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Coming Home to a Foreign CountryXiamen and Returned Overseas Chinese, 1843-1938$
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Soon Keong Ong

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501756184

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501756184.001.0001

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Defining Xiamen

Defining Xiamen

Trade and Migration before the Opium War (1839–1842)

(p.17) 1 Defining Xiamen
Coming Home to a Foreign Country

Soon Keong Ong

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses the history and development of Xiamen. It presents a general overview of trade and migration through the port of Xiamen from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, culminating with its opening as a treaty port after the Opium War. The chapter then shifts to examine the interplay between trade and migration in South Fujian and the migration routes of the Fujianese before the mid-1800s. As the chapter shows, Xiamen and the Fujianese were well positioned to take advantage of the conditions and mechanisms that the treaty port era offered. The chapter then unveils how the continuation and expansion of migration through Xiamen deeply affected the port city's commercial activities and determined its development in ways that were unforeseen by the British.

Keywords:   Xiamen, Chinese history, development, treaty port, Opium War, trade, migration routes, South Fujian, Fujianese

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