United States Policy toward China: Diplomatic Public Documents, 1839-1939

United States Policy toward China: Diplomatic Public Documents, 1839-1939

United States Policy toward China: Diplomatic Public Documents, 1839-1939

United States Policy toward China: Diplomatic Public Documents, 1839-1939

Excerpt

Although nearly one hundred years have elapsed since the United States signed its first treaty with China, it is only within the past two decades that American universities and colleges have recognized the need for courses covering the relations of this country with the Far East. Even as late as 1898, when through acquisition of the Philippines the United States became an Asiatic power, there were few Americans who desired even a superficial acquaintance with the empire of the Manchus.

More recent years have altered in some degree this picture. The Pacific Ocean has now assumed the importance in American affairs that William H. Seward prophesied for it. The result has been a slow but steady increase in the number of university and college courses devoted in whole or in part to the study of eastern Asia and its relations with the United States.

A proper increase in such courses, particularly in the liberal arts colleges, has been hampered not only by lack of competently trained teachers but also by the inability of college libraries to secure adequate funds for the purchase of collateral reading with which students might supplement a textbook. It is the purpose of this volume to fill in some degree this need.

While it may be admitted readily that there is no satisfactory substitute for wide reading in any field of history, the fact remains that many liberal arts colleges are not in a position to provide their students with these admittedly desirable facilities. In such cases a volume of selected documents may serve in some degree as a substitute.

The vast store of materials from which the compiler of a volume of this character may make selections renders the problem of choice an extremely difficult and hazardous one. From the outset in the present case the compiler has been held to specific limitations of space. He has in fact, from his original selections, been forced to discard enough material to fill several volumes of this size.

The documents presented here are not presumed' to give a complete picture of American relations with China. They are designed rather to give the student ready access to important treaty texts and . . .

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