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A Different Transition: Human Mobility in China, 1600–1900

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Chapter Summary

Social science research on contemporary and historical migration provides tools to link universal understandings of migration processes with local specifics. This chapter uses the CCMR-model to quantify Chinese migration from 1600-1900. East Asia is perhaps the region of the world outside Europe most readily susceptible to such an analysis, both because of relatively accessible data and because forms of mobility were most similar to Europe. Historical research on migration in China still lags behind that on Europe, however, and even basic population numbers are still a mater of debate. The CCMR-model offers an excellent point of departure to embark upon a comparative global history of migration. The model attempts to quantify European migration with an eye towards the question of whether a significant transition in human mobility took place in nineteenth century Europe. Colonization was the most prominent type of Chinese migration, a crucial dimension of Qing expansion.

Keywords: CCMR-model; Chinese migration; colonization; human mobility



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