Sunday, November 28, 2010

203. Should I Agree totally with Professor Niall Ferguson?

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

202. From Confucius to the Great Wall

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

201. Canton and Chinese Influence on the Early United States

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.