Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


American policy in Asia has been a development of the policy of early Americans - those pioneers who crossed the seas and sometimes set up their habitations on what were to the western world the frontiers of the East. To understand the policy in its later amplification and applications it is very important to know something of the early trade and the conditions under which it was accomplished.

The term "East India Trade" itself belongs to the generation which immediately followed the close of the American Revolution. The use of the term is important. The Americans viewed Asia as a whole and called it the East India. The trade so described included all the commerce, the destination or origin of which lay either in the Indian or western oceans: Calcutta, Sumatra, Northwest and Canton. The East India Trade was merely a part of the fabric of the foreign commerce of the United States, and yet it was conducted under certain distinctive and unique conditions, political and economic, which gave rise to separate policies. The earliest American traders had to have a policy in Asia and the policy which necessity as well as wisdom dictated became the fow1dation of subsequent policies adopted by their government. Modern American policy in Asia is largely a body of precedents which have accumulated from decade to decade since the close of the War of the American Revolution. These precedents have a remarkable consistency due in large measure to the unchanging geographical and slowly changing economic and political conditions under which American trade with Asia has been conducted.