Week 5

This week in class we discussed the reforms and immigration in China because it was time for some change. During this period, China was going through a ton of reforms since China’s leaders were now acknowledging the existence of a much larger world, and the Office of Management of Business of All Foreign Countries(Zongli Yamen) was created to negotiate with foreigners. With the growing population in China in the 1870s, there was a thirst for land because of its scarcity in the mainland. Some moved out to Southeast Asia because it was cheap, and they went into rice farming or fishing. Many Chinese people moved to the United States because of the Gold Rush in the west, and they moved to San Francisco(Jinshan). The issue with the settlement was that many immigrants wanted to work for only a short time and then move back to China; because of this, they were not seen as actual immigrants. The Chinese immigrants did not benefit white workers because they were willing to work for lower wages. Due to this, it lowered wages for white workers as well. The reasoning behind the immigration of Chinese people was that there were “tong wars” between different Chinese groups, and the crowding of people in Chinatowns was inhumane. There was very little housing and loneliness for thousands of men, which led to fights, sexual frustration, and diseases.  

I had exploration pack two, which goes into more depth about migration to Southeast Asia. In contrast, the Chinese confronted distinct obstacles and chances than those who immigrated to the United States. 20 million people from mainland China moved to Southeast Asia across the south seas, known as Nanyang or “Southern Ocean.” When they reached the new land they were called new guests(sinkeh) or, even worse, cheena gerk, which means “low-class Chinaman.” The Peranakan influence was also in this area because they met Dutch and British inheritance with the sinkeh that arrived in the 19th and 20th centuries. This was because they sent their children to English or Dutch-speaking schools and used western cutlery instead of chopsticks. It also influenced the material culture in Southeast Asia, such as food, clothing, and housing. It is not self-evident, but most of Southeast Asia’s clothing, food, and architecture all have Peranakan roots. 

Image of the population in China from the late 16th century to the mid-19th century








One response to “Week 5”

  1. Dylan A Blanco Avatar
    Dylan A Blanco

    I also chose exploration pack 2 and I enjoyed the graph you used to help represent the population growth. it helps push the information you have already presented by giving a visual.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *