What Was the Purpose of the "Open Door Policy"?

purpose-open-door-policy Credit: William Murphy/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The purpose of the Open Door Policy was to give all nations equal rights when trading with China, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It was initiated by the United States and aimed to both enhance global trade and to promote China's welfare and sovereignty.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that the treaty was designed to prevent discrimination during international trade and to provide a free-market style of trade to benefit all nations involved and prevent any country from monopolizing Chinese trade. It also sought to prevent internal conflicts in China by allowing the country to prosper financially through collection of tariffs on goods sold in the country.The policy was originally drafted by Secretary of State John Hay in 1899 due to the widespread interest in trade with China. Overall, the Open Door Policy shaped the way the United States dealt with foreign policy in the Far East for several decades after its creation.