Friday, December 10, 2010
Any information concerning the U.S. founding fathers and China can bring up curiosity. I put the words, "Jefferson and Chinese" in Google. Two of Dr. Dave Wang's papers, Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Architecture and Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Classics come out.
You can also find Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Flowers, which is an item of this blog. However, I surprisingly find Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Gong. I know that this Chinese Gong was a gift from Benjamin Franklin. However, as of today, I can not find where Franklin obtained this Chinese Gong. If you know, please let me know, then I will publish here, allowing all that who are interested in this matter know. I remember that even one of Franklin's descendants asked me about it last year.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Niall Ferguson, the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and the William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School, was nominated by Time Magazine in 2004 as "one of the world's hundred most influential people.” He made a speech titled “Power, Money and American National Security, Today and Tomorrow” in Philadelphia where he was awarded the sixth annual Benjamin Franklin Public Service Award by the Foreign Policy Research Institute of Philadelphia.
He remarked in his speech that the West ascended through technological and science innovation. For him, this is the only factor that made the West more powerful. I don’t totally agree upon his opinion; based on my examination of United States founding fathers’ efforts to draw nourishments from Chinese civilization to build a new nation in North America, I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons why the United States jumped from a tiny nation to a world superpower is that the founding fathers opened the door for Americans to adopt positive elements from other cultures, including those of Chinese civilization.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The well-known online magazine, Huaren, published in its September issue, Dr. Wang's paper.
From Confucius to the Great Wall: Chinese Cultural Influence on Colonial North America
The spread of Chinese cultures into North America started with the efforts of the eminent colonists, such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who were mainly responsible for broadening of Chinese civilization in North America. They used positive elements from the civilization to answer the economical, social and political issues in North America. Their efforts actually created a special pattern for integration of elements from other cultures into the main culture. By incorporating elements from Chinese culture into the European culture they carried over the Atlantic Ocean, the colonists took significant steps toward the creation of a civilization of their own. The remarkable story of the efforts to draw nourishments from Chinese culture has served as an excellent case study of the creation of a new civilization by adopting selected positive elements from other cultures and assimilating the elements into the main culture. The colonists’ efforts have provided us with an ideal way of dealing with other civilizations.
You can read the whole paper from this link.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Some cities in the United States named their cities Canton. You maybe not aware of it. However, anyone who is familiar with Chinese history knows that Canton is the American name of a Chinese city. It is called Guangzhou nowadays. How come Americans named their cities following the name of the Chinese city? Little surprise will arise for knowing the fact that Americans named their cities after British cities because of the obvious reason.
I have two possible answers in the following. According to what I heard, the cities were named by the Chinese. In the 18th century many Chinese coolies, who came to the United States by assuming manual labors in various places, did not intend to stay in the United States for good, but want home with dollars in several years. However, by no means, they could control their own destines in this land far away from home. They found that they, by no means, could cross the Pacific Ocean with the money in hands. As a result, they named the places where they had to stay Canton-the name of their home town.
However, I don't think that those Chinese coolies could give names to their adopted cities at their will. Probably, Canton was chosen by powerful American merchants, who made huge fortunes from the China Trade directly or indirectly.
It is a well-known fact that the first millionaire of the United States was made by the trade between China and the United States. If you want to know more about how the first generation of the citizens of this country made their huge fortune out of the China Trade, please make a trip to Northeast United Stats, also called New England.
I have found that it is a must for a person who is interested in learning the early trade relations between the United States and China to visit this area-a living museum on the relations between the two countries in the 18th century. I have to stop here, otherwise, some will assume that I collect commissions from the area. To be honest, I don't collect a single penny from New England. Please find more information on Canton of the United States and American founders from this link.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I have beaten up my brain to think about what I should put out with this post, a big milestone of this blog, aiming to introduce Dr. Wang's study of the founding fathers' efforts to borrow from Chinese civilization in their efforts to establish a new society and nation in North America. A good idea came from a friend, which is to introduce you the list of Dr. Wang's publications. In the following please enjoy the list:
22. Chinese Civilization and the Early Development of the United States, The Historical Review: A Biannual Journal of History and Archaeology, Vol. Indian Institute of Oriental Studies and Research, Kolkata, India. 2010
21. George Washington and the China Trade, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia) May, 2010,
20. Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia) January 2010,
19. How China Helped Shape American Culture: The Founding Fathers and Chinese Civilization, Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2010
18. Asian Dry Rice and Slaves’ Living Environment: Thomas Jefferson’s Efforts to Transplant the Rice to the United States, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia), September 2009.
17. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Civilization, Virginia Review of Asian Studies 2009.
16. Presenting Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China, CALA (Chinese American Librarians Association) Newsletter, Spring 2009.
15. George Washington and Chinese Flowers, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia) May 2009
14. With China We Trade, Asia Times (Hong Kong), March 11, 2009
13. Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Architecture, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia), January 2009, Chinese New Year Edition
12. All Posterity Will Remember My Legacy: Thomas Jefferson and a Legendary Chinese Prince, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia), September, 2008.
11. Benjamin Franklin’s Efforts to Promote Sericulture in North America, Franklin Gazette, Volume 18, No. 2, Summer 2008
10. The Founding Fathers of the United States and Chinese Porcelain Ware, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia), January, 2008.
09. Benjamin Franklin and the Great Wall of China, Franklin Gazette, Volume 18, Number 1, Spring 2008
08. The Founding Fathers of the United States and Chinese Civilization, in Trans/American, Trans/Oceanic, Trans/latioin, The 3rd International American Study Association (IASA) World Congress Proceedings, September, 2007.
07. Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization, Reset Dialogue on Civilizations, Well-known European Website (Italy).
06. Tea, the Leaves that Triggered the American War for Independence, Huaren E-Magazine (Australia), September 2007
05. Ginseng, the Herb that Helped the United States to Enter International Commerce, Huren E-Magazine (Australia), May 2007
04. Exploring Benjamin Franklin’s Moral Life, Franklin Gazette, Volume. 17, No. 1, Spring 2007
03. Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Civilization, U.S –China Relation Series, No. 2, New York, Outer Sky Press, August 2006
02. Benjamin Franklin’s Attitude toward Chinese Civilization, Social Science Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (China) , Issue 4, 2006
01. 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, The Historical Review: A Biannual Journal of History and Archaeology, Vol. XIII, 2005, pp. 1-22, Indian Institute of Oriental Studies and Research, Kolkata, India.
The paper was elected by the National Commission for Benjamin Franklin’s Tercentenary Commission and published in its Official Website since 2005 (The commission is headed by Former President George W. Bush 2000-2008). It is available on line at http://www.benfranklin300.org/etc_essays.htm
Thursday, September 23, 2010
As a history lover, usually, I don't focus my radar on current development of the relations between China and the United States. However, President Obama's comments on the relations stimulated my curiosities on the connection between history and nowadays. President Barack Obama said Thursday, September 23, 2010 that U.S.-China cooperation has helped ease global financial turmoil. He also pointed out that US-China cooperation is "a critical ingredient in a whole range of security issues around the world."
No doubt, China is important to the United States again. The fact that I used the word "again" reveals the historical fact that China was very critical to the founding of the United States. Spending 10 minutes on reading my article, With China We Trade, which published by Asian Times on line, on March 11, 2009, is worthwhile. You will learn how China's economic power, whose GDP accounted for 33% of the whole world, played a critical role for the new born United States' overcoming the financial and economic crises created by the Great Britain in its hope of forcing the newly independent former colonies to return one by one to be under the British rule.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Benjamin Franklin had a fairly good grounding in Confucius moral philosophy. Mr.jimmiraybob derived at this conclusion after he read Dr. Dave Wang's works on the founding fathers and Chinese civilization. Mr. jimmiraybod wrote the following in the Well-known Blog, American Creation:
"Whatever the founding father’s depth of understanding regarding other religions and philosophies, it appears that Franklin had a fairly good grounding in Confucius moral philosophy. Much of Franklin’s own lifelong pursuit of virtue (see the 13 virtues/Autobiography) appear to have been modeled, at least in large part, by Confucian teaching. Prompted by the earlier post I did some Googling and came across a couple of things written by Professor Dave Wang (cited by Spirits)": More is available from this link.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I have found that Dr. Wang's research published in Italin and Chinese. Thanks to Japanese scholars, now it is availalbe in Japanese.
The transmission of Chinese culture to colonial North America provides one of the most significant examples of the spread of Chinese civilization from its center to overseas, where no significant direct contact existed. The founding fathers' efforts to draw nourishments from the culture demonstrates that how they developed the American culture by their incorporating the positive elements from Chinese culture.
