Robert Hart and the Chinese Maritime Customs Service

| By Richard Horowitz, Professor of History |

Richard Horowitz is a Professor of History at California State University. Trained as a historian of modern China, he subsequently developed a second specialization in the emerging field of World History. His research explores the intersection of China and processes of global integration from the 1820s to the 1920s. He teaches courses on China, Japan, World History, and historical methods.

This is an excerpt from an essay by Professor Richard S. Horowitz entitled “The Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 1854–1949: An Introduction”.

For almost a century, the Chinese Maritime Customs Service played a central role in the relationship between China and the global economy. The Customs Service was part of the Chinese Government, but it was led by foreigners. Technically, its role was limited to ensuring the accurate assessment of Customs duties (taxes on imports and exports). However, over time, it became involved in many activities including the maintenance of harbors and lighthouses, the payment of foreign loans, the preparation of a very wide range of published reports, and the provision of technical assistance to the Chinese Government. Customs officials were often involved in diplomatic discussions and served as informal intermediaries between Chinese officials and foreign representatives.

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China from Empire to Republic is a “Preferred Tool”

Provide researchers with unique, firsthand accounts of the cultural interactions and conflicts that gave rise to today’s modern China with China from Empire to Republic:  Missionary, Sinology and Literary Periodicals 1817-1949 Archive. These periodicals illuminate the thoughts of Chinese intellectuals and Westerners, mainly missionaries, about China – and, more importantly, their efforts to understand and study Chinese history, culture, language, and literature.

Read the very first review on this enticing archive:

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Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the Man Who Brought China from Empire to Republic

By Yang Liping Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙aka. 孫中山 or 孫文; 1866–1925) is a Chinese revolutionary and the leader of a series of armed uprisings that led to the downfall of China’s last imperial dynasty (Qing) in 1911 and the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.   November 12 this year marks his 150th birthday. A … Read more

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with Gale Primary Sources

Posted on February 8, 2015

By Masaki Morisawa

CNY1

“… the blessed Chinese New Year has come round, the Post Office has ceased to function, the office boy has burned his fingers lighting fire crackers and the door between my office and the Depot is locked; the doorkeeper has gone home with the key ….”

So writes John Darroch, a British missionary, in the March 1933 issue of The Chinese Recorder, one of the seventeen English-language journals published in or about China that will be included in the upcoming digital collection China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals 1817-1947.

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