Saturday, April 14, 2012

256. The Origins of Chinese Cultural Influences on the US

Walking from the east entrance up the steps to the SupremeCourt building, one can see a sculpture of Confucius along with Moses and Solon. The sculpture may serve as an indicator of the impact of Confucius in the formation of American culture. Indeed, Chinese cultural and technological influence on what would become the United States started even before this country was born.

Chinese culture became important when some of the US founders looked for resources that could be mobilized in their efforts to build a new nation after declaring independence from Great Britain. Chinese contributions to early America were varied. In their efforts to cultivate personal virtue and to educate the younger generations to be virtuous, several founding fathers sought guidance from Confucian philosophy. The founders also adopted Chinese inventions to facilitate the social and economic development of colonies and introduced elements of Chinese agriculture to North America.

 -------The US Founders and China: The Origins of Chinese Cultural Influences on the United States, in Education about Asia, Vol. 16, No. 2 Fall 2011.

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