China of the American Imagination

John R. Haddad

in Narratives of Free Trade

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083534
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209275 | DOI:
China of the American Imagination

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The China Trade inspired the imagination of many Americans in the decades after the Revolutionary War; yet, within the contemporary field of American Studies and literature, China's influence on the early United States seems underappreciated. This chapter attempts to remedy this by exploring, through texts and images, the impact on the American imagination of Chinese tea, ceramics, and museum exhibitions. It traces a change in American attitudes toward China as admiration turned to cruel ridicule following China's humiliating defeat in the Opium War.

Keywords: China; United States; material culture; tea; ceramics; museums; exhibitions; Opium War; national stereotypes

Chapter.  10941 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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