One of the notable consequences of the American Revolution was the opening of American trade with the East, commencing with the voyage of the Empress of China, departing New York’s East River virtually at the moment when Congress was ratifying the Treaty of Paris in February 1784. Independence had freed Yankee merchants from Britain’s mercantilist regulations, confining their vessels to the waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean, and triggered the country’s entrance onto a global stage.
This talk will examine the emergence of Americans onto a global stage, raising such questions as: How did early American “citizens of the world” recollect the Revolution? How did they negotiate the complications of culture in their travels around the world? And, how did they hope to defend the legitimacy of the new nation and champion the republican principles that they hoped would define an emergent national identity?
Presenter: Dane A. Morrison, PhD, Professor of Early American History, Salem State University