Download Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americas from the by Elliott Young PDF

By Elliott Young

During this sweeping paintings, Elliott younger lines the pivotal century of chinese language migration to the Americas, starting with the 1840s at the beginning of the "coolie" exchange and finishing in the course of international warfare II. The chinese language got here as employees, streaming throughout borders legally and illegally and dealing jobs few others sought after, from developing railroads in California to harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. although countries have been inbuilt half from their hard work, younger argues that they have been the 1st crew of migrants to undergo the stigma of being "alien." Being neither black nor white and latest outdoor of the 19th century Western norms of sexuality and gender, the chinese language have been seen as everlasting outsiders, culturally and legally. It was once their presence that hastened the construction of immigration bureaucracies charged with seize, imprisonment, and deportation.

This e-book is the 1st transnational heritage of chinese language migration to the Americas. by means of concentrating on the fluidity and complexity of border crossings during the Western Hemisphere, younger indicates us how chinese language migrants built substitute groups and identities via those transnational pathways.

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Extra info for Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americas from the Coolie Era through World War II

Example text

Although I highlight the anti-Chinese movement in Mexico, I also put this movement in the context of Sinophobia throughout Greater North America. In spite of the hostile environment in the Americas, Chinese migrants survived by shuttling through transnational networks developed by merchants, secret societies, political parties, and hometown associations, which allowed them to move across national boundaries, find jobs, and establish communities in strange new places. The rise of a nationalist movement in China at the beginning of the twentieth century briefly united overseas Chinese, but divisions within that movement also led to bitter fights within this diasporic community in the 1920s.

13 Mortality on the passage from China to the Americas during the coolie trade rivals that of the infamous Middle Passage of African slaves. Occasionally it surpassed 70 percent. In addition to the thousands of Chinese killed in mutinies, many more died from disease. 14 About the same percentage of the Chinese who set out from China for Latin America during the period of the coolie trade (1847–74) died at sea (12%). However, if one compares roughly the same time period in the nineteenth century, the death rate for Chinese to Cuba and Peru (12%) was almost twice as high as for enslaved Africans to the Americas (7%).

Part 1, “Coolies and Contracts, 1847–1874,” examines debates over the coolie trade and the difficulty of establishing national sovereignty on the high seas and in Chinese port cities. While European, American, and Asian governments fought with each other to regulate and control Chinese labor, the emigrants pushed for their own freedom through violent mutinies. For the advocates of the coolie trade the contract was a symbol of an individual’s freedom to enter into an agreement with others, while for its critics the contract was a mechanism of bondage.

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