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Walter LaFeber : The China Market
Walter LaFeber By 1900, I think it's fair to say that the United States is the most productive society in the world, both in terms of industrial goods and in terms of farm products. American industrial exports to China alone had gone up four times between 1895 and 1900. There was one cotton textile plant in Alabama, a huge plant, 25,000 spindles. The entire product of this Cordova, Alabama textile plant, the entire product went to China. It was totally dependent on the China market. When the United States was considering what to do in China in 1899-1900, as the Chinese Revolution was beginning to appear, there was one South Carolina, politician who wrote Secretary of State John Hay and said, "You must understand that to these people," by whom he meant the textile manufacturers, the China market is everything. So China became this savior of American over productivity in the 1890s. We looked at China to save us, to be the market for this tremendous productivity that Americans were enjoying in the late 1890s.

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