Coolies and Cane: Race, Labor, and Sugar in the Age of by Moon-Ho Jung

By Moon-Ho Jung

How did millions of chinese language migrants turn out operating along African american citizens in Louisiana after the Civil conflict? With the tales of those employees, Coolies and Cane advances an interpretation of emancipation that strikes past U.S. borders and the black-white racial dynamic. Tracing American principles of Asian hard work to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean, Moon-Ho Jung argues that the racial formation of "coolies" in American tradition and legislations performed a pivotal position in reconstructing strategies of race, kingdom, and citizenship within the United States.

Jung examines how coolies seemed in significant U.S. political debates on race, exertions, and immigration among the 1830s and Eighties. He unearths that racial notions of coolies have been articulated in lots of, frequently contradictory, methods. they can mark the development of freedom; they can additionally characterize the barbarism of slavery. Welcomed and rejected as neither black nor white, coolies emerged frequently as either the salvation of the fracturing and reuniting state and the scourge of yank civilization.

Based on broad archival learn, this research is sensible of those contradictions to bare how American impulses to recruit and exclude coolies enabled and justified a sequence of historic transitions: from slave-trade legislation to racially coded immigration legislation, from a slaveholding kingdom to a "nation of immigrants," and from a continental empire of happen future to a freeing empire around the seas.

Combining political, cultural, and social historical past, Coolies and Cane is a compelling examine of race, Reconstruction, and Asian American history.

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S. laws and treaty obligations. S. ” Despite “some uncertainty” of its applicability and its original intent for “a different evil,” Reed argued for the law’s relevance. ”26 In contrast to Parker, who had distinguished between the illegality of the “coolie trade” and the legality of “voluntary emigration of Chinese adventurers,” Reed felt that coolies raised questions far more significant than coercion. S. racial, national, and imperial interests. Beyond “the practical enslavement of a distant and most peculiar race,” the prospect of mass migrations of “free” Chinese male laborers also troubled Reed.

Legation in China, which continued to witness the horrors of the trade firsthand. The “cooly trade to the West Indies,” Reed had pleaded repeatedly, was “irredeemable slavery under the form of freedom,” with results worse than the African slave trade. S. diplomats in China, it was a matter of life and death, a matter of slavery and freedom. By 1859, the coolie trade from China generated diplomatic crises that both undermined and bolstered Western imperial designs in China. Popular outrage in southern China against kidnapping and deception, sometimes boiling over into mass antiforeigner riots, drove the Chinese imperial court to request assistance from Western diplomats to suppress a trade that flagrantly violated its prohibition against all emigration.

S. officials stationed abroad cast coolie labor not only as cheaper than slavery but as a brutal form of slavery that demanded federal intervention. Proslavery ideologues heartily agreed, even as they bristled at the notion of federal meddling in the domestic institution of slavery. The advent of a new system of slavery after emancipation in the Caribbean, they argued, warranted international scorn and laid bare the duplicity of abolition. American slavery, in their view, deserved protection more than ever.

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