Skip to content
AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED | EXPERT ADVICE
AUTHENTICITY GUARANTEED
Travel

Imperial Mechanisms

Imperial Mechanisms Shapero Rare Books

The rapid acceleration of China's economy - still on course to overtake the U.S. by 2028 - has prompted us to look back at the initial impressions made of China, and its workforce, when first engaged by English traders.  The...

Imperial Mechanisms Shapero Rare Books

The rapid acceleration of China's economy - still on course to overtake the U.S. by 2028 - has prompted us to look back at the initial impressions made of China, and its workforce, when first engaged by English traders.  The Reverend G. N. Wright, a Protestant missionary writing in 1843, describes the working populace thus: 'Each subject is an automatic piece of imperial mechanism, to which the director assigns a specific duty; and by the performance, such excellence is attained, that Chinese industrial productions have reached the climax of human perfection.'  Even then, the superior ability of China's economy is clear; the potential is unlimited in a people so assured of their product and so diligent in their efforts to increase production.  Such self-belief is apparently an inherent birth rite.  Staunton highlights the fact that the majority of European trade was considered surplus, a new burden on an otherwise flawless Chinese market:

Sir George Leonard STAUNTON

An authentic account of an embassy

London, 1797

£15,000

'Tho the natives, immediately engaged with foreigners in mercantile transactions, have been very considerable gainers by such an intercourse, the body of the people is taught to attribute the admission of it, entirely, to motives of humanity and benevolence towards other nations standing in need of the produce of China, agreeably to precepts inculcated by the great moralists of the Empire; and not to any occasion or desire of driving reciprocal advantage from it.'

Discover more: Far East, Economics, Politics, History

Previous article Caring for Antique Books

Leave a comment

* Required fields

Enjoy reading our blog?

Sign up for our newsletter and stay in the know!

About Us

About Us

Shapero Rare Books is an internationally renowned dealer in London, specialising in antiquarian & rare books and works on paper, with particular expertise in fine illustrated books from the 15th to the 20th century, travel & voyages, natural history, modern firsts, rare children’s books, guidebooks, Hebraica & Judaica, Eastern European, and Islamica

Shop online and enjoy free international shipping now.

BROWSE OUR SHELVES

read more

Your cart is empty

Continue shopping

Basket