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Consul, Merchant, and American Citizen

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Item Summary

Title: Consul, Merchant, and American Citizen
Authors: Hackler, Rhoda
Advisor: Johnson, Donald
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: On January 30, 1786, Secretary of State John Jay wrote United States Counsel Samuel Shaw on the eve on the latter’s departure for his new post at Canton, China, referring to Shaw’s three roles while abroad, those of consul, merchant, and American citizen. From the beginning of the organization of a United States Consular Service, American representatives abroad functioned in this triple capacity and were usually drawn from the commercial community. The first change in this method of appointment came in the middle of the 19th century. The Act of August 18, 1856, attempted to organize the Service into a professional system and to separate the role of consul from that of merchant by providing salaries for a number of officers serving the United States in diplomatic and consular posts, allowing others to retain “fees” collected and prohibiting these men so compensated from engaging in trade. In 1850’s the merchant-counsel was gradually replaced at most posts by a political-consul, an American citizen from any one of a variety of different professions who was sponsored by the political party then in power in the United States. A second change did not come until almost the end of the 19th century when the Foreign Service of the United States began to evolve as a professional, largely non-political, career service.
Pages/Duration: 79 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/33807
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for History



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