Saturday, June 27, 2015

400. Dr. Dave Wang's Main Publications Since September 2013

Dr.Dave Wang has delivered lectures and speeches on the topic of US founders and Chinese civilization at universities in Lisbon, London, New York, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.  Dr. Wang is the author of over thirty articles on the influence of traditional Chinese civilization on the early development of the United States. Below you will find his recent publications in the subject.  You can find his other publications in Post 300 and Post 200

33. Defending the American Colonies: Benjamin Franklin’s Great Wall, 1756-1776,  VirginiaReview of Asian Studies, Volume 17, 2015
32. Confucius in the American Founding: The Founders’ Efforts to Use Confucian Moral Philosophy in Their Endeavor to Create New Virtue for the New Nation, Virginia Review of Asian Studies, Volume 16, 2014 

31. Benjamin Franklin: Chinese Yu Yunwen in North America: Franklin’s Personal Experiences in the Front and the Formation of His Notion of the Great Walls”  HuarenE-Magazine (Australia) September, 2013


Sunday, June 21, 2015

399. Dr. Dave Wang's Papers Have Been Adopted As Teaching Materials

My readers should know that Dr. Dave Wang’s papers have walked into University classrooms and been adopted as graduate and undergraduate reading assignments by some universities in the United States and abroad as well. With this post I introduce you that the Seminar of USC (The University of South California) U.S.-China Institute has included Dr. Dave Wang’s papers in the reading assignments.  Ms. EmilyIsler, who took the seminar on US and China relations, expressed that “ I really enjoyed reading about the US founding fathers and the Chinese influence on their architecture, economic policies, and first political affairs. Clay, did you plan our lecture based upon this reading? I feel like everything you talked about was mentioned in the first article titled The US Founders and China. In particular I didn't realize that our major canals here in the US were based upon Chinese canals. I am from Cleveland but I had no idea the Erie Canal was influenced by earlier Chinese canals.” Ms. Isler teaches at Rolling Hills Prep, 10th grade World History, 10th grade AP European She was excited to learn more about US/Chinese relations and she really enjoyed 2011 fall seminar.

Friday, June 19, 2015

398. A Hong Kong University and Dr. Dave Wang's Works

The Hong Kong University of Science And Technology (香港科技大學) is an International college located in Hong Kong. At The Hong Kong University Of Science And Technology, students can major in a broad variety of subjects and earn undergraduate as well as post-graduate degrees.
I have found that Dr. Dave Wang's works on Confucius and American founding has been discussed in its class room and works in Asia. The using of his work by students or faculty members from this university serves as another indicator that Dr. Wang's research on Chinese culture on American founders has its impact on contemporary university campus.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

397. David Weir: Confucian thought Irrelevant to American Revolution

For David Weir, from the Cooper Union for the Advancement ofScience and Art, “Confucian thought ultimately proved irrelevant to the revolutionary shift from colony to nation that the founding fathers accomplished. “ (American Orient: Imaging the East from the Colonial Era Through the Twentieth Century, p.15.) If we agree with him, we have to agree that Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison were irrelevant to the revolutionary shift from the colony to nation. The above founding fathers had studied Confucian ideas and applied them to solve the moral and educational issues in the process of the formation of the new nation. Let see what Weir claimed in his book, All three (Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams) “ were aware if the political import of Confucius, who entered into American political thought mainly by way of the great European philosophers that the nation’s founders admired and respected: Leibniz, Condorecet, Voltaire, and others.” (ibid. p.15) For your convenience I put the picture of the page on the right. 

Clearly, Mr. Weir contradicted himself on the same page in the same book he wrote in 2011.  He agreed that Confucius ideas had an impact on the founders before the founding of the United States on one hand, but, on the other hand, he claimed,  in the founding era, the Confucius impact on the founders suddenly disappeared. The history of the United States founding was cut. The problem with his conclusion was that the founding father didn’t die before the founding of the United States. Some of them lived long after the founding of the nation. Benjamin Franklin passed away in 1790. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away in 1826, fifty years after 1776. Further more, their influence on the United States never die out. Their efforts to borrow positive elements from other cultures always inspire the people of the United States. As for more information on the founding of the United States and Confucius, please read Dr. Dave Wang’s essay, Confucius in American Founding (Virginia Review of Asian Studies, volume 16 (2014) 11-26).

