stafford在她的论文《首航中国的美国货船满载30吨美国人参：帮助中国人认知了美国并植下了国际贸易之根》（First US-China Trade Ship Carried 30 Tons of American Ginseng: Helped Establish American Identity and Roots of International Trade，HebalEgram: Volume 9, Number 5, May 2012）中引用了王小良的论文《人参帮助美国进入国际贸易》（Ginseng: the herb that helped the United States to enter International Commerce），来阐述美国的“花旗参”在早期中美贸易中的角色，以及两国贸易关系的历史渊源。【侨报纽约网】 曾经先后在奥尔布赖特和鲍威尔两任国务卿任内担任美国国务院官员的美国教育家暨学者Patrick Mendis在他去年的新书《和平之争：中国梦和美国的宿命如何创建新的太平洋秩序》（Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and the American Destiny Create a New Pacific World Order）中，多处引用王小良有关本杰明•富兰克林如何基于孔夫子的道德哲学而发展出自己的用以提升道德修养的富兰克林“十三条警训”，Mendis同时也提到王小良的论文《托马斯•杰斐逊对中华文明积极因素的汲取》（Thomas Jefferson’s Incorporating Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization），借以阐述美国的建国之父们是如何中国的古代文明中汲取营养。Mendis的新书受到美国许多前政府高官的高度评价。 此外，王小良的研究也被许多教授应用于课堂教学和学术研究。波士顿 Emmanuel College 的资深教授 Michael St.Clair 特地写信给王小良，鼓励他的研究，并表示自己正准备出版的一部有关中国的著作中将引述和推介王小良的研究成果。南加州大学的一名学生在读到教授发给全班的阅读材料中包含的王小良的《美国开国元勋与中国》的论文后非常惊奇，他对教授表示，“我来自克利夫兰市，在读到王博士的论文前我根本不知道伊利运河的修建曾受到了中国运河理念的影响。” 目前王小良担任皇后区图书馆Laurelton分馆的馆长，同时也兼任圣约翰大学的教授。【侨报纽约网】
Saturday, January 25, 2014
In 1789, when George Washington was elected as the first president of the United States, he fully stated the significance of the China trade to his still-young country. He told the Marquis de Lafayette that the national revenues had been considerably more productive than had been imagined they would be because of the China trade. He then listed some examples: "A single vessel just arrived in this port pays $30,000 to government. Two vessels fitted out for the fur trade to the northwest coast of America have succeeded well. The whole outfits of vessels and cargoes cost but $7,000. One is returning home loaded with India produce, the other going back to the coast of America; and they have deposited $100,000 of their profits in China." Since 1784, the value of American trade with China increased greatly. In 1790, it was estimated that trade with China accounted for about one seventh of US imported goods. By 1792, the value of the American trade with China had surpassed that of Holland, France and Denmark, and was second only to Great Britain, which had had established commercial relations with China for over 100 years. In 1840, American business with China amounted to nearly US$75 million, a sum greater than the total debt of the American Revolution.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
It is well-known that Dr. Dave Wang’s research in the field of Chinese cultural influences in the colonial period and the founding era of the United States has gained momentum in academic circles. Recently I have found that Dr. Wang’s publications have been widely cited by some prestigious authors. In the following, I will give the authors, the titles of their works, and the titles of Dr. Wang’s works that were cited. 01. Sarah Schneewind, University of California, San Diego, Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and King Wu’s First Great Announcement, Journal of American –East Asian Relations, 19,(2012 )75-91. In her paper, Dr. Sara Schneewind cited Dr. Dave Wang. Paper, All Posterity Would Remember My Legacy: Thomas Jefferson and a Legendary Chinese Prince, Huaren E Magazine, September , 2008. 02. Lindsay Stafford, First US-China Trade Ship Carried 30 Tons of American Ginseng: Helped Establish American Identity and Roots of International Trade, HebalEgram: Volume 9, Number 5, May 2012, Dr. Lindsay Stafford cited Dr. Dave Wang’ paper, Ginseng: the herb that helped the United States to enter International Commerce, World Huren Federation Website. 03. Richard Rosecrance and Gu Guoliang, ed., Power and Restraint: A Shared Vision for the U.S-China Relationship, published by Public Affairs, 2009. The two authors cited Dr. Dave Wang’s paper, Benjamin Franklin and China: A Survey of Benjamin Franklin’s Efforts at Drawing Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization during the Formative Age of the United States, Essays and Articles for the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Website, http://www.benfranlin300.org/eassays.htm. 04. Ann Lee, What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher, published by Berrett-Koehler Publisher, Jan 9, 2012. Dr. Ann Lee cited Dr. Dave Wang’s paper, How China Helped Shape American Culture: The founding fathers and Chinese Civilization, Virginia Review of Asian Studies, 2010. 05. Patrick Mentis, Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and the American Destiny Created a Pacific New World Order, published Dr. Patrick Mentis cited Dr. Dave Wang’s paper, Thomas Jefferson’s Incorporating Positive Elements from Chinese Civilization, Virginia Review of Asian Studies, accessed January 26, 2013.