Open Door

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Open Door

Open Door, maintenance in a certain territory of equal commercial and industrial rights for the nationals of all countries. As a specific policy, it was first advanced by the United States, but it was rooted in the typical most-favored-nation clause of the treaties concluded with China after the Opium War (1839–42). Although the Open Door is generally associated with China, it also received recognition at the Berlin Conference of 1885, which declared that no power could levy preferential duties in the Congo basin.

Development of the Policy

In the 1890s, the United States had become an East Asian power through the acquisition of the Philippine Islands, and when the partition of China by the European powers and Japan seemed imminent, the U.S. government strove to preserve equal industrial and commercial privileges. Secretary of State John Hay sent (1899) notes to the major powers (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia), asking them to declare formally that they would uphold Chinese territorial and administrative integrity and would not interfere with the free use of the treaty ports within their spheres of influence in China. In replying, each nation evaded Hay's request, taking the position that it could not commit itself until the other nations had complied. However, in Mar., 1900, Hay announced that the powers had granted consent to his request. Only Japan challenged this declaration, and the Open Door became an international policy. After the Boxer Uprising, Hay dispatched (1900) a similar circular note.

Violations and the End of the Policy

Two years later, the U.S. government protested that Russian encroachment in Manchuria was a violation of the Open Door. When Japanese replaced Russian influence in S Manchuria after the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) the Japanese and U.S. governments pledged to maintain a policy of equality in Manchuria. In finance, American efforts to preserve the Open Door led (1909) to the formation of an international banking consortium through which all Chinese railroad loans would be made. The United States withdrew in 1913, asserting that the consortium violated Chinese administrative integrity.

The next violation of the Open Door policy occurred in 1915, when Japan presented to China the Twenty-one Demands. That incident led (1917) to another exchange of notes between the United States and Japan in which there were renewed assurances that the Open Door would be respected, but that the United States recognized Japan's special interests in China. The Open Door principle had been further weakened by a series of secret treaties (1917) between Japan and the Allies, which promised Japan the German possessions in China.

The increasing disregard of the Open Door was a main reason for the convocation of the Conference on the Limitation of Armament (1921–22) in Washington, D.C. As a result of the conference, the Nine-Power Treaty, guaranteeing the integrity and independence of China and reaffirming the Open Door principle, was signed by the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, China, and Belgium. With the Japanese seizure (1931) of Manchuria and the creation of Manchukuo, however, the Open Door received its greatest reverse.

After World War II, China's position as a sovereign state was recognized. No nation, therefore, had the right or capacity to carve out spheres of influence or to attempt to exclude other states from trade, and the Open Door policy ceased to exist.

Bibliography

See G. Z. Wood, The Genesis of the Open Door Policy in China (1921); M. J. Bau, The Open Door Doctrine in Relation to China (1923); C. S. Campbell, Special Business Interests and the Open Door Policy (1951); W. L. Tung, China and the Foreign Powers (1970).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Open Door
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.