For years the United States followed a strict isolationist policy that shut out much of the world and hindered the nation’s relations with other international powers. Over time the nation slowly let down its walls and decided some relations were important, especially for the U.S. economy. One such relationship that British and American market experts valued the most was that between the U.S. and China. In 1899, Secretary of State - John Hay - decided to take notes on the research these market experts had done and labeled them as the “Open Door Notes.” Eventually these notes compiled into a comprehensible idea that Hay could propose to congress and President John McKinley. The idea was to open commercial trade in China to all involved nations, protect United States interests, and maintain China’s integrity as a nation. In addition to these perks, this would ensure that the U.S. could maintain a strong position in world markets. After Hay sent the proposal to each country that had interests in China- which included: Germany, Japan, Russia, France, and Great Britain – he was able to officially declare the Open Door Policy for the United States on September 6, 1899. With the policy on the table all countries, regardless of how large their piece of the market was, had independent control over the free market. Thankfully several of the countries were on board for the equal opportunity clause, even though the U.S. had very little stake in the market to begin with. Since 1899, the U.S. has adopted similar policies with miscellaneous countries and closed others, but it remains an important aspect in international commerce and relations.