Skip to main content

IR - One Definition A Day: Open Door

IR - One Definition A Day: Open Door Doctrine (p. 402, Ref. 1)

Used in a general sense it refers to policies that favour the encouragement of free trade. More specifically, the Open Door doctrine refers to a series of notes issued by US Secretary of State John Hay in 1899 and 1900 which invited various governments - principally Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia - to adhere to the principle of equal economic opportunity in China. 

The notes stated that while the US recognized the lead to a discriminication against US interests in respect of railway tariffs, harbour dues and other commercial matters. American foreign economic policy had for some time been seduced by the lure of the 'China market' and the Open Door policy was supported by the Committee on American Interests in China, an influential lobby group which claimed that US business interests in the potentially lucrative Chinese markets were damaded by the spheres of influence system. 

At the same time increasing interest was being shown in the market for Chinese souls by missionary activists in America. In an instance of what would be termed 'cultural imperialism', Christian missionaries implicitly confronted aspects of Chinese society - notably the treatment of women. In summary it is possible to identify a triangle of interests or constituencies: business, spiritual, and political within America during these years which favoured the Open Door doctrine and its implementation in the context of China.

The emergence of the United States as a significant actor in world politics dates from this period. The acquisition of the Philippines following the United States' victory over Spain in 1898 was a watershed in this process. The Open Door principle thus provided the rationale for US interests in the area and indicated a new role for the rapidly developing US naval power. US military revolutionary and anti-foreign forces - known as 'Boxers' - in 1900 confirmed that US interests would be advanced or protected by the use of force if necessary. 

Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the region as 'America's Achilles heel' was indicative of the new ideological framework within which American foreign policy was now being made. The strategic, economic and spiritual lure of China remained an important twentieth-century definition of the situation and it helps to explain why the victory of the communist forces in 1949 was perceived as a 'loss' of China in America.

The term Open Door is also used in the historiography of American foreign policy. Essentially associated with the writings of William Appleman Williams and in particular the provocative 1959 publication, the Tragedy of American Diplomacy, the 'Open Door thesis' argues that the search to open doors was an informal imperialism. 

The history of American foreign relations shows an inherent contradiction between self professed beliefs in self-determination and the strongly held preference that other peoples should follow the American way. 

Williams argues that the Open Door's transmogrification from a policy ideal into an ideology is the key to understanding US expansionism and the informal American empire that took off at the end of the nineteenth century (however in later works Williams sought to argue that America had been expansionist from the Founding Fathers onwards). Although he disclaimed credit, Williams founded an informal 'school' of revisionist writers, examplified by LaFeber's 1963 volume The New Empire and Parrini's 1969 work Heir to Empire.

(Source: Penguin Dictionary of IR)

YourVietBooks is a collection of books on Vietnam for Readers who are interested in Vietnam's History, Culture, Language, Economy, or Business. Most titles are in English, but some are only available in French or Vietnamese. We can provide interested parties an accurate translation of some parts of the books for your research purposes. Translations are done by YourVietnamExpert's qualified and experienced translators.

Popular posts from this blog

Travel to Vietnam - Nhatrang City and Khanh Hoa Province

Travel to Vietnam Nhatrang City - Khanh Hoa Province Original Title in Vietnamese:  Du lịch miền Trung và Tây Nguyên - Những điều cần biết: Nha Trang Khánh Hòa By Authors:  Nguyen Gia Nung, Thia Ly, Nguyen van Thanh, Khanh Hoa Tourist Ofice Journalists: Nguyen Hoang Ba, Khue Viet Truong, Dinh Hanh, Dang Minh Chau Publishers: Chính Trị Quốc Gia (National Politics) About the Book: Published in 1998, the information contained in this book is now obsolete but the book itself shows the early efforts of the provincial and central government to gather valuable information for the visitors to Vietnam. More complete information are available under wikipedia. Complementary from wikipedia Geography Nha Trang city has a metropolitan area of 251 km² and population of about 500,000 (as of 2007). It borders  Ninh Hòa  town by the north,  Cam Ranh  city by the south,  Diên Khánh town by the west and the  South China Sea  to the east. The city is located on the beautiful Nha Trang Bay,

Vietnamese Classical Literature - 19th Century

Vietnam Classical Literature is not known to the outside world as Chinese Literature. For the younger generation, the study of Vietnamese literature seem to fade away, leaving place to contemporary authors on topics on modern existentialism. In my attempt to "come back to source", I have started a collection of books on Vietnam, and classify them under various topics such as  Culture, History, Vietnam War, Politics, Biographies, Contemporary Vietnam, International Relations, Doing Business in Vietnam, Reference and Languages, Zen Buddhism, Philosophy, Art and Literature.  Here is a short picture of the literary world under the last dynasty of Vietnam: the Nguyen.  Indeed, the 19th Century was a flourishing century for literature and the arts in Vietnam. It opened up with the Kim Vân Kiều  by Nguyễn Du (1765-1820) and closed with the anonymous Song of True Patriotism (Chính Khí Ca :1900).  Three outstanding talents, Nguyen Du, Mdm Ho Xuan Huong and Nguyen Dinh Chi

Vietnamese Translators: Join our translation project for Focus series

Translation project for Focus series Hi các bạn, chúng tôi kêu gọi việc dịch sách ra tiếng việt để khuyế n khích về phong cách sống, lao động và học tập với chuỗi giá trị và văn hóa dựa trên nhân bản. Các bạn nào muốn ghi danh xin click vào đường link này: Xin cám ơn. Anh Thơ Andres Globethics Publications | Focus Series Each volume in this series focuses on a current ethical issue with global relevance and usually has a single author. Here is a selection of works calling for volunteers to translate into Vietnamese: Ethics in Politics: Why it matters more than ever and how it can make a difference (2012)  Benoît Girardin ISBN 978-2-940428-20-5 - Focus No. 5 " This book is an affirmation: Yes, ethics in politics is possible – and it pays off. It is not a naive dream. The author chooses a pragmatic approach and tests whether value orientation can make a difference in politics and h