The remarkable story of their efforts to draw nourishments from Chinese culture has served as an intriguing case study of the creation of a new civilization by adopting selected positive elements from other cultures and assimilating the elements into the new one. The eminent colonists' efforts have provided us with an insight of how drawing nourishments from other cultures has proven to be one of the best means of the development of civilization.
With China We trade is an article written by Dr. Dave Wang in March 2009. It is a very interesting piece. Mr. Jeffrey Mead, the President of Historical Council of Hawaii introduces this article in his well-known blog. He told his readers,
"Dave has spent a considerable amount of time and effort to uncover Early
America's ties to China and the China trade, asserting that Chinese
culture and civilization influenced the Founding Fathers of the
American Republic in 1776. Presently he is in London lecturing on this
topic as part of a global lecture series. We're looking forward to
having him come to Hawaii."
In this article, Dr. Dave Wang pointes out, "President Barack Obama told the American people in his inauguration address on January 20 that the United States was experiencing one of the worst economic recessions in history. "That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our economy is badly weakened ... Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered." To encourage the nation to fight against the recession, Obama turned to draw wisdom from the founding fathers, who led the fledgling US to rise above its first economic.' Dr. Dave Wang's whole article is availabe from this link.
The famous International economics also collected Dr. Dave Wang's article. Below is the the quote from the site.
"With China We Trade
Dave Wang (AT) Mar 11, 2009
President Barack Obama, in making Beijing a priority destination for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was following advice and interest dating back to George Washington and the Founding Fathers. Even in its earliest and most fragile days as a nation, the United States turned to China as a lifeline of trade." You can access the site from this link.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Dr. Dave Wang made his presentation in the topic of Influences from the East: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Civilization at the 21st Conference of the International Association of Historians of Asia, 22-25 June 2010 in Singapore. You can find the photo on line taken by the conference reporter.
According to Dr. Wang, during the formative era of American culture, the founding fathers of the United States, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, borrowed with the wisdom of learning from foreign cultures, positive elements from Chinese civilization. Franklin regarded Confucius moral philosophy as his guideline in his efforts to cultivate his virtue. Jefferson borrowed certain Chinese architectural designs, such as the railings below the dome and surrounding the walkways. The virtual consensus among the founding generation of American statesmen was to "pursue a political destiny separate from Europe." Jefferson, who believed a building was not merely a walled structure, but a metaphor for American ideology, and the process of construction was equal to the task of building a nation, incorporated Chinese architectural style in his creation of a new style-Jeffersonian Style, which is still popular today. The founding fathers' endeavor attested the American desire to build a new culture.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
History Education Council of Hawaii, one of the best institutions in national history education, promotes Dr. Wang's research on the influences from the East: The Founding Fathers and Chinese Culture.
The council introduces Dr. Wang's paper, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Chinese Civilization. You can find more information on the council's efforts from this link.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The well-known academic journal in the field of Asian Studies, Virginia Review of Asian Studies carries Dr. Dave Wang's article in its 2010 issue.
HOW CHINA HELPED TO SHAPE AMERICAN CULTURE: THE FOUNDING FATHERS AND CHINESE CIVILIZATION
The transmission of Chinese culture to colonial North America, later to be the United States, is one of the most significant examples of the spread of Chinese civilization overseas where no significant direct contact existed. In the meantime, the efforts from the eminent colonists and the founding fathers of the United States to draw nourishment from the culture provide an excellent example of how American culture was influenced by Chinese culture.
The impact of Chinese culture on cultural, economical and political development of North America was evident. For instance, Confucius, who has been regarded as the very emblem of Chinese civilization, was very influential in colonial North America. Some eminent colonists, including Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Thomas Paine (1737-1809), John Bartram (1699-1777), and Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826), the pioneer of American geography, expressed their respecting for Confucius and his moral philosophy.
more is available from this link.
Dr. Dave Wang, a renowned scholar of China's influence on America's founding fathers, will speak about his personal experiences with East-West connections.
According to the director, the university would "hope to bring more depth of understanding to the kinds of cultural exchanges that happen in our societies, and also build a better understanding of the relationship that currently exists between the United States and China."
More information concerning this forum held by Valparaiso University is available from this link.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Dr. Wang delivered his Speech in Japan. In the following you can find the announcement on his talk in Japan:
2010年6月19日（土）AJフォーラム19 "From Confucius to the Great Wall: Chinese Cultural Influence on Colonial North America"「孔子から長城まで：独立前の北米への中国文化の影響」を行いました。
講師：Dr. Dave Wang (Manager, Queens Library at Hollis, Adjunct Professor, St. Johns University, Guest Professor, Jilin Normal University)
How is his speech viewed by Japanese professors? The following quote is from Professor Tokubumi Shibata, Kokushikan University:
I, my colleagues and students have learned from you very much.
