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The Diplomacy of NationalismThe Six Companies and China’s Policy toward Exclusion$
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Yucheng Qin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832742

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832742.001.0001

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Continuity and Change

Continuity and Change

The Chinese Huiguan Tradition Crosses the Pacific, 1850s

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter 2 Continuity and Change
Source:
The Diplomacy of Nationalism
Author(s):

Yucheng Qin

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832742.003.0002

This chapter examines how Chinese immigrants transferred their huiguan tradition to the United States during the 1850s and formed many native-place associations for self-defense and mutual aid. It begins with an overview of California’s early market economy and goes on to discuss the arrival of Chinese laborers in the state. It then considers the success of Chinese merchants in California and the xenophobia they had to endure during the period, with particular emphasis on the state legislature’s passage of a law in 1855 which levied a landing tax of $50 on each passenger ineligible for naturalized citizenship. It also looks at the structure and functions of huiguan as well as their activities in the United States, such as lobbying against American exclusionists, discouraging potential Chinese immigrants from coming to the United States, and promoting reform within the Chinese community.

Keywords:   huiguan, Chinese immigrants, United States, Chinese community, California, market economy, Chinese merchants, xenophobia, landing tax, lobbying

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