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China's 1905 Anti-American Boycott: A Nationalist Myth?

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

On 10 May 1905, the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce called a boycott against American goods and services. Notices of compliance soon began arriving at Shanghai from guilds in China's major cities and as far away as the Straits Settlement and San Francisco. Aroused by patriotic passion, students and workers soon joined the movement, organizing boycott meetings and demonstrations, circulating anti-American placards, and editorializing in China's emerging liberal press. Chinese brokers canceled orders for American products, shop owners destroyed stocks of American merchandise, laborers left American firms, domestics walked out of American homes, and dockhands refused to unload American goods. For several months, the boycott spread in range and depth of commitment until rigorous suppression by central and local authorities under pressure from the foreign Powers brought the movement to an end.


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