The Coolie Trade: The Traffic in Chinese Laborers to Latin America 1847-1874

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Arnold J Meagher, 2008 - Business & Economics - 486 pages
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The Coolie Trade The phenomenon of indentured labor, which followed upon the abolition of slavery, spread throughout the Western world in the latter two-thirds of the nineteenth century, appearing in such far-flung places as Mauritius, South Africa, Latin America, Australia, Malaya, and the Fiji Islands. Indentured labor, i.e., labor contracted under penal sanctions, was essentially a compulsory system of labor, which in practice differed little from slavery. Unlike slaves, indentured workers were supposed to receive a monthly wage, and their term of service, at least in principle, was for a fixed period of from five to eight years; but these provisions were not always adhered to, and in all other respects, indentured workers were no better off than the slaves they replaced. The widespread appearance of indentured labor is not adequately accounted for by either of the two major schools of thought in the controversy over the downfall of slavery. If the primary motivations for the abolition of slavery were humanitarian, then why did humanitarians look the other way when slave owners resorted to another form of forced labor in the system of indenture? If, on the other hand, the abolition of slavery was an economic consequence of the rise of industrialism and capitalism, as Eric Williams in his Capitalism and Slavery would have us believe, then why did the same factors, which rejected forced African labor, so easily accept forced Chinese and Indian labor? Did the principles of humanitarianism not also extend to the peoples of Asia? Or did some latent racism preclude "Asiatics" (as Chinese and Indians were called), or at least preclude them from being defended with the same vigor as Africans? Or, lulled into a false sense of security and accomplishment, were humanitarians taken in by the trappings of indenture the written contract, the monthly wage, and the limitation on the period of service? The latter could be an out for the humanitarian interpretation of the abolition movement, but what of the economic determinism of the Williams school? Indenture's camouflage might possibly have fooled the humanitarians, but the same could not be said of the economic forces of determinism. Perhaps the economic factors, like the humanitarian principles, did not have universal validity, but only applied to African slavery? The question must then be raised that perhaps indentured labor was an economically viable alternative both to slave and wage labor, at least in some areas of the world? And as such, was indenture a conscious hardnosed compromise between the proponents of slavery and the abolitionists? Else, how explain the fact that England, who led the fight against slavery and whose statesmen condemned slavery as the very antithesis of progress, also led the way in sanctioning indentured labor? It is the purpose of this work to present a comprehensive study of Chinese indentured labor in Latin America. In an attempt to place the coming of over 250,000 Chinese indentured laborers to the Caribbean and South America from 1847 to 1874 in some kind of historical perspective, this study traces the gradual rise and acceptance of the indentured system of labor in the Western world following upon the abolition of the slave trade and the emancipation of the slaves. Conditions both in China and in Latin America, which triggered and sustained a flow of Chinese labor for over a quarter of a century, are examined. The transoceanic passages of the Chinese laborers is chronicled. Finally, the experience of Chinese indentured labor in the Caribbean and South America is explored. This work relies heavily upon (1) the correspondence of consuls and diplomats on the China coast and in Latin America contained in the archives of the British Public Record Office and in the British Parliamentary Papers; (2) the China coast newspapers of the nineteenth century, both English and Portuguese, including the official weekly publications of the Hong Kong and M
  

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A Kirkus Discoveries Review: Meagher, Arnold J. THE COOLIE TRADE: The Traffic in Chinese Laborers to Latin America 1847-1874 (Xlibris 477pp, ISBN:978-1-4363-0943-1, March 2008). A thorough study of ... Read full review

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征引繁富,论证详实,值得参考。

Contents

THE INTERCONTINENTAL SEARCH FOR LABORERS
27
The Growth of Sugar Plantations and Demands for Labor
29
Britains Reluctant Compromise
34
The Labor Needs of Cuba Peru and Brazil
40
The Reputation of the Chinese as Laborers
48
RECRUITING LABORERS ON THE CHINA COAST
52
Nature and Causes of Chinese Emigration
58
Official Attitude of the Chinese Government
62
Disease
163
Mortality at Sea
168
MUTINIESGAMBLES FOR LIBERTY AND PLUNDER
174
Sailors and Mutineers
179
The Mutinies
185
CHINESE INDENTURED LABORERS IN LATIN AMERICA I
193
Chinese Laborers in Cuba
201
Chinese Laborers in the Andean Countries
221

Geographical Origin of Emigrants
66
Recruiting Techniques
71
Recruiting Female Emigrants
82
THE PORTS OF DEPARTURE
92
The Port of Amoy
93
Swatow and Namoa
98
The Port of Hong Kong
102
Canton and Whampoa
107
Shanghai Wusung and Ningpo
111
The Port of Macau
115
THE VOYAGE TO THE NEW WORLD
129
Immigration to Southeast Asia
130
Immigration Expands Westward
135
Windfall Profits
140
Ocean Routes
150
Outfitting a Coolie Ship
153
Embarkation
157
Discipline on Board
159
CHINESE INDENTURED LABORERS IN LATIN AMERICA II
245
Chinese Indentured Laborers in Brazil
262
Chinese Indentured Laborers in Other Latin American Countries
270
WORLD OPINION AND THE TERMINATION OF THE COOLIE TRADE
274
The Attitude of Western Governments
278
A Series of Atrocities
286
The Final Resolution
289
THE COOLIE TRADE AN ASSESSMENT
295
Legislation of the Governments of Spain and Cuba Pertaining to Chinese Immigration
301
Convention to Regulate the Engagement of Chinese Emigrants by British and French Subjects
335
American Actions Against the Coolie Trade
343
Convention and Treaty between the Republic of Peru and the Emperor of China
348
Samples of Contracts of Indenture
356
Tables 2549
371
BIBLIOGRAPHY
407
INDEX
481
Copyright

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