Saturday, March 17, 2012
253. The Influence of Trade with China during the Early Period
Encouraged by the success of the China Trade, George Washington expressed his feeling thus: "the Maritime Genius of this Country is now steering our vessels in every ocean ..." In September 1796, he told the American people that the US "will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities of which it brings from abroad" - namely through trade with China. In the same year, he invited Thomas Handasyd Perkins, the pioneer of China trade in Boston, to Mount Vernon to drink tea and to spend the night there.
The China trade helped change America's political map. It helped the US to move its political center from Virginia to New York City and New England. Hamilton decided to build the national bank in New York. The political center of the United States would be in New York, the commercial and financial center of the new nation.
The significance of the China trade in the early development of the US was crucial to Washington's thinking about American foreign policy. On September 1796, Washington in his Farewell Address told his fellow American citizens that "the great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations".