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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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Becoming the Chief Target

Becoming the Chief Target

The Six Companies in the 1870s

(p.57) Chapter 4 Becoming the Chief Target
The Diplomacy of Nationalism

Yucheng Qin

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the accusation that the Chinese Six Companies acted as the chief labor broker for China during the late nineteenth century. Before discussing the claim that the Six Companies played a central role in importing Chinese laborers, the chapter considers the success of the Chinese merchants in the new market economy of California during the 1870s and how they were affected by the anti-Chinese movement in the state. It then explores how both the Democrats and the Republicans came up with the charge that the Six Companies had established a slavery government. It also looks at the reasons why the Six Companies was accused of being a labor broker, including false assumptions about nature of the organization, the belief that it had contracts with Chinese laborers, the notion that Chinese labor brokers were agents of the Six Companies, and its supposed agreement with the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.

Keywords:   labor brokers, Chinese Six Companies, Chinese laborers, Chinese merchants, market economy, California, anti-Chinese movement, slavery, Pacific Mail Steamship Company, China

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