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.

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