Your lecture was not only interesting but stimulating and meaningful.
It is I who should express gratefulness. I am looking for another chance to see and talk with you. July 16, 2010
You also can enjoy the photos taken when Dr. Wang made his speech through this link.
In its May 2010 Issue, the well-known E-Magazine edited by the World Federation of Huaren, published Dr. Wang's paper, George Washington and the China Trade. You can read the opening paragraph of his paper below:
The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial Relations.----George Washington
Embodied Americans’ hope to “break through” the British blockage and revitalize “the depressed postwar economy,” the Empress of China, the first American commercial ship after its independence, left New York for Canton on February 22, 1784.
Not long before the departure of the Empress of China Washington discussed China trade and its impact on the United Stats with Ezra Stiles, the President of Yale College. During the discussion he conveyed the following ideas with Washington, “Navigation 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 and the Yang-ti-king, and with commerce will import the wisdom and literature of the East.” About a month after the Empress of China sailed to China, George Washington told Thomas Jefferson that “from trade our citizen will not be restrained.”
You can read the whole article through this link.
As an indicator of increasing popularity of Dr. Wang's study of United States founding fathers' efforts to draw nourishment from Chinese civilization, recently, the popular site Desktop has included Dr. Wang's well-known paper, Benjamin Franklin and China in its website.
A reader is able to access the paper through this link.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
On June 19, 2010, Dr. Dave Wang, invited by Kokushikan University in Tokyo, Japan, delivered his speech, From Confucius to the Great Wall: Chinese Cultural Influence on Colonial North America. It was well received. Many professors and graduate students came to the lecture. They asked so many challenging questions. The university also asked Dr. Dave Wang to write a paper for the university's magazine on Asian studies.
You can find the information on his speech from this link. The University published his speech on its website. You can access it from this link.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I have found that the information on the exhibition that Dr. Dave Wang created to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth in 2006 is still available in Northeast Times in the Internet World.
It tells its readers that The Hollis branch of Queens Borough Public Library, in Hollis, N.Y., will present a Benjamin Franklin and China exhibit through June. There you can discover how Franklin used Confucius’ moral philosophy and borrowed from Chinese technologies.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Hot news, article and information that many Internet users read around the world. This has been served as an indicator that the Founding Fathers and China is getting more and more popular.
Dr. Dave Wang 's examination of the history that the founders of the United States worked hard to obtain inspiration from Chinese civilization will give us an example on how to deal with other civilizations in the world today.
A friend of mine recently sent me the following link, showing that the well-know website, True Knowledge has added my weblog, the Founding Fathers and China to its widely used website.
This absolutely good thing. It will help our readers with their efforts to learn more from Dr. Dave Wang's unique research.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Time flies. It is almost the end of April. There are some reasons why I didn't put any new information concerning Dr. Dave Wang's study of the founding fathers and Chinese Culture in March. The first is that I have been focused on fabricating a Legendary of a Gentleman in Northeast China. He successfully made fortune out of a folktale in Northeast China.
The second is that I have been busy with making the schedule for my Asian tour in June and July. Under the invitation from some academic institutes from China, Japan and Singapore I will deliver some lectures on the founding fathers’ efforts to draw positive elements from Chinese civilization. I am delighted to see that my lectures are going to reach Asia.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
In the following I will introduce you some interesting facts related to United States Presidents and China:
01. The first US president who supported US China Trade, George Washington (1732-1799)
02. The first US President who studied Chinese Classics,--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
03. The first US President who visited China, Ulysses Grant (1822-1885). He met Li Hongzhang (1823-1901), at Tianjin in 1879.
04. The first US president who spoke Chinese, Herbert Hoover (1874-1964). There are many stories about Hoover in China. Here is one of them.
