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The Transnational World of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Chicago, 1870s to 1940s: New Sources and Perspectives on Southern Chinese Emigration

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This article contributes to an ongoing dialogue on the causes of migration and emigration and the relationship between migrants/emigrants and their homelands by investigating historical materials dealing with the Chinese in Chicago from 1870s to 1940s. It shows that patterns of Chinese migration/ emigration overseas have endured for a long period, from pre-Qing times to today’s global capitalist expansionism. The key argument is that from the very beginning of these patterns, it has been trans-local and transnational connections that have acted as primary vehicles facilitating survival in the new land. While adjusting their lives in new environments, migrants and emigrants have made conscious efforts to maintain and renew socioeconomic and emotional ties with their homelands, thus creating transnational ethnic experiences.


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