Britain in China: Community, Culture and Colonialism, 1900-49

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Using archival materials newly available in China and records in Britain and the US, Robert Bickers paints a detailed portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China." Bickers argues that the British presence in China was dominated by urban settlers whose primary allegiance lay not with any grand imperial design but with their own communities and precarious livelihoods. This brought them into growing conflict with the Chinese population and the British ...
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Overview

Using archival materials newly available in China and records in Britain and the US, Robert Bickers paints a detailed portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China." Bickers argues that the British presence in China was dominated by urban settlers whose primary allegiance lay not with any grand imperial design but with their own communities and precarious livelihoods. This brought them into growing conflict with the Chinese population and the British imperial government. Bickers goes on to examine how the British state and its allies brought an end to the reign of freelance, settler imperialism on the China coast. At the same time, other British sectors, missionary and business, renegotiated their own relationship with their Chinese markets and the Chinese state and distanced themselves from the settler British.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers an account of the cultural and social, political, and economic history of British settlements in China, showing how treaty ports and international settlements in China in the late 19th and early 20th centuries operated as "semi-colonies," imperial enclaves acting as the drivers of the system of informal empire in the Far East. Discussion centers on the strategies of expatriate companies and missionary societies, municipal councils, and the military and policing guardians of empire. Includes b&w historical photos. Distributed by St. Martin's Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719046971
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bickers is Lecturer in History at the University of Bristol.

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Table of Contents

List of tables
List of illustrations
General introduction
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 China in Britain, and in the British imagination 22
3 Britons in China: a settler society 67
4 Dismantling informal empire 115
5 Staying on: the localisation of British activity in China 170
6 After colonialism 219
Select bibliography 248
Index 269
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