05. The first US president who fought side by side with China, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945)
06. The first US president who fought against China, Harry Truman (1884-1972)
07. The first US sitting president who visited China, Richard Nixon (1913-1994)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In its famous E-Magazine, the World Huran Federation based in Australia published in February 2010 Dr. Wang's Article, Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy. In the following please enjoy his article:
Since January 2006, Benjamin Franklin’s 300th anniversary, Dr. Dave Wang has been moving around to various places from North America, Europe to Asia to talk about Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to use the positive elements from Chinese civilization in his effort to help build a new society in North America during the formative age of the United States. In October 2006 he talked about Benjamin Franklin’s using Confucius moral philosophy to cultivate his virtue in Rome, Italy. Dr. Wang wrote a summary of his talk and had it published in the title of “Exploring Benjamin Franklin’s Moral Life” in Franklin Gazette (Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2007). Not long ago Ms. Carol Smith, his editor, transferred the letter from Dr. Mark Skousen, the author of recently published The Completed Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin and the eighth generation of Benjamin Franklin’s descendants. In the letter Dr. Skousen raised a question to Dr. Wang. Since his question might reflect other audience’s or readers’ thinking of my argument of Franklin’s using Confucius moral philosophy to cultivate his virtue, I will quote it in the following:
RE: Dave Wang's article on Franklin and his moral philosopher raises an interesting question: If indeed Franklin was so deeply influenced by Confucius, as Dr. Wang suggests, why then did he leave out any mention of Confucius in his Autobiography, especially in his list of virtues? Virtue #13 states, "Imitate Jesus and Socrates." Confucius is left out.
Please read Dr. Wang's article, Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy through this link.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Current development of the U.S.-China relations is not in my radar. However, sometimes I feel it is interesting to introduce my readers main academic trends discussed among the experts specializing in the relations.
There are basically two schools represented by Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson, the creator of the word Chimerica. He predicts that the Chimerica is headed for Divorce. According to him, "the frictions are building and will lead to divorce, conflict and potential catastrophe. (David Brooks, New York Times July 3, 2009)
In the eyes of James Fallows of The Atlantic , Ferguson's analysis is "airy-fairy academic theorizing." He agrees that China and the U.S. will dominate the 21st century, but he sees the picture of a more benign cooperation.
Monday, February 8, 2010
In Time Magazine, February 8, 2010, I have found this article titled "Learn from the Gipper: To Get back on track, Barack Obama should borrow from the playbook of Ronald Regan by Mark Halperin.
The author pointed out correctly, "Like Reagan, Obama has a respect for the broad sweep of American history." This is particularly true. Both presidents valued and inherited the good tradition of drawing nourishment from Chinese civilization started by the founding fathers of this great nation. Ronald Reagan in his 1988 State of the Union Address, quoted Laozi’s advice. In his speech on July 29, 2009 President Barack Obama cited Mencius, one of the main contributors to Confucianism.
I should add something here, otherwise, some might think that I am making a mountain out a molehill. What does it mean for us?
It tells us at least the following two things; first of all, Chinese Civilization, like West Civilization, as recorded human experience, belongs to the whole world. Secondly, to learn from Chinese civilization won't belittle a person who grows up in West Civilization, but enlarge him and glorify him. They haven't turned into Chinese yet. They remain Americans, however, they are not narrow-minded ones but the ones with wisdom of learning from others and the ones who have inherited the tradition of the founding fathers. In this point, we have enough reason to believe that the United States will continue to be a great power in the world and continue to be a lantern on the hill, showing a justified direction that other countries should follow. We know this from the presidents' respect for the tradition of the founding fathers.
Monday, February 1, 2010
President Barack Obama stated, "It was just a year after the end of our Revolution, when our nation was not much more than a set of ports and cities along the Atlantic, that an American ship named the Empress of China first sailed into Canton, looking to begin the first direct trade with China."
President Ronald Reagan pointed out, "Back in 1784, when the first American trading ship, the Empress of China, entered your waters, my country was unknown to you. We were a new republic eager to win a place in international commerce."
Chinese President Hu Jintao stated that "The Chinese people have always cherished goodwill towards the American people. In 1784, US merchant ship "Empress of China" sailed to China, opening the friendly exchanges between our two peoples."
I have found that this speech made by American Counsel-General in Mauca is interesting, therefore I present it to you below:
"Just a few months after the Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution in 1784, a three-masted, American sailing ship, newly named the Empress of China, with a crew of 34, set out from New York for Macau. The expedition was financed by a well-known American patriot, Robert Morris, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Morris's objective was to directly purchase Chinese tea, much in demand in our young nation. The Empress arrived at Macau in August 1784 with a cargo of 30 tons of wild New England ginseng root which it traded at Chinese ports for tea, cotton cloth, silk, tableware and spice. The venture was a success, and soon led to a flourishing trade after the Empress returned to New York in May 1785." You can enjoy the story how the ginseng root helped the opening of the relations between China and the Uniated States through my paper, Gingseng, the herb that Helped the United States to Enter International Commerce.
