Saturday, January 10, 2015
The colonists in North America wanted to diminish their reliance on taxed imports and ultimately their need for other goods controlled by England. Their pursuing self-supply of Chinese porcelain ware became a powerful call for the patriotic support of American economic independence. Some colonists started attempts to establish a porcelain manufactory company inPhiladelphia in 1769.
They established the factory on Prime Street “near the present day navy yard, intended to make china at a savings of 15,000 £. Benjamin Franklin, who was in London at the time, showed his happiness seeing the achievement made by his countrymen. He said, “I am pleased to find so good progress made in the China Manufactory. I wish it Success most heartily.”
The American China Manufactory became noted for the porcelain ware it produced. More importantly, it succeeded in cultivating patriotic support. It set in motion “an intense competition between the young American factory and its English contemporaries.” Although the porcelain factory lasted to 1772, it challenged Britain’s monopoly of the Chinese products and ultimately contributed to the winning of American independence. Benjamin Rush stated clearly, “There is but one expedient left whereby we can save our sinking country, and that is by encouraging American manufactures. Unless we do this, we shall be undone forever.”
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Readers of this blog and Dr. Dave Wang’s publications have learned the hard facts of Chinese cultural influence in colonial North America. With this post I want to demonstrate specifically where you could find Chinese cultural elements in colonial North America.
Actually, there are many places one can find them, however you will be amazed that one can find Chinese cultural components in the three homes of the founders. The first one is Benjamin Franklin’s printing shop in Philadelphia. It was in his printing shop that Franklin published Confucius moral teachings in his widely circulated Pennsylvania Gazette . The Second is Thomas Jefferson’s main building in Monticello. Jefferson installed Chinese railing on the top of this building. The third is James Madison’s home. He hung Confucius portrait together with some Western saints in his home. In this library he had a copy of Ta-Hyoh (Daxue, GreatLearning) one of the four classics of Confucianism.
From the Chinese civilization in the founders' homes you will further understand the founders' efforts to obtain insights from Chinese civilization in their efforts to build a great nation in North America.