Sunday, June 2, 2013
313. Ginseng and the Founders' Efforts to Maintain Independence
One day in the mid-seventeenth century some Chinese soldiers of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) started to build a Willow Palisade along the entire south boundary of Northeast China. The Willow Palisade was built under the order of Emperor Shunzhi (1644-1661) to discourage Ginseng diggers from other parts of China to search for Ginseng in the region. Emperor Shunzhi and his soldiers never thought that their action had an impact on the effort of the United States to win a place in international trade.
After seven years of severe fighting against the British Empire, the colonists in the North America won their formal independence. In 1783 the British signed the Treaty of Pariswith the colonial representatives. The colonists celebrated and enjoyed their hard won victory. However, the hilarious feeling of victory was quickly shadowed by economic difficulties. The economy did not go along with the political victory, but marched towards the opposite direction.
Depression and inflation seemed to grab the happy feeling away from the founding fathers and the fighters of the Revolutionary War. Britain, which had just lost the war, was trying hard to win the colonists over through economic coercion. All old trade routes were forced to close to the Americans. Britain adopted the strategy of seeking to put enough economic pressure on individual states to force them, one by one, to “return to Mother England.” Please read Dr. Dave Wang's Paper, Ginseng: the Herb that Helped the United States to Enter International Commerce