Finally, you could enjoy my paper, With China We Trade, and learn how George Washington promoted the Empress of China.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I started this blog on March 16, 2007. It is almost three years. I think that it is the time for me to answer the question, "Why do you study the topic, the founding fathers and China? "
The purpose of my study of the topic is not that I want to demonstrate that Chinese culture is superior to western culture. I don't believe that one civilization is superior to others. It may be true in certain period of time, such as China's strong dynasties and Europe during its age of the industrial revolution. I want to find out the reasons why the United States has developed into a superpower from the thirteen small colonies in such a short period of time in world history.
If we dig deep in our history we will find the significant role played by the founding father's great wisdom of drawing nourishment from Chinese civilization. I firmly believe that the tradition of drawing nourishment from other cultures, including Chinese culture, laid by the founding fathers with the wisdom and the foresight of learning from valuable recorded human experiences, contributed greatly to this. It is my purpose to study the topic. I maintain that the founding fathers wisdom still a valuable legacy which all peoples in the world today should carry down.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
In his speech on July 29, 2009 President Barack Obama cited Mencius, one of the main contributors to Confucianism. Please enjoy the paragraph from his speech in the following;
"Thousands of years ago, the great philosopher Mencius said: "A trail through the mountains, if used, becomes a path in a short time, but, if unused, becomes blocked by grass in an equally short time." Our task is to forge a path to the future that we seek for our children -- to prevent mistrust or the inevitable differences of the moment from allowing that trail to be blocked by grass; to always be mindful of the journey that we are undertaking together."
I have found that the presidents, from Richard Nixon, who normalized the relationship between China and the United States in 1972, to current President Barrack Obama, have paid attention to draw positive elements from traditional Chinese civilization. They quoted the Chinese sages in their speeches. For example,
his 1988 State of the Union Address, Ronald Reagan quoted Laozi’s advice. In the following please read the paragraph from his speech on January 25, 1988:
"And as an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, said: 'Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish; do not overdo it.'Well, these ideas were part of a larger notion, a vision, if you will, of America herself--an America not only rich in opportunity for the individual but an America, too, of strong families and vibrant neighborhoods; an America whose divergent but harmonizing communities were a reflection of a deeper community of values: the value of work, of family, of religion, and of the love of freedom that God places in each of us and whose defense He has entrusted in a special way to this nation."
It is my great pleasure to tell you that Dr. Wang is going to talk about the Influences from the East at the conference "Early American Borderlands," which will take place in St. Augustine, FL, 12-15 May 2010. In the following please find the main content of his speech.
During formative era of American culture, founding fathers of United States, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, borrowed with the wisdom of learning from foreign cultures, positive elements from Chinese civilization. Franklin regarded Confucius moral philosophy as his guideline in his efforts to cultivate his virtue. Jefferson borrowed certain Chinese architectural designs, such as the railings below the dome and surrounding the walkways.
The virtual consensus among the founding generation of American statesmen was to "pursue a political destiny separate from Europe." Jefferson, who believed a building was not merely a walled structure, but a metaphor for American ideology, and the process of construction was equal to the task of building a nation, incorporated Chinese architectural style in his creation of a new style-Jeffersonian Style, which is still popular today. The founding fathers' endeavor attested the American desire to build a new culture.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
New Year has started. It is to my delight that I have found my study of the U.S. Founding Fathers and China is gaining momentum. I often receive emails from unknown people, asking how they can get my papers. Interestingly enough, my study of Benjamin Franklin and China has become so popular that a professor has used the phrase as his talking title somewhere.
However, I think that his talking should be titled differently, for I have found the content of his talk is about how Benjamin Franklin was treated in China. It sounds better, if called Benjamin Franklin in China. It seems that Benjamin Franklin and China has become a phrase as popular as the United States and China. It serves as an indicator that my study is getting more and more popular.
Today I browsed on the web and found the poster of my Rome Presentation. It is very funny that I couldn't find it when I posted my talk, Benjamin Franklin and Confucius Moral Philosophy. Here it is. You can enjoy it in Italian style. Thank the Italian National Center for American Studies at Rome, and several other professors from various Italian prestigious universities, who sponsored my talk there.