Thursday, June 11, 2015


During the American Colonial Era, Founding Father Benjamin Franklin borrowed many positive elements from Chinese civilization to spur the development of his fledging nation. For instance, Franklin attempted to spread Confucian moral philosophy as well as Chinese silktechnology among the colonies. However, it may come as a surprise that Franklin also drew inspiration from Chinese defensive strategy. 

Franklin turned to Chinese military strategy immediately following the beginning of the American Revolution, in which the thirteen colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The newly-formed United States faced tremendous military pressure, for Great Britain had mobilized its considerable military to suppress the rebellion. The Founding Fathers were faced with the seemingly impossible task of protecting the nascent nation.
 During this time, Franklin suggested that the colonies build a great wall, similar to that of China. This was not the first time Franklin expressed his desire to model the colonies’ defensive strategy after the way the Chinese defended their territory. In fact, sixteen years before the start of the American Revolution, Franklin suggested before the British Parliament that the best means to protect the colonists’ interests was to construct a great wall like that of China.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

395. 美籍华人王小良博士在《孔子与美国建国》一文

I have found from the Internet that Dr. Dave Wang's paper, Confucius in American Founding, has been translated into Chinese. In the following you can read the chapters of Dr. Wang's paper in Chinese. 


在美国建国的过程中,其缔造者们都把源自孔子道德哲学的价值观,付诸实践。他们仰慕儒家思想,这从《美国宪法》和《权利法案》之父詹姆斯·麦迪逊(1751—1736年)的住所,可见一斑,他的弗吉利亚的家中悬挂着孔子画像。……《常识》的作者托马斯·潘恩(1737—1809年)把这位中国圣人与耶稣……等量齐观。……美国精神的创造者本杰明·富兰克林(1706—1790年)庄严声明,儒家的道德哲学对于全人类都是有价值的(换言之,儒家的道德哲学是人类的“普世价值”——引者。原文:Confucian moral philosophy was valuable to the human being in general.)。《独立宣言》的主要作者,托马斯·杰斐逊(1743—1826年) 在其1801年(第三任美国总统)就职演讲中,促进孔子的道德原则;在其个人的书中,他放置了一首有关孔子推崇圣王(周公)的诗。其他美国的缔造者们,如约翰·亚当斯(1735—1826年。第二任美国总统)和本杰明·拉什(1746—1813年。科学家)都是高度赞扬孔子,犹如他为建设这个新国家预备了蓝图。所有这些美国的缔造者们,皆敦促这个新国家的公民们,躬行儒家道德哲学中的积极成分,按照孔子的示范涵养和提升国民品行。[40]

Dr. Dave Wang's article was translated by scholar from England. Below is his brief biography:


394. Benjamin Franklin, Religion and Virtue

Readers of my blog have learned that Confucian moral philosophy helped Franklin shape his virtues. According to Dr.Dave Wang's research, we know that Franklin set up his goals to make him a better person after he read Confucius works in 1726. Franklin believed that his successes in life were because of his own efforts to cultivate his virtue.
In 1738, barely a year after Franklin published in his Pennsylvania Gazette, works of Confucius Moral philosophy, he told hisfather,   "I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did."  (Benjamin Franklin, letter to his father, 1738)

393. Benjamin Franklin and Chinese Food

It might be difficult to identify who was the first American that had experiences with Chinese food. However, the current record shows that Benjamin Franklin mentioned Chinese food. Franklin was the first American introduced Tofu to North America,  the well-known Chinese food. Tofu originated in China of the Han dynasty  over 2,000 years ago. It was introduced to North America about 245 years ago.

In a letter to John Bartram, dated January 11, 1770, Franklin said, "Father Navarrete's account of the universal use of a cheese made of them in China, which so excited my curiosity, that I caused enquiry to be made of Mr. [James] Flint, who lived many years there, in what manner the cheese was made, and I send you his answer. I have since learned that some runnings of salt (I suppose runnet) is put into water, when the meal is in it, to turn it to curds. [...] These ... are what the Tau-fu is made of.".