Robert Hart and the Chinese Maritime Customs Service

| By Richard Horowitz, Professor of History |

Richard Horowitz is a Professor of History at California State University. Trained as a historian of modern China, he subsequently developed a second specialization in the emerging field of World History. His research explores the intersection of China and processes of global integration from the 1820s to the 1920s. He teaches courses on China, Japan, World History, and historical methods.

This is an excerpt from an essay by Professor Richard S. Horowitz entitled “The Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 1854–1949: An Introduction”.

For almost a century, the Chinese Maritime Customs Service played a central role in the relationship between China and the global economy. The Customs Service was part of the Chinese Government, but it was led by foreigners. Technically, its role was limited to ensuring the accurate assessment of Customs duties (taxes on imports and exports). However, over time, it became involved in many activities including the maintenance of harbors and lighthouses, the payment of foreign loans, the preparation of a very wide range of published reports, and the provision of technical assistance to the Chinese Government. Customs officials were often involved in diplomatic discussions and served as informal intermediaries between Chinese officials and foreign representatives.

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300 Years of Eclipse Intrigue: 8 Primary Sources

Across North America people are poking holes in shoe boxes and going store to store to scoop up the last pairs of specialty “eclipse glasses” off the shelves. All of this preparation is  for the solar eclipse that will cast the moons shadow on a path across the globe Monday, August 21st. While we have … Read more

New Curriculum Correlations in Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History now connects literary concepts to primary sources located in the product. Detailed curriculum correlations align the primary source to national social science and literary standards for easy-to-see application across subjects. Primary source materials greatly enrich learning for high school students by helping them develop critical thinking skills, pursue independent … Read more

A Remarkable Review for Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History

History is not just a list of dates and events. But history taught well is vibrant, relevant, and engaging. And nothing brings history to life like primary sources that give students a close-up look at history as it unfolded.

Gale and Smithsonian have partnered to deliver an online resource that includes unique and seminal primary sources, including documents, maps, historical objects, and other materials from the museums and archives from the collections of the Smithsonian and from Gale’s leading digital collections: Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History.

Designed for use by both teachers and librarians, this resource from Gale supports core and Advanced Placement U.S. history programs. Primary source images are hand-curated by scholars at the Smithsonian – experts who have a unique knowledge of U.S. history as seen through the Smithsonian’s valuable collections and shaped for the school curriculum by an advisory board of teachers.

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

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The Woman Behind National Women’s History Month

Our understanding of history shapes the way we see the world and helps us define who we are as individuals. When Molly Murphy MacGregor was asked to define the women’s movement by one of her high school students in 1972 her search for an answer not only redefined her view of the world but helped redefine the … Read more

7 Primary Source Documents Related to Immigration and the ACLU

Since its inception the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has taken part in some of the most contentious legal battles in American history. The ACLU has once again become a central figure in a contentious legal battle following their objections to the recent Executive Order restricting immigration from 7 countries. The ACLU has a long history of fighting restrictions on immigration they deem in violation of civil liberties. The documents below found in the American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 are several examples of the ACLU’s past involvement in issues surrounding immigration.

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Marching into History

By Debra Kirby

I have always admired the brave men and women who, throughout history, have taken a stand for their rights and the rights of others, often at significant inconvenience and sometimes risking their lives. Saturday, January 21, I had a chance to be part of history by participating in the Woman’s March on Washington. Fortunately, the inconvenience for me was not significant, nor was there any risk to my life. It was an exhilarating experience to be among so many people who took the time and traveled from sometimes great distances – including other countries – to stand up for the rights of women, minorities, and the environment. Here are a few of my observations on the experience:

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Evolution of Flight: A Recommended Resource

From the hot air balloons of yesteryear to the commercial airline carriers of today, mankind has always been fascinated by the concept of flight. Public interest in aviation peaked during the twentieth century, leading to rapid development of its corresponding technology. From this period of fervent focus emerged the celebrated pioneers of aviation:  Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and many others, who forever changed the way humans interact with the world. Their theories, feats, and record-breaking efforts are all captured in Evolution of Flight, 1784-1991.

 

Drawing from the treasure trove of images, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, government documents, and other primary source materials available within the National Air and Space Museum Archives, the National Air and Space Museum Library, the Smithsonian Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, this newest collection in the Smithsonian Collections Online series offers unparalleled insight into the era of aviation and its lasting impact on today’s society with content that spans more than two centuries, 1784-1991.

 

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources:

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Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History: “A Treasure Trove”

History is not just a list of dates and events. But history taught well is vibrant, relevant, and engaging. And nothing brings history to life like primary sources that give students a close-up look at history as it unfolded.

Gale and Smithsonian have partnered to deliver an online resource that includes unique and seminal primary sources, including documents, maps, historical objects, and other materials from the museums and archives from the collections of the Smithsonian and from Gale’s leading digital collections: Smithsonian Primary Sources in U.S. History.

Designed for use by both teachers and librarians, this resource from Gale supports core and Advanced Placement U.S. history programs. Primary source images are hand-curated by scholars at the Smithsonian – experts who have a unique knowledge of U.S. history as seen through the Smithsonian’s valuable collections and shaped for the school curriculum by an advisory board of teachers.

See how a reviewer feels about the collection of Primary Sources.

Read more

How Well Do You Know Your Presidents?

By Traci Cothran

Who served as both Vice President and President of the United States, without having earned a single vote in the election?

Gerald Ford, that’s who!

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Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Last week I traveled to Grand Rapids, MI, and visited The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. During this 2016 election season, it was a breath of fresh air to wander amidst all the exhibition reminders of Ford’s “character,” “integrity,” “teamwork,” and how he “led by example” – detailing his life from his days as a Boy Scout, to college football player, to Navy man, and into his long career